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Authors/Writers' Corner > 30 Days, 30 Stories

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments The challenge? Write a very short story or vignette per day and share it. Let's say we start today (29 January) and we keep going until 1 March.

Who's in?


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Story #1: The Kiss
-------------------------
What I remember most about our first day together (after five months of being separated by an ocean) was that he kissed me like there was no beginning and no end. The first kiss--a quick kiss in an airport--didn't count. We were too shell-shocked that we were finally together again after so many months apart. Lack of sleep and jet lag frayed my edges. The air smelled different here--dry, cool...without the strange damp I was used to from Richmond and Philadelphia. I was in Sweden for the first time--why did he seem so much taller, so blonder than I'd remembered? He'd let his hair grow. It waved and curled now, silvery blond locks that made him look much younger than twenty-four. The only thing that mattered was that he felt the same when he hugged me and when I breathed in his scent, it rekindled the intensity of our summer together.

He took my suitcase and led me out of the arrivals hall. Outside the sky was a flat gray--I'd come to learn this was standard Stockholm in winter weather--and not as much snow as I'd assumed there'd be. We held hands. I loved the strength of his grip on me. I was his girl. He was mine. I felt safe, I felt home. I loved his nervous smile. I loved how different his voice sounded when he spoke Swedish--deeper, self-assured, somehow grounded. I couldn't understand the language then, but even the act of buying bus tickets and hearing him speak his native tongue made me love him more.

We boarded the bus to the city. He told me it would take 45 minutes. Once we found our seats, he did what I had been longing for--he dove in for a kiss that sealed our fates. That kiss that never seemed to end, that carried us from Arlanda into downtown Stockholm, past all the crowds and onto the subway to Norsborg, past the snow-covered hill and into his bedroom.

That kiss changed everything.

I knew I'd go wherever he asked me to.

I was his.


message 3: by Pygmy (new)

Pygmy Oh, this is really nice! Now I'm interested to read more of what happens...


message 4: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson Kim, does the story have to be about love? Is there a required length? Sorry, I'm Type A!


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments I need to do this. I really do. I'm also going to need you guys as my cheering squad, lol.


message 6: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson GO Diva GO!


message 7: by Dawn (last edited Jan 29, 2015 10:01AM) (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments This sounds like fun. I'll give it a shot!

#1 - Moment Through Glass
------------------------------------------

His day was composed of feedings and laps around the spacious tank. Some might have found it boring but Jon loved it. His needs were taken care of and Nanuiyux politics were far, far away.

Cold water closed over his head as he plunged into the chilled chamber. Relishing the brisk feel of the liquid penetrating his white fur, the shapeshifter swam toward the pool floor, his strong, furred legs propelling him through the artificial seawater easily. He came to the edge and shot up parallel to the observation glass. Normally, he would have flopped backwards into the water but one of the humans observers caught his eye.

She was tall, maybe even taller than his human-skin. Though darker-skinned than the girls he’d liked in the past, she had an athlete’s body, toned and powerful. He froze in mid-motion, slipping back into the water, floating in front of her. Their eyes met through the glass as she played with one of her narrow braids, curling it around her fingers. He lost track of time as her brown eyes studied his; he tried to memorize every line of her face. Delight and wonder filled her expression as he lingered, watching her.

“Guys! That polar bear likes Danya!” The moment was broken when one of her friends jostled her, and as her friends began to tease her, Jon knew he wouldn’t get it back. Growling softly in frustration, he tried to get her attention again but the group of girls wouldn’t stop hassling her – or pulling her away from him.

She looked back at Jon, her skin darkening from a heated flush. Her friend tugged on her arm and his heart sank as he realized they were about to leave the polar bear tank. She bit her lip for a moment before a mischievous smile broke across her face. Pulling away from her companion, she rushed forward and pressed against the barrier, flattening her KU shirt to her chest. They locked eyes for a second before she closed them and pressed her full lips to the glass.

He almost changed into his human-skin, then and there in front of all the zoo visitors. Months of fooling the animal technicians gave him the edge he needed to retain his secret but he had to answer her. Jon darted his head in touch his nose to the barrier over her lips.

She broke away giggling while the crowd hooted and cheered. He could see cameras flashing and people holding up their cell phones, recording. He was going to end up on Youtube and probably receive a visit from an Elder. The Nanuiyux didn’t regret his actions, not when she turned to look back at him as her friends pulled her away.

Jon kept his eyes on her as she disappeared from his sight. He would find Danya from KU and give her a real kiss. He had to know if their moment would become more, and that knowledge was worth almost any price.


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Ines wrote: "Kim, does the story have to be about love? Is there a required length? Sorry, I'm Type A!"

The story can be about whatever you want! It can be fiction, it can be nonfiction. It's up to you. :)


message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Dawn wrote: "This sounds like fun. I'll give it a shot!

#1 - Moment Through Glass
------------------------------------------

His day was composed of feedings and laps around the spacious tank. Some might have..."


Wow! Now you've got me hooked!


message 10: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 29, 2015 01:56PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments Dawn wrote: "This sounds like fun. I'll give it a shot!

#1 - Moment Through Glass
------------------------------------------

His day was composed of feedings and laps around the spacious tank. Some might have..."


Normally don't like shifters (burn-out), but this was cool. And I do love polar bears!


message 11: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson #1: State of the Union

Writing Prompt
After a tough year where overall writing goals were not met and new challenges arose, your office supplies (your computer, pens, paperclips, stapler, three-hole-punch, desk lamp—anything else that could be used to support your writing efforts) have lost some faith in you. You’ve decided to rally the troops by giving a State of the Union to them. Deliver your speech (and, if you want, a brief reaction from the supplies).

I reach out and take the back of my seat. The scrape of the chair’s legs is harsh against the hardwood floor, like the sound of nails scratching down a chalk board. But chalkboards are an antiquated piece of hardware. And when’s the last time anyone’s seen a piece of chalk, except outside of the hands of a little girl in pig tails hopping about on the sidewalk.

I hop from one foot to the other before sitting down. My hands fidget on my shirt. I release the edge of my shirt. My fingers clench into fists. I pry them apart.
I need to look up. Its taking to long for me to face them. They’ll all know something is amiss.

I take a deep breath and exhale in a coughing fit. There’s dust every where. I try to clear my throat, but only cough louder, harder, longer. Everything else is silent around me. Quiet and still. Waiting for me.

They’d been waiting for me all year to come before them and address them, hence the dust. It had been a whole year since I’d sat down in this chair to address them. It had been a tough year and they all looked to me for employment. Unfortunately, I had none.

Finally, my eyes rose and met with Bic. Though uncapped, Bic stood tall, straight, black and blue. Sharpie leaned over as though whispering to the group of Crayolas. Only the lead-based Ecowriter, my number 2 man, had my back. But I was about to let him down too.

I chanced a glance over my shoulder at my shiny new white box with the Apple logo. The silver MacBook Pro sat on my dust free desk, a host of software (Scrivner, Photoshop, InDesign) sat beside it. Finally after years of paper pushing, I’d entered the digital age of writing and I had no desire to turn back.

I swiveled back around and prepared to deliver the state of the disunion.


message 12: by Echo (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 307 comments @Kim. Yay! Nice & cozy. Stories set in snow are romantic.
@Dawn almost didn't see the polar bear coming. Neat. Thought it was Atlantis.
@Ines. Clever and funny. I loved the image of sharpie and the crayolas.


message 13: by Echo (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 307 comments I'm going to use a list of SF prompts via 30 sci fi wring prompts.

http://www.justinmclachlan.com/684/sc...

Prompt:A young lawyer graduates into a world where, for the first time, brain scans can accurately detect lies.


Dracha glared at me from across the table. Her husband, Jonathan, my half-brother and the bane of my existence, was trying so suppress a laugh with a cloth handkerchief. He got a strange satisfaction at seeing me and his wife at loggerheads. Dracha never liked me; I had tried and failed to like Dracha.

"I think you would be appreciative. I pulled strings, talked to my boss. He was willing to overlook the fact that you didn't get a real degree. Data entry is a useful profession."

"I want to open an office and use my legal skills," I said gritting my teeth. I stuck a fork forcefully into Dracha's dinner casserole. I took a bite. It was just as bad as I expected it be.

"Maria," Dracha said in the same infinitely tolerant tone and fake smile she used for those assigned to her for psychological re-education, "you need to let go of those dreams. That's your mother's influence."

Jonathan stopped smiled at the mention of mother. He was so cowed by Dracha that he seldom mention our eccentric mother and her upbringing.

"Dracha, not mom," Jonathan said, flatly. Maybe he still had some respect for our mother.

Dracha blinked for a second, startled. Jonathan was not in the habit of contradicting her. Jonathan was not in the habit of contradicting anyone. He was ever pleasant, ever joking, never confrontational.

I knew it was because he was lazy and a coward. Floating through life pleasantly to let others take care of him.

"What use is a lawyer? With EverScan we can tell if someone is lying. The EverSecure system records all events in the city, 24 hours a day. Anyone can call up video. There is no way to commit a crime."

"There are still people accused," I said firmly.

"And EverSecure anEverScan prove whether or not they are innocent. Fact is truth. Besides, since EverSecure went online, crime has dropped 90%."

"I heard in the places without EverSecure, they have crime all the time," Jerome said, his grin plastered back on his face. "Mugging, murders, robbery. Of course, they have all those backward religious beliefs. That's probably the cause."

Dracha winced at the word 'religious'. She sat on the National Psychological Board and though religious believers had been officially removed from the list of those with mental illness, it was still frowned upon. No one wanted to hire or live next to someone who believed in something that was not FACT. FACT was security. FACT was stability. FACT ensured peace.


message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Ines wrote: "#1: State of the Union

Writing Prompt
After a tough year where overall writing goals were not met and new challenges arose, your office supplies (your computer, pens, paperclips, stapler, three-ho..."


Yay! Love it! :D


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Echo wrote: "I'm going to use a list of SF prompts via 30 sci fi wring prompts.

http://www.justinmclachlan.com/684/sc...

Prompt:A young lawyer graduates into a world where, for the first tim..."


I like this set up!


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments I wrote story #2, but it feels too personal, so I will write another one and post it later today.


message 17: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 29, 2015 11:24PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments I created my own prompts based on things I've been wanting to write about anyway. My first one is about the Renaissance Faire. I didn't mean for it to be this long, but I started writing and couldn't stop, lol.

Day One: The Blue Ribbon

“Aye Mistress Blackberry, here be the laddie. He’s a handsome devil but tis a Faire virgin.”

I was surrounded by several grinning and well-nigh inebriated members of Clan McCallum in their blue, green and black plaid, leather boots and armed to the teeth with sgian dhus, dirks and claymores. Their ladies wore the long double skirts with tartan sashes and clan badges. Jaunty tams and muffin caps sat askew on several heads. Angus McCallum (name in the real world John McCallum) chivalrously held out his flask to me. Oh, I’d been looking forward to a hearty peasant wench swallow of sixty-year old single malt, which Angus was always so very generous with during Faire season.

I appraised the handsome young man in question with all the theatricality of the role I was playing. Mistress Blackberry, lover of the now dead playwright Kit Marlowe fallen upon hard times. Unlike a lady of the court, I could be far bolder in my assessment, since I “worked” for my bed and board and had no time for courtly etiquette.

He was definitely my type: tall, thin yet somewhat muscular and shoulder-length dark haired with sun-kissed skin. With a pair of blue eyes that seemed to dominate most of his face, feather-duster lashes that would be the envy of Maybelline, and the most kissable lips I’d seen on a man in quite a while, I was very much looking to tie a blue ribbon upon his mighty oak tree.

Even if it was a mere sapling.

“Indeed, Master Angus,” I said, unscrewing the top of the Celtic engraved flask. I took a sip, smiled blissfully as the scotch burned its deep amber trail down my throat to slowly warm my insides. It was mid-day at Faire and most of us working the skills games booths were already nicely buzzed, courtesy of Sir Christopher’s (from Archery) homemade hashish chocolate chip cookies, Mistress Teegan’s (from Knife Throw) bottle of pomegranate schnapps and Master Matthew’s (from Axes) wineskin filled with Captain Morgan. The Vikings had come by earlier, horns filled to the brim with home-brewed ale, and they were always glad to share. It was more that they also liked stuffing tips down my bodice, which in the outside world would be considered sexual harassment, but here at Faire was considered jolly good fun. And the Vikings were hot. And I made great tips.

“And he’s a virgin, d’you say?” I licked my lips with comical lasciviousness. “Haven’t had one of them in a looong time.” My eyes trailed down to the young man’s crotch which brought even more laughter from the clan.

“You hav’na been a virgin in a long time,” quipped Ian McCallum (real name Ian James).

I blew a saucy kiss at Ian. “Why, I do believe your sheep is jealous, Master Ian.”

Ian flushed good-naturedly, but it was hard to tell because his face was always crimson when deep in his cups. It was a damn good thing the clan wasn’t participating in today’s Highland weapons exhibition. I doubted any of them could lift their swords much less find them. Another reason why all weapons were peace-tied.

I brought my attention back to the sexy faire virgin in front of me. I had to crane my head a bit to meet his eyes. “And what do they call you, good sir?”

He sketched a courtly bow. “I am Sean McCallum, milady.”

Nice voice with just the right amount of brogue that sounded quite authentic. He really was a sexy thing.

Patrons began to gather around, certain that something was about to happen as Angus and the guys began their drunken rendition of ‘The Scotsman Song’. Mormon Tabernacle choir they most certainly weren’t, but what they lacked in musicianship they all but made up for in sheer enthusiastic volume.

Before I began, I asked Sean (out of my persona) “Is your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend around? I don’t do this without their permission.”

Granted, a lot of guys would enjoy a strange woman dressed in a tightly cinched bodice handling their assets, even if for a moment. But my concern and respect was always for the partners. I always sought their assurance first, explaining what I was to do and that overall it was just an act. Besides, I already had my hands full (no pun intended) with two rather lusty members of Clan McNeil.

Sean shook his head. “I am single, milady.”

Really? Were the wenches blind around Faire? This guy was cute, no way in hell he should’ve been single. Maybe later, in the communal dining tent behind the main site, I’d introduce him to Alexis. Sean could be the perfect panacea to help her forget about her overly possessive ex.

Huge rule of Faire: either have a trusting, stable relationship with someone outside of the scene who understands that what you do is merely play-acting, or better yet, have a relationship with someone in it.

Back in persona now, I removed a long blue ribbon from my bodice. Several blue ribbons were held by a pin that read “Official Kilt Inspector”. Right below that one was a pin that said “Strip Him, Bathe Him, and Bring Him To My Tent”.

A couple of mundane males in wrinkled cargo shorts, wife beaters, flip flips (never a good idea on the now dusty faire grounds), and holding turkey legs and plastic cups of beer decided to pause their frat-boy ogling at all the cleavage that surrounded them.

“Yo dude look, guys in skirts,” the shorter, blonder and obviously denser one chortled loudly. The entire skills game row and the clan rolled their eyes. There was always one or two smart-aleck patrons who thought that was funny.

Angus simply sidled up to him, companion-like, drew his dirk and began flipping it over and over again, catching the edge of the blade between his fingers. He fixed frat boy a psychotic smile.

“I believe the word you’re looking for sheep-dung, is kilt. Isn’t that right?”

Interesting how even the supposedly biggest badasses no longer wanted to talk trash when surrounded by several clans, a bunch of Vikings, a few Samurai, and a couple of the queen’s own guard armed with live steel. Not only the men. Angus’ lady (and wife in real life), Loreena, idly slid a dagger from her leather-tooled bodice and pretended to remove a speck of dirt from beneath her fingernails. She gazed sweetly innocent in their direction.

“Now that that’s settled gentlemen,” I turned my attention back to Sean. “A true Scotsman,” I said in my best Elizabethan, “Wears nothing betwixt their kilt save their socks and their boots. So good sir, might ye be regimental under that fine plaid?”


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments The Blue Ribbon (con't)

Sean nodded. He blushed. I was a goner. Men who blush were my weakness. I held up the blue ribbon which elicited cheers and various ribald comments. “Well, tis the duty of Mistress Blackberry to see the truth of the thing.”

“Ye’ll see the truth o’ somethin’!” called out one of McNeils who were casually walking by.

“If ye really want to see somethin’, Mistress Blackberry, all ye need do is come to my camp and I’ll be glad to show ye everythin’ and more.”

I cocked a hand on my hip. “Ye promised me that last night, milord. Alas, I am still looking.”

The crowd erupted into bawdy laughter as I gathered my two skirts as if to curtsey. I hoped the authenticity Nazis weren’t planning to do skirt checks as they’d been threatening. It had been far too warm today for bloomers (fine English weather my elbow. Not in the middle of the Inland Empire), even my lightest cotton ones. I wore over-the-knee striped socks and handmade leather ghillies.

I sank down before him and gave him a comforting smile, once more out of persona as I whispered. “You don’t have to do this if it makes you uncomfortable.”

“I’m good. Just not drunk enough.”

Well that wasn’t to be allowed at all. I reached for my own hip flask and gave it to him. “It’s absinthe,” I warned but too late for Sean had taken a nice, healthy draught and didn’t even blanch.

Oh yes, I liked this man a lot.

That was when I noticed something rather interesting about Sean’s kilt. It was of the proper length, but something else appeared to be of proper length as well.

No, it had to be the breeze, which was faint, enough to stir up the occasional dust devil. Maybe it was nerves. I shouldn’t have been nervous, having done this routine countless times. It was, unofficially, part of the Faire. Though it was also something, had some irate parent decided to launch a tizzy fit about their child being subject to “lewd behavior”, get a lot of us performers into a bit of trouble since officially we were supposed to be a “family friendly” version of the Elizabethan period.

Which was why, when hawking in front of the javelin booth I’d say such things as “Come play with our fine English wood this day,” or “Our shafts are mighty long and very hard.”

“Is thou ready for inspection, milord?” I asked him, bringing myself back to the task at hand.

“I am ready.”

My hand reached out and met the warm skin behind his knee. I felt him shudder and looked up. He was downing the absinthe like it was lemonade. From anywhere around, it looked as if I were merely touching his leg. The kilt never raised. One had to be close enough to see just where my hands were going. Slowly I worked my way upwards. The hair on his thigh was downy soft. I reached his nicely curved buttock, which seemed to flex beneath my touch. My palm tingled.

With an arm practically up Sean’s kilt, something lightly brushed against me that I knew damn well wasn’t the wind. My gaze rose slowly until I met his eyes. There was no sense of triumph or bragging. If anything, he seemed rather shy about it. Glassy eyed from the effects of the green faerie, but shy.

It kept brushing against my chemise-clad arm, but I may as well have been naked. I’d tied many a blue ribbon over the course of five years at Faire, and there’d been some nicely endowed men I’d gifted with a blue ribbon, but dear goddess, Sean McCallum was most well favored indeed. It was a very good thing his plaid was an inch or two past the knees else he’d be downright indecent.

And I bet a platterful of haggis that Angus knew it.

“Well, my lads, mayhaps I have found our first, second and third prizes right here!” I announced with a flourish. “I may not have enough ribbon to tie around his manly part!”

“I’ll loan ye my belt,” shouted one of the clansmen.

“I’ll loan ye my sash, Mistress Blackberry,” hollered on of the clan ladies.

“I’ll loan ye my horse,” someone else added.

“You mean ye’re wife?”

With expert, yet careful fingers, I lifted said manly part and tied the ribbon just above the head, all the while trading bawdy jokes with his clan mates and a few others watching the show.

Sean joined in the laughter and the jests. He was on his way to being well and thoroughly hammered.

“Ah Mistress Blackberry, methinks your fingers are too small and delicate for this mighty task. Most certain the ribbon should be a bow by the nonce. Mayhaps you need my help?”

I sighed melodramatically. “Oh good sir, I do find the task so very hard.”

“That’s not all she’ll find hard, I’ll wager,” another clansman chortled.

Finally done, and his kilt returned to its original state, I began singing, “Oh tie a blue ribbon around the stout oak shaft…a lady admires the heft…of the mighty oaken shaft.”

“Huzzah!” Clan McCallum broke into a drunken and raucous cheer. Sean bowed before me, and I returned his bow with a low and very graceful curtsey. He reached out and took my hand, which had just been on his private part a moment ago.

“My thanks, Mistress.” And before I could open my mouth, he pulled me into his arms and soundly kissed me, much to the amusement of those around us. I tasted absinthe and a hint of apples.

“Aye, our faire virgin is no more,” mock sobbed Angus, who presented Sean with the flask of single malt. He gave him a hearty slap on the back. “Ye’re now one of us my lad.”

And they started another drunken rendition of The Scotsman Song:

“Now the Scotsman woke to nature’s call and stumbled toward the trees

Behind a bush, he lifts his kilt and gawks at what he sees

And in a startled voice he says to what’s before his eyes.

O lad I don’t know where you been but I see you won first prize.

Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh

O lad I don’t know where you been but I see you won first prize!”



message 19: by Echo (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 307 comments I really liked that. Is it going to be expanded? Incredible detail and fascinating subculture setting.


message 20: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson Writing Prompt
You’ve been out of work for a few months and respond an unusual ad online that reads: “Team seeking full-time associate who isn’t afraid of ghosts.” They call and tell you to come in. Intrigued (and desperate for work), you go to their office and get hired on the spot. Moments later, there’s a call—and you have your first assignment. Write about what happens.

Story #2: Shadow Hands
“This is the last time that I’m telling you to go to bed.”

“But Daddy, can I at least keep the lights on?”

“No, you’re to big to need a night light.”

She crossed my arms and pouted. It wasn’t the best tactic to disprove her father’s last statement. She was nine years old now. She wasn’t afraid of the dark. But she knew that there was something in the dark. She also knew that whatever it was it didn’t like light.

“Baby girl,” her father bent down to one knee so that he was on eye-level with her. It took him a moment to descend. Her father was a very tall man. “Baby girl, what do I always tell you about fear?”

“The only way to conquer our fear is to face it.”

“That’s right,” his eyes shone bright at her response.

While her bookshelves were stocked with The Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps, her father’s shelves were stacked with books with titles like The Power of Positive Thinking and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

“Fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow it.” Her dad stood up. He took her by the shoulders and turned her to face the interior of her darkened room.

Where it often took her friends long moments to see better in the dark, it took only a second for her eyes to adjust. She saw her canopy bed with the deep blue comforter -pink was for girly girls. She saw her bookshelf and her desk with unfinished math homework which she’d get to in the morning. She saw her untidy closet and was glad that it would take her dad’s eyes a few moments to adjust to.

He was right. There was nothing in the dark to be afraid of. At least not right now.

“Now baby girl, you march on over to your bed without another protest and make me proud.”

She sighed and began the march. She heard the soft click of the door closing. She climbed into her bed, burrowed under the covers and waited for sleep to claim her.

Thirty minutes later, she still stared at the shadows on the wall. The moon’s light illuminated the wall next to the window. She made out the patterns of the weeping willow tree just outside her window. The vines of the tree fell down her wall like fingers. It was a windless, spring night so when ten fingers on the tree began to move, she knew she had company.


message 21: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Story #2: Huckleberries
------------------------

We spent every summer in Virginia. There was never any question of it. As soon as school let out, either one of my uncles would drive up from Smithfield and take us there, or my mother would take us on either the bus on the train. My father never went with us to Smithfield. Sometimes he drove down to bring us back home again, but more often than not we took the train from Newport News back to Philadelphia. I don't think my father liked being in the countryside. He was too much of a city person. He always seemed ill at ease whenever he was there.

Though I know it isn't the case, I always remember those Virginia summers as being perpetually sunny and hot. My cousins and I explored every inch of the woods behind my grandparens' house on Scotts Factory Road. We tried to scare each other with creepy stories of axe murderers, escaped convicts and zombies. But mostly what we did was pick huckleberries.

Every morning my grandmother would spray us with OFF! and we'd head off to the woods, searching for perfectly ripe huckleberries. Nana would tell us not to go too far into the woods, but we rarely listened. As far as we were concerned, the woods were ours. We imagined ourselves to be adventurers as we scrambled over fallen trees and ran along the bumpy paths through the trees.

Sometimes we'd convince ourselves a bear was nearby. I don't think we ever saw one, but we were certain there surely had to be bears--and wolves too--in the wilds of Smithfield, Virginia. On occassion we spotted deer, hawks or possums. Sometimes an owl in the trees. Most of the time we heard frogs croaking in the foliage and we'd find toads and snakes and treefrogs.

And while we sought out those sweet, juicy berries, we debated which was better: Star Trek or Star Wars, the Jeffersons or Good Times, Scooby Doo or the Flintstones, Speedracer or the Monkees... or we'd make up goofy songs while we swatted away flies and mosquitoes.

At some point we'd realize our buckets were full to the brim with the huckleberries we loved so much. Instead of going directly back to our grandmother's house, we'd find someplace to sit or venture to a dilapidated shed we'd found and hang out there, eating handfuls of the berries while the blackish blue juice dripped down our arms and stained our t-shirts.

We always made sure we saved enough so that our grandmother would reward us with huckleberry muffins, huckleberry pancakes or--our favorite--huckleberry ice cream. Nothing compared to our grandmother's homemade ice cream. Not even the gelato I love to eat during Italian vacations compares.

Last summer I bought a package of huckleberries while I was in the US. Now that my grandmother is dead, no one in the family seems to know the recipe for her ice cream, but eating those berries on that sticky, humid day took me back to those idyllic summers in Smithfield and it reminded me of how much I miss my grandparetns.

I wish they were still with us.


message 22: by Pygmy (new)

Pygmy TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "I created my own prompts based on things I've been wanting to write about anyway. My first one is about the Renaissance Faire. I didn't mean for it to be this long, but I started writing and couldn..."

Wow, do they really do this at Ren Faires? Guess I wasn't paying attention when I attended a few. ^^;; Writing is nice, but unfortunately I have a squik with the subject matter. Last summer I went to a local Celtic Fair where a Scottish clan was camped out in their kilts. One guy was very nice and offered us free water and let us pose with their swords and shields. However, when he went to sit down, I uh...got an eyeful. Maybe I'm a prude, but there was nothing appealing about it. =__=;;


message 23: by Pygmy (new)

Pygmy Dawn wrote: "This sounds like fun. I'll give it a shot!

This is great! I haven't read much shape-shifting stories before. At first I was trying to figure out what "Nanuiyux" was, and I thought it might be a were-goldfish! lol, then I got to the legs.


message 24: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 30, 2015 09:31AM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments Thanks everyone.

@Echo: It's the beginnings of an idea I've had for ages. There are a lot of PoC who are performers/participants at Ren-Faires, but some are also members of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism. Mistress Blackberry was my Faire persona for many years and yes, I really have a pewter pin that says "Official Kilt Inspector".


message 25: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments #2 - Home

Danya couldn’t stop smiling, not even when she got home. The stuffed polar bear on the passenger seat watched her with large button eyes. Picking him up, she tried to ignore the feeling that she’d paid too much for the toy. It had been a total impulse purchase after her encounter. Grinning a little, she touched her nose to the bear’s. Eskimo kisses.

Tucking the bear under her arm, she locked the car and headed inside. The spacious old manor had once held a wealthy Kansas City family but white flight had taken its toll on this building. What had once held a rich family and its servants now housed Danya and her oddball community. Washington encouraged them to think of themselves as family but it was impossible to equate this life with growing in Hays.

Danya opened the front door and was nearly knocked back onto the wide porch. Marcus had staggered into her; before Danya could get her bearings, the big man shoved himself off of her and launched himself at Amber. The smaller brunette caught him by the collar, twisted as Jacob had taught them, and pitched him across the room.

“Hey!” Danya stepped inside and shut the door before someone on the street noticed the brawl. “You two, knock it off!”

“Save your breath.” Rochelle walked over to stand next to Danya, crossing her arms as the Marcus closed on Amber again, his shaved head gleaming in the overhead lights. “She told David about the night at Missie B’s.”

Danya winced. She’d had an out-of-town game and had missed that legendary night but Amber had told her all about Marcus getting drunk off his ass and making out with one of the performers. David had some insecurities about dating a bisexual and Marcus had refused to tell him about his indiscretion with the transvestite singer. “David didn’t take it well.”

“Well, Marcus being single again probably isn’t helping his temper.” Rochelle shook her head, making her red-tipped extensions sway around her shoulders. “I told him Amber wasn’t going to mind her own business for long.”

Marcus should have told his boyfriend about his mistake but Danya didn’t feel like wading into that argument. Amber had been cheated on once and always overreacted to infidelity among her friends. The woman in question ricocheted off of the bannister of the main flight of stairs and moved to sweep Marcus’s feet from under him. The former member of 18th Street hopped over her foot gracefully. He landed just as the aura of dread settled over them.

Marcus stumbled and Amber dropped to one knee. Danya was not the focus of Washington’s ire so she remained standing as their mentor appeared at the top of the stairs. The small man didn’t look like he would inspire such fear in the young people gathered in the front hall. He was shorter than average with close-cropped hair. He stared down at them, his dark skin blending into the shadows until he seemed to almost disappear. The young woman felt sweat started to roll down her back under the weight of his glare.

“What is wrong, my children?” Washington stared down at them, his dark eyes roving over them. “Why are you fighting?”

“Amber broke my trust.” Marcus spoke without anger. He slipped to one knee and gazed up at their ‘father’. “I lost my temper.”

Washington looked to Amber. Danya heard her swallow sharply. “He broke David’s trust and I felt I had to act.”

“I see.” Those dark eyes roved over the entire room. “Danya. Name their punishment.”

The young woman repressed a shiver. She hated passing judgment on her siblings. “Apologies.” That was the easy call to make; the tough part was balancing between mercy and justice. She didn’t want Washington to think she was being soft. “Cleaning up the mess they created in the fight.” Their mentor nodded in approval and she relaxed. That wasn’t enough and she saw everyone was waiting for more. “They disrupted the harmony of the house so they must restore it through service to their siblings.”

“Very good.” Washington walked down the stairs, moving in a miasma of menace. “Very good, Danya. They will each work ten more hours a week on the community roster for the next month.” He stopped in front of her, his head not even coming to her shoulder. This close, she could see the scars marking his neck and smell nothing but the ozone that hung around him. “Charming bear. Did you get that at the zoo?”

Danya nodded quickly. He seemed to know what she had done; she knew that she was projecting but she couldn’t stop. “Yes, the polar bear was doing flips and rolls in the water. It was cute.”

Washtington smiled coldly. “Remember that what is adorable in a cage may be dangerous when free.”


message 26: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 31, 2015 12:35AM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments #2 - Goth

To Be Well Met

Nearly fifteen years had elapsed since Euphrosyne had last seen her darkling clan which during their satin-bodiced and topcoat-clad heyday, had been Gothic celebrities in their own right at Inquisition. Outcasts even amongst their own kind, they'd forged their own kindred spirits into a deep friendship forged in the heat of passion, recklessness and a definite sense of their personal superiority over those who behaved like the keepers of all things dark. They befriended the baby bats, all the while imperiously dismissing the so-called 'elders' with their porcelain masks and red lips and fruitlessly meandering conversations over music, sex and death.

Lovely Amaranth, the silver-haired, faery-kissed master of revels. Orion, the epitome of raven Black Irish with his rapier-sharp wit and fondness for clove cigarettes in a sleek silver holder. Countess Bathory, amusingly and charmingly wicked breaker of hearts regardless of gender. And glorious Sinjin, platinum-dreded, obsidian hued vampire king with his heavy wolfs head walking stick and deep, booming laugh. And herself, with a taste for true gothic literature and an unholy fascination with Lord Byron.

After fifteen years they were to meet once more, converging upon Inquisition for of all things, a midnight wedding ceremony. It appeared finally, that darling Bathory had found her Prince Vlad. A match made in Purgatory.

For a moment, Euphrosyne gazed with fondness at the old fashioned, sepia-toned photo taken by Sinjin, the quartet looking for all intents and purposes like elegantly jaded dilettantes of the Belle Époque, draped in various states of ennui either on or over Orion’s antique fainting couch.

We were so young, she sighed wistfully. Young, arrogant, beautiful and often rash. What fun we had in those days.

You and I, my dear handsome hunter, she thought as a finger caressed the cheek of the young man to her left, spent many a wild night upon that couch. Untold pleasures had been our drowning moments then. How many kisses you bestowed upon my willing flesh, darling Orion. I wonder if you think of me fondly upon those rare quiet nights wherever you were.

Fifteen years had wrought many changes as time was wont to do, though like Wilde’s anti-hero Dorian Grey, not one of Euphrosyne’s sins (such as they may have been) were written upon a face still rich and ageless with blue-black velvet smoothness. Only her autumn brown eyes, told tales of both triumph and tragedy, love and loss, lessons learned and shared. That careless, heedless young woman of the photograph had given way to muted wisdom and an acceptance of never truly fitting into the dictates of the so-called normal world.

It had been far too long since Euphrosyne felt that rush of excitement of donning her Gothic finery and as she slid the closet door open like a chest of treasures, she inhaled lingering traces of old roses, vetiver and Mysore sandalwood. Each scent had its own story, each article of clothing its own decadent tale. Fingers trailed and tingled over each kiss of satin, brocade, velvet, leather or taffeta.

What does one wear to a midnight Gothic wedding, outside of the de rigeur black of course?

She approved, then as quickly dismissed several candidates. Her choice needed to be of the height of elegance, as would be expected, but not as to overshadow the dark bride. That would never do.

Just as Euphrosyne was about to give way to despair, she spied a dress that she’d designed and had custom made, but never worn. Removing the crystal-clear garment bag, she held it up for closer inspection. A midnight blue brocaded corset attached to a floor-length satin skirt that would shimmer with every refined movement. Add a pair of matching velvet opera-length gloves and lined satin cape. Yes, that would do quite nicely.

And Orion had never seen her in it. If he were true to form, he’d more than likely wish to see her out of it.

Glancing at the mini grandfather clock which sat upon a dark walnut shelf between a pair of iron fleur de lis candleholders, Euphrosyne hung the dress on the wooden coat tree, then took a little less time in choosing a pair of vintage Victorian walking boots. She hoped that the buttonhook was still inside of them. Her hands might have been nimble, but not enough to fasten the tiny pearl buttons on each boot. Satin garter and striped silk stockings. A black velvet cameo choker. She’d sweep her blue-black ombre microbraids into an elegant up-do held in place with crystal pins.
#

Two hours later—one simply does not rush art, and for Euphrosyne, dressing for special occasions such as this was indeed an art form—she took one last lingering gaze at her image in the tall cheval glass. Breasts firmly yet tenderly restrained in the heavy brocade corset, laced tightly with the heavy satin ribbons trailing down the back. The full skirt fell in a perfect cascade of whispering satin that swirled and swayed with every step. It felt positively glorious, refined yet provocative. Opera-length gloves in plush velvet encased her arms past her elbows. The image that stared back from the glass was lush, mature, and fully sensual. Eyes sultry-lidded and rimmed with blue and black kohl (keeping to the color theme) and lashes fringed with tips of dark blue glitter. Lips a sensual shade of purple hemlock (the color was called ‘Kiss of Death’).

The clock chimed eleven. Invitation and reticule in hand, Euphrosyne opened her front door where a taxi awaited. She greeted the star-filled night, trailing silk and the fragrance of old roses, vetiver and Mysore sandalwood in her wake.

(I was listening to Faith and the Muse and Fields of the Nephilim while writing this, lol).


message 27: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "and yes, I really have a pewter pin that says "Official Kilt Inspector".

NICE!


message 28: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Time for Story #3 of the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge. This one is a little different from the original story I'd planned.

Story #3: Edelweiss
--------------------------
When I was a kid, my mother and I watched "Sound of Music" whenever it was on TV. It didn't matter that we'd both seen it way too many times. As soon as Barbara found out it was coming on TV, she'd get as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning. Back then, the US networks tended to show "Sound of Music" around Easter. My mom and I would sing along with all the songs and sigh happily as Maria and Georg von Trapp fell in love. We both hated the Baroness for sending away Maria, but we loved that the nuns and the Abbess convinced Maria to go back. Sometimes my great-aunt would join us for our "Sound of Music" lovefest. We'd pop some popcorn and swoon when Christopher Plummer realized he'd fallen head over heels for our Maria.

One year I realized all three of us had a crush on Christopher Plummer. My great-aunt would shake her head and say, "Mmm-hmm- That Christopher Plummer has always been a handsome son of a gun." She still says it.

After our first summer together, Tord had to go to Switzerland to do his research at CERN. We sent many email to one another. That first month, he even sent me a dozen roses to remind me of how much he loved and missed me. But what I loved most was the box full of Swiss chocolate bars he sent. I shared the chocolates with Kendra and Michele. I think they were some of the best chocolates I'd ever had. But what I treasured most in that box was not the chocolates--it was something small and white he'd tucked inside the letter he'd written. A perfect edelweiss he'd picked for me while he was hiking in the Alps with a colleague.

I gasped--how had he known? I'd never told him how much I loved "Sound of Music" or how that scene when Georg finally sings with the children and Maria watches him with her heart on her sleeve was my favorite part of the movie... He'd picked it for me simply because he loved me.

My great-aunt likes to tease me and say I have my own Christopher Plummer. I guess I do. When Tord cuts his hair, he does look a bit like Georg von Trapp...and he does indulge my love of Austrian Christmas markets and glühwein and singing "Edelweiss" off-key whenever I am on Austrian soil...
#30Days30Stories #writing #challenge #vignette #edelweiss
http://youtu.be/O_rwb39L3Eo


message 29: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "#2 - Goth

To Be Well Met

Nearly fifteen years had elapsed since Euphrosyne had last seen her darkling clan which during their satin-bodiced and topcoat-clad heyday, had been Gothic celebrities i..."


I love the attention to detail in this one! I could visualize the dress so clearly.


message 30: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments Kim wrote: "Time for Story #3 of the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge. This one is a little different from the original story I'd planned.

Story #3: Edelweiss
--------------------------
When I was a kid, my moth..."


This is a sweet story. I loved watching the Sound of Music with my Grandma every year on TV.


message 31: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Dawn wrote: "Kim wrote: "Time for Story #3 of the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge. This one is a little different from the original story I'd planned.

Story #3: Edelweiss
--------------------------
When I was a ..."



Thanks, Dawn. I still watch it whenever it's on--and I have my own singalong DVD version. :) In Sweden they show it during the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve. I hear they now show it in the US at Christmas too.

There's a hotel in Salzburg, Austria where there is one channel devoted compltely to the Sound of Music--it's the only movie they show on that channel and you can watch it in English, Japanese and--of course--German. :)


message 32: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson Story #3 -The Monster in the Shadows

Kee watched the shadowy fingers on the wall. She and the fingers were engaged in an epic staring battle. Neither she nor the shadows had moved in the last ten minutes.

Kee lay perfectly still, barely blinking.

The fingers kept perfectly still, barely twitching.

Finally, Kee had enough. She sat up in the bed, spindly arms crossed over her small chest. “I know you’re there.” She said to the shadowed wall. “You don’t scare me, so why don’t you just leave.”

She held her breath and waited.

Nothing happened. The shadow didn’t move. It kept still. Unnaturally still. Kee wasn’t fooled. Slowly, her arms dropped into her lap, her features softened.

“Are you afraid?”

One long finger twitched.

“Are you hiding?”

The shadow curled, as the monster hiding there was making a fist.

“You can come out. I won’t hurt you and I won’t tell. I mean, I did tell, but no one believed me.”

It wasn’t just her father she’d told. She’d also told Erika and Lamorea at lunch. She thought the tale would get her an invite to sit with them at the lunch table. Instead, told her to meet them at their usual spot. When Kee arrived at lunch, she found them sitting at a different table with no seats available. She spent yet another lunch sitting alone.

Kee looked back at her wall. She could no longer make out the outline of the fist, or the fingers, or any hand at all.

Kee sighed. She wrapped her arms around herself. The school counselor called the motion self-soothing.

Kee turned and fluffed her pillow. The fluff turned to a punch, and then another.

She lay down facing her door, but she couldn’t get to sleep.

She turned to the other side, and that’s when she saw it. It parted itself from the shadow, its yellow eyes boring into hers.


message 33: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments Ines wrote: "Story #3 -The Monster in the Shadows

Kee watched the shadowy fingers on the wall. She and the fingers were engaged in an epic staring battle. Neither she nor the shadows had moved in the last ten ..."


Wow, that's kinda creepy, but it had the potential to be more like Max and the Wild Things. Very nice.


message 34: by Dawn (last edited Jan 31, 2015 10:13PM) (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments I think that I'm going to keep telling Jon and Danya's story for the rest of this month in short chapters. I hope that's okay.

#3 - No Pants
-------------------

Ian turned the corner and stopped, glaring. “Not cool, man. Not cool.”

Jon shrugged and said, “It’s not like I keep a pair of pants in here.” He shifted so his forearms were leaning against the grated door. “So . . . can I get out of here tonight?”

“Okay, it’s not just the man-junk that I have to look at.” Ian set down the buckets of dog food and crossed his arms, glaring at the naked shape-shifter. “Letting you out isn’t like leaving the cat door open, bro. I’m risking my job and you’re risking ending up in a government lab somewhere, being poked and prodded.”

Jon sighed and gave the zoo technician his best hand-dog look. “Look, c’mon, I just wanna go out and find a girl--”

“Oh, kissing girl? Jesus, man, it’s great that you’re known to be a personable animal or else that would have raised a few eyebrows.” Ian rolled his eyes and dug out the keys to open the door. Jon stepped back to let him do it, then stepped out into the hall and picked up one of the buckets. He carried it over to his companion’s bowl, pouring out the dog food for Nikita. She was a sweet enough bear and he liked her company.

Ian put Jon’s kibble in his bowl and the Nanuiyux grabbed a handful. Ian winced, just as he always did when Jon ate his food. There would have been a time that Jon would have agreed with him but an unemployed were-bear couldn’t be picky about his food. “So yeah, I wanna find kissing girl.” Danya.

“Do you have a crush?” Ian shook his head. “Woman just fuck you up. They tease and taunt and leave you with blue balls. If you need some action, I’d be happy to bring in my laptop and let you watch my porn stash.”

“Yeah, I don’t subscribe to that Men’s Rights bullshit.” Jon crunched on the hard food, ignoring the weird taste. “I’m also not looking to get laid. I’m hoping to get a girlfriend.”

“Sex or intimacy, it’s the same thing.” Ian scowled at him, pushing shaggy hair out of his eyes. “A woman will gut you and leave you broken.”

“Maybe,” Jon said, shrugging. “But I have to know if that’s what she’ll actually do to me. “ He gave Ian a lopsided grin. “Besides, I regenerate from wounds pretty fast.”

“Your heart, man.” Ian sighed heavily. “Fine, I’ll get you out tonight but don’t blame me when she breaks you into a million pieces.” He smirked a little and added, “But if you want any chance at all, get some clothes. Girls are funny about guys walking up to them professing love while wearing no pants.”


message 35: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Jan 31, 2015 11:20PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments #3 - Free Write

Best Served Hot

Something told me that I didn't really need the damn coffee.

It was just after three in the afternoon on a Friday which meant practically everyone who worked in the clustered high-rises of Century City was on break, which meant the line at the Starbucks was stupid long and filled with a bunch of frazzled special snowflakes whom, in between talking, texting or updating their FB profiles, were throwing major shade at the busting their asses baristas churning out orders with military-like precision.

I could've kicked myself for not at least having my Kindle handy. Nothing like a bit of glitterkink to pass the time. I stood impatiently behind a wannabe Abercrombie and Fitch model with so much hair product that his expensively mussed coif would've survived 150 MPH gale force winds. His cloying cologne was invading my personal space like mustard gas. Every three seconds or so, he'd mutter something about “bad service”, which was loud and annoying enough for the other privileged lemmings to hear and agree with.

Yet another reason I quit retail.

“Well if they're so slow, why don't you get behind the counter and show them how it's done.”

He turned around to glare at me. I flashed him a completely unfazed smile as if his spray-on tanned face was supposed to shock me into a stammered apology. I so couldn’t wait for this day to be over.

Finally, with seven minutes of break time left, I placed my order for a venti white chocolate mocha with three pumps of peppermint when I heard my name called.

Ever notice whom the gods love, they fuck with hugely first.

“Hey Sabina! Nice to see you.”

I seriously couldn’t say the same about the guy who’d just sidled up to me as if we were old friends. He wore that same asinine grin that was supposed to be warm and friendly and open and so very charming. My palms itched to slap it sideways.

“Craig.” That was about as much enthusiastic acknowledgment as I could muster without my last shot of caffeine for the day.

“Hey can I get your drink or something,” he asked with all the slobbering eagerness of an excited puppy. Nothing against puppies of course.

“Thanks, but it’s already paid for.” Now go the fuck away. I hoped he saw that written all over my face, but he was obviously being Captain Oblivious To Non-Verbal Cues.

I tried to ignore him, but the man decided to chat me up as if he hadn’t dumped me two months ago over his insecurities about my Friday night tabletop gaming sessions. I really should’ve listened to my first, second, third and fourth minds about dating anyone who wasn’t a part of the scene. I’d invited him several times to come and check it out, but he always dismissed my hobby as childish. In his own words, “I have better ways to waste a Friday night than hang out with a bunch of freaks.” Of course, I was exempt.

Then he somehow got it into his head (which probably took up all the available real estate) that I was having sex with Cash, my fellow Toreador and sometime nemesis (game-wise). It had been too damn hard to explain the difference between the persona I played in the game and person I was (who wasn’t cheating). I could’ve been speaking Serbo-Croatian for all the good it did. One FB relationship status change and that was all he wrote.

And now, just like Gloria Gaynor sang, he was back from outer space. Too bad I couldn’t get Elon Musk to load him up and send him off again.

“So, how are things? You look great.”

Fine. I look great. Water is wet. Tell me something new.

“Things are cool. And you?” I hoped the fool would take the hint, but he droned on and on sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher as he recited a laundry list of all the “exciting” stuff he was working on, the famous people he came across and the oh-so exclusive parties he frequented. It seemed the fates were conspiring against me as I waited for my drink.

Note to self: no more dating hipsters. Ever. Not even while drunk, stoned or desperate.

My cup of liquid crack finally appeared at the bar and I scooped it up, slid a sleeve over it. Took a blissful sip, ruined by Craig, still with a case of verbal diarrhea. “How about I call you later, you know, just to touch base?”

Then it dawned on me what this was all about.

Was he freaking kidding me?

Cup in one hand, I lowered my eyeglasses and gave him my best Dowager Countess stare. “By the way Craig, remember Cash? My friend from the game whom you thought I was fucking?” Watching the color drain from his face was priceless as I sank the knife in slowly. “I just thought you’d like to know he and his boyfriend are getting married this weekend. In San Diego. At Comic-Con.”

I left him standing there, mouth gaping like a fish out of water.


message 36: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Ines wrote: "Story #3 -The Monster in the Shadows

Kee watched the shadowy fingers on the wall. She and the fingers were engaged in an epic staring battle. Neither she nor the shadows had moved in the last ten ..."


Very cool! I really like this scenario! :)


message 37: by Echo (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 307 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "#3 - Free Write

Best Served Hot

Something told me that I didn't really need the damn coffee.

It was just after three in the afternoon on a Friday which meant practically everyone who worked in ..."


@FountainPenDiva
You need to keep these stories and do something longer. I'm loving the subcultures and the atmosphere. It's new & different & the tone works.


message 38: by Echo (last edited Feb 01, 2015 03:36AM) (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 307 comments Story 2
Prompt: Imagine a world in which sharks swim in the forest and you find yourself lost in the woods.

The only way to survive was to stay low to the ground. Jenny had figured that much out after losing an arm. She'd barely managed to escape as she struggled back to her pod. The cybernetics had kicked in; the nutrient fluid had made up for the lack of blood. It had taken a full three days of cycle sleep for her to repair and regrow the limb. As much as she could understand, these creatures, were thick in this part of the planet. Officially, she had characterized them as Zignus 987 mammal but kept calling them 'Sharks' because that was the closest thing she could use to describe them. They weren't sharks, of course, the flying gave that away-but the shape and teeth were similar. The mouth, however, had a long tongue that jutted out and pulled at its victims-hence pulling her arm out of the socket. Had Jenny been a real human, the pain alone would have killed her. However, an augmented clone was made of sterner stuff and smart enough to shut down her pain receptors before it attacked. The real Jenny-Genevieve Bressard-safely back onboard a ship in orbit-only had to analyze the data that was uploaded.

The problem was Jenny had no communication from the mothership for months. They had sent no messages and no rescue team. Jenny kept doing her job of exploration and study because she'd been programmed to do so but even an cybernetics parts had limits. And a clone had an expiration date.

Perhaps it was a defect in her personality that got multiplied each time Genevieve was cloned, but Jenny was curious. There was every indication that an intelligent species lived on his planet and indications of a complex civilizations. She had collected shards of arrows and a broken spear. One of the rotted sharks carcasses, lay at the edge of the woods. Evidence of rope and steel stuck to its hide. Something,someone had hunted it.


message 39: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Story #4: I'm Moving to Paris
--------------------------------
When I was in first grade, I decided my favorite book was no longer "The Story of Ferdinand"--it was "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans. I read it countless times, studying ever detail and dreaming myself away to a school where the nuns were kind and where I could wear cute uniforms and a Parisian bob. I didn't know it was called a Parisian bob, but I wanted one. I asked my mother if I could cut my hair. I figured my hair was too long and too thick--wouldn't it be easier to wash if I had a haircut like Madeline's?

My mother thought I was talking about a classmate. I held up the book and said, "No, Madeline in Paris."

"We don't live in Paris, so you can't have that haircut," was my mother's response. I think she thought that would put an end to the discussion, but I was one of those kids who was always thinking, always analyzing what I was told.

"So if I move to Paris, I can have that haircut?" I asked. This seemed a logical conclusion. All the other girls would have this haircut. I couldn't just go around with the braided ponytail my mom always insisted on giving me.

"Yes, when you move to Paris, you can have that haircut."

I thought this was great news. I stored it away, figuring if I just saved enough of my allowance, I could move to Paris. I was only six or seven. I didn't even know that Paris was in France or that Paris was in a foreign country. I just knew I could move there and cut my hair.

At school, I told my friends how I was going to move to Paris and cut my hair. I just needed to save up enough money. One of my friends had actually been to Paris--she was impressed, she said the food was good there. She wanted to move there too. She liked the chocolate croissants. I knew about those, though at that point I'd never had one. Madeline ate croissants. I thought, I need to eat a croissant. I stored that away in my mind too. Find out where to get croissants, eat them. My friend said people spoke funny in Paris. She said it sounded like everyone was saying, "vishy-voo" all the time. So we practiced saying it while we played on the monkey bars in the schoolyard. We learned two real French words-- "bonjour" and "merci"--we thought that would be enough since all they ever said after that was "vishy-voo".

I asked my friend how she got to Paris. She said she didn't remember the whole trip, but she went to the airport and then she woke up and they were there. That sounded okay--not much different than when I fell asleep during the carrides to Virginia.

One day, a teacher heard us talking about this plan to move to Paris. The teacher called my mom and told her I was telling fibs at school. I wasn't telling fibs. I *knew* I was moving to Paris...just as soon as I saved up enough of my allowance. My parents sat me down and said I had to stop telling people I was moving to Paris, since we were not planning on doing so. I told them that *I* was moving to Paris. I didn't tell anyone that *they* were moving to Paris. And then I reminded my mother that she said I could move there and get my hair cut. She didn't remember telling me this, but anyway she said I couldn't keep telling people I was moving to Paris. It just confused them.

Years later, when I told my mother I was moving to Stockholm, Sweden, she shook her head and, after giving up on trying to convince me that I should take the New York job I'd been offered, said, "I always knew you'd be the one to move the furthest away."


message 40: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Echo wrote: "Story 2
Prompt: Imagine a world in which sharks swim in the forest and you find yourself lost in the woods.

The only way to survive was to stay low to the ground. Jenny had figured that much out a..."


Exciting! I like this set-up! Do you think you'll continue with it?


message 41: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "#3 - Free Write

Best Served Hot

Something told me that I didn't really need the damn coffee.

It was just after three in the afternoon on a Friday which meant practically everyone who worked in ..."


Love it! I want more of these! :D


message 42: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson #4 From the Shadows
The monster furrowed his brow at the girl. She’d been staring at the exact spot where he stood for long moments now. He kept still so as not to disturb the cloth at her window. The boards on the floor were also creaky and he didn’t wish for his steps to alert her to his presence.

But still, the little creatures eyes bored into his. He stared into the girl’s eyes wondering if it were possible. But no, it couldn’t be.

And then the girl began to speak. He understood her tongue, his kind had originally lived on this plane before they were chased off into the darkness.

He tried to hold down the corners of his smile as the girl intimated that he might be frightened of her. She was a brave little thing. A sad, lonely, brave little thing.

A sadness spiraled into his being. He had a soft spot for wounded creatures. But he couldn’t allow himself to feel too much for her. He had a mission to accomplish, a mission whose success or failure would determine the plight of his people. And that mission centered on this little girl.

Frustrated, the girl huffed and turned away from the window. With her back now to him, he separated himself from the shadows and stood over her. He could sense that there was something different about this child. As he stepped closer something prickled him at the back of his spine, at the tips of his fingers.

The girl lay awake, pulsing with bright energy. The pulse drew him closer and closer to her. Closer, until-

She turned to face him. Eyes looking directly into his.

He froze. Shadows still covered the floor. He should still be invisible to her eyes. But…It couldn’t be possible…

The girl’s eyes were wide, only a touch of fear at the edges. But her lips spread wide in triumph. “I knew you were real.”


message 43: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Ines wrote: "#4 From the Shadows
The monster furrowed his brow at the girl. She’d been staring at the exact spot where he stood for long moments now. He kept still so as not to disturb the cloth at her window. ..."


Whoa, Ines! That was creepy yet emotional...I want more! :D


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments "When I was in first grade, I decided my favorite book was no longer "The Story of Ferdinand"--it was "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans. I read it countless times, studying ever detail and dreaming myself away to a school where the nuns were kind and where I could wear cute uniforms and a Parisian bob. I didn't know it was called a Parisian bob, but I wanted one...."

And I wanted to be like Madeline because she had adventures and was the girl who the others looked to. Like me, she couldn't keep her clothes clean, lol.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments I'm really loving all the stories here. The variety is amazing. You're all so talented. As for me, let me get through the 3o days before deciding what to do next, lol.


message 46: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
This is just a reminder that our group isn't age-restricted, so keep the writing under 18-friendly. Thanks!


message 47: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 37 comments #4 - The Favor
---------------------------

Dayna sat back in her chair, feeling tired. The geology textbook sat open to tomorrow’s chapter but she’d never felt less like studying. The words were blurring in front of her; early morning practice followed by a full day at the zoo and the emotional moment when she’d gotten home had left her drained.

“Dane?” Amber stood in the doorway to her room, one of her eyes already ringed with purple bruises. When the taller woman turned to her, her friend said, “We’re cool, okay? I knew you knew that but I wanted to be sure you knew that.”

Dayna smiled and wound her long arms around the back of her chair. “Thanks. I appreciate you telling me. How about you? You okay?”

Amber shrugged. “Marcus isn’t talking to me yet, so we’ll see. Washington is--” She cut off her words and swallowed, blinking. “He was still disappointed.”

“I know.” Dayna didn’t have to hear more. She’d let their mentor down before and she knew how hard it was to forgive yourself. Washington seemed to forgive quickly but it was harder to let go.

“And I have to ask a favor.” Amber stared her in the eye and thought Dayna knew what was coming, she had to respect that the other woman was being straight with her. “I screwed up my back and need someone to cover for me.”

“God, Amber.” Dayna groaned and pillowed her head in her arms.

“I know, it’s shitty. I’ve asked other people but there was a reason I was available for surveillance tonight.” Amber slumped, her expression apologetic.

“Fine.” Danya rose and attempted to smile. “It’s fine. I can do it.”

Amber stepped forward and hugged her. “I’ll take one of your nights,” she promised.

“I know you will.” Dayna gave her a squeeze before release. “Okay, get out of here and get some rest. I want that back to get better soon.”

“It will.” Amber smiled and added, “Thank you.”

Once she’d left, Dayna dropped back into her chair. It wasn’t fair that she had to do a night shift when she had early practice but she’d learned not to whine about it long ago. Her eyes fell on the polar bear toy. That would be the life – having other people take care of me.

Some people were meant for higher purposes and Dayna knew she was one of them. She had been chosen for this and she couldn’t shirk her destiny. Drawing a deep breath, she got up and went to change clothes. Her shift would start soon and she didn’t want to be late.


message 48: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Feb 01, 2015 08:57PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments #4 – Prompt: Comic book convention

I’ve attended over twenty comic conventions over the span of thirty years and have met just about everyone who matters in the geek, gaming and comic worlds. I have photos of me with LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn, the three of us holding up the famous “live long and prosper” sign. I’ve met the awesome artist Gail Simone twice. I got a hug from voice actor Crispin Freeman, who really sounds like the dashing Alex Row from Last Exile (my friend said I proposed to him just because of his voice). I rode the elevator down with Stan Lee at the Sheraton San Diego. While everyone else inside had been rendered speechless, I casually (but respectfully) asked him when Storm was going to get her own film. Wedge Antilles aka Dennis Lawson, signed my Rebel Alliance jacket (made by yours truly). I’ve cosplayed everyone from Victorian parlor maid Emma to Robin of Witch Finder Robin. I’ve dressed Gothic Lolita, Wa-Lolita and Steampunk gunslinger girl. I’ve rocked out to Moi dix Mois, the VK band D and of course Hyde of L’arc en Ciel.

But the time I met the Queen of All Things Trek—Lieutenant Nyota Uhura herself—Nichelle Nichols, I was beside myself with ecstasy bordering on worship. The only other person to render me thus was the late Octavia Butler.

Lt. Uhura was my first and still the most lasting image of what was possible for a woman, especially Black woman in outer space. While the other Black girls in my elementary school class were all about wanting to be Cinderella, I wanted to join Starfleet and see the big, wide galaxy aboard a sleek starship and have grand adventures. With my writing and speaking skills, I just knew I’d make one heck of a communications officer. My first serious Halloween costume had been that short red minidress, lovingly stitched by my great-grandmother. Bear in mind that as an uber tomboy, I absolutely hated dresses and attempting to get me into one was an act of war. So the fact that only for the sake of Lt. Uhura I would not only put on a dress, but borrow my mom’s up-do wig and put on makeup.

And dammit, I looked great back then if I do say so myself, though the dress wasn’t quite as short as the one on television. Grandma wasn’t having that. Normally boys in my class only noticed how tall and gangly I was, and that I was really good at dodgeball. For that one day in my sixth grade life, boys actually noticed that I was actually a girl, which I had to admit was a bit weird.

Flash forward thirty years. Standing in that line with hundreds of other eager fans of all shapes, sizes and colors I was a bundle of fangirl nerves. There was so much I wanted to say to her. So many stories I wanted to tell her about how she changed my life. Wanted to ask her what almost kissing Bill Shatner had been like. Mostly, I just wanted to thank her for listening to Martin Luther King Jr. when he told her not to quit the show.

That was another thing. When some of the Black kids accused me of liking “white people’s things”, I told them that even King liked Star Trek and that it was the only show he allowed his children to watch, so there. If Star Trek was good enough for one of the greatest American heroes, what was their problem? Soul Train might have been the “hippest trip” but it had nothing on The Enterprise.

The closer I came, the faster my heart raced. I could see that regal mane of white hair, make out that mellifluous voice. Three years of yoga breathing exercises went to hell in a handbasket. The young Black woman in front of me was quietly weeping and I took her hand in mind, not even thinking about what I was doing. We both were just so overcome. Neither of us spoke, but our eyes spoke volumes.

Before I knew it, there I was, standing in front of the woman, the legend, the Lt. Uhura (and in my not so humble opinion, the only one who matters). And she was everything I knew she’d be. Warm, witty, gracious, humble. Age had done nothing to dim the brilliant light that seemed to just radiate from her. She signed the 8 by 10 glossy I’d purchased earlier as I told her what seeing her on that bridge meant to me all those years ago. Why I became a writer who wanted to explore those strange, new worlds and put people who looked like us right in the middle of them. I didn’t want to take up my allotted time, but it seemed she spared a little extra for myself and the young woman before me. We took pictures as a trio. Then it was over as if a dream.

I think I spent the rest of the convention high as a damn kite, with a huge crazy grin plastered to my face.


message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: ""When I was in first grade, I decided my favorite book was no longer "The Story of Ferdinand"--it was "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans. I read it countless times, studying ever detail and dreaming my..."

Heheh! I wanted her adventures too! :) And I was also one of those kids who could never keep my clothes clean--much to my mother's chagrin. I think she thought I would be one of those girly-girls, but I was such a tom boy. I hated wearing dresses and I was always on the monkey bars at school.

Even when I was older, I didn't really go for wearing lots of make-up and getting dressed up (which is ironic since I work for a cosmetics company and *everyone* in my office comes to work dressed up, except for me and a few others).


message 50: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "#4 – Prompt: Comic book convention

I’ve attended over twenty comic conventions over the span of thirty years and have met just about everyone who matters in the geek, gaming and comic worlds. I ha..."


What an awesome story! I love it! Nichelle Nichols has been one of my idols since I was a kid. :) I keep telling my hubby I am going to go to Comic-con one year. He thinks I only want to go for a chance to meet Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (which is partially true) but if I could meet Nichelle, that would just be so awesome. :)


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