Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Hey All!

I've been on vacation. I didn't even have internet access for several days. I've hardly opened my computer in a week. I missed writing, but I had a lot of fun visiting old friends and family. Anyway, I'm back. Well...I will probably be MIA for November again (NaNoWriMo and all), so I knew I should get at least one post up before then.

Here goes: Tuesday Tales over at Glitterword, Stevie McCoy's blog, spoke to me. Alas, Menage Monday just didn't give me much to work with this week (which is sad because it's the last week) and I'm judging Motivation Monday, so this may be it this week. Anyway, the word for this Tuesday Tales and the picture:


\REK-yuh-zuhnt\, noun:
1. A person who refuses to submit, comply, etc

I'm not usually into zombies or zombie tales (we won't mention my zombie dream that turned into a 55 word challenge - because that was the only other one...), but the word paired with the picture gave me a fun idea. I hope you enjoy it! So, without further rambling...
I may have fallen to the epidemic, but I’m a recusant – I won’t become what they have become. At first I stayed in shadows and ate sushi, but the urges are stronger now. Restaurants are dangerous. I’ve decided to hole up here and order my meat delivered. I hope the carrier leaves it on the porch. I don’t want to risk him. I should take the food and leave. Already my fingers twitch. My neck is most certainly not twitching. I am in control. I will relax, in this chair, not twitching until…
The doorbell rings. I smell it. Meat.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Art Gallery

Here is my entry for Tuesday Tales over at Stevie McCoy's blog. This is a 100 word flash fiction contest. The prompt this week was the word Palter:


To talk or act insincerely or deceitfully

1. To talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; lie or use trickery.

2. To bargain with; haggle.

3. To act carelessly; trifle

And the picture:


Shocker of shockers: I won an Honorable Mention for this one too! Wow! It's been a great week for me! :) Enjoy!

I wiggled my foot to try to get it to stop aching from these stupid heels. My converse would have been much more practical – or better yet, no shoes at all. Why had I agreed to come? Sure, the paintings were beautiful, but I was tired of paltering to this crowd who would see symbolism in every nuance of every brushstroke. Sometimes a tree is just a tree. A beautiful tree, but a tree nonetheless. I watched from the corner as an older gentleman was trying to palter for a lower price. Cheapskate. Matthew beckoned me over. Right. For him.

Tell Me Again

This was my entry into Menage Monday over at Cara Michael's blog. This is the one with three prompts. The three prompts: The idea of 'breaking news', the phrase "tell [ ] again", and the picture

I won an Honorable Mention for this piece! Yay! I'm on a roll! :)

“Oh. My. God. Laura!” Lizzy came bounding into the apartment without even a knock and threw herself onto the sofa. “You will NEVER guess who I just saw!”

“Probably not.” Laura continued to fold her clothes neatly and arrange them in piles on the coffee table.

Lizzy sat up and leaned forward, “No, seriously! This is, like, a Stop The Presses kind of thing!” She smacked her gum and smiled.

Laura put the shirt down and folded her hands, “Alright. What’s this breaking news?”

Lizzy started bouncing, “Ok, I was walking Champ down by the broken overpass, you know, the one with the HUGE diamond graffiti – Oh, I want a diamond that big someday.”

“They don’t make diamonds that big.”

“Such a tragedy! Johnny once mentioned giving me a diamond – not the scumbag Johnny, the nice one.”

“Please don’t tell me *again* about Johnny and the diamond! The walk? Remember?”

“Oh, right! Anyway, this guy came up to me asking for some change. Try to guess who it was!”

“Richard? Tommy? Jimmy? Bobby?...” With each guess Lizzy shook her head no and bit her lip. “Then who?”

“Your dad.”

Laura’s jaw dropped. She jumped up and ran out the door.

When We Started This Journey...

My entry for this week's Motivation Monday over at Wakefield Mahon's blog was actually a winner this week! WOW! I wasn't expecting that! Yay! This is the one where the first sentence is the prompt. Enjoy!

“When we started this journey, we never thought we’d find-”

Marcus interrupted, “Oh, shut up, Martha! You couldn’t have thought anything after we found that shiny door thing! Who has any way to guess what could have been in there?”

Martha did her very best impression of their Momma. She lifted her chin and pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows – trying to look supercilious (a word that would have been her favorite had she only known of its existence) and fully ready to chastise him. “Daddy has read the Narnia books to me. I know what to expect when you go through portals like that…Or, at least, I thought I did.” Her face fell at the realization that the wood she had been expecting was, in fact, not there.

“Whatever. You didn’t know we’d find-”

“No, but I knew it would be special because-”

“Oh, please, I knew it would be special too! I’m not stupid! Besides, I found it.”

“By running off after Momma specifically said-”

“She did not! She said go play. I was exploring the new backyard!”

“That was not in our backyard, and you know it! Momma probably doesn’t even know that cave exists-”

“What she doesn’t know, won’t kill her.”

“No?” Martha gestured wildly around them, “You don’t think she’d be a bit concerned? Especially when we don’t come home for supper?”

“Well…” Marcus looked around again and bit his lip, “I still don’t think she’d die from it…”

“Well I do! I think she’d fall down dead of a heart attack right now if she knew where we were.”

“Exactly, but since she doesn’t know, it won’t kill her! See, I was right!” He stuck his tongue out at her.

“No, I’m right, because if we never get back, she’ll die from not knowing!” She stuck her tongue out as well, it was hard to remain mature and *supercilious* when the ‘I’m right’ wars began.

“Ahem.” The sound had a lot more gurgle to it than a normal throat clearing. Both Martha and Marcus froze and stared at each other for a moment with wide eyes before turning toward the sound, silent in a way they had never been. “It is clear now. Wipe their memory. Put them at the entrance to the caves. They’ll be found. Then fix that damn cloaking device. Go.”

I Should've Listened...

Here is my entry into the "Behind the Curtain" flash fiction contest run by Anna Meade. The rules were to pick a picture from her pintrest board and write a 'darker' piece inspired by it. The word limit was 400 words. Here's the picture I chose:

They said not to go to the basement. They said to never open the blue doors. They said it wasn’t safe. I can attest to that.

I was young and foolish. I had talent, at least that’s what everyone told me. I believed them. I wanted to believe them. It was fun being special.

I suppose I believed only good things could happen to me.

You see, I tiptoed down the back steps one night. I was nine. It was right after the last show, and I felt invincible.

I passed the two storage rooms and entered the Performer’s Chapel, that’s what they called it anyway. Apparently this was where anyone close to a breakdown came to calm down – praying or meditating or whatever. That’s why I thought the stories were wrong! Of course bad things would happen to those who came up out of here, they didn’t go into this room if they were in good condition.

There was a spiral stairway down to the lower basement from here, but you had to know where to look – it was below a trap door in the floor. There was a strange symbol burned into the wood of the handle. How it managed to be swirly and sharp at the same time, I’ll never know, but it has marked me forever.

The descent into darkness gave me chills for a moment, but I flipped on the light when I made it down. It was a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. The room was all brick. There was only the one chair in the corner and the blue doors in the far wall.

I almost stopped then. I should have. Something about the room made my palms itch. But I didn’t. I walked to the doors and ran my fingers over them for a moment. The wood was rough. I got a splinter in my right pinkie finger. I pulled it out and tossed it on the floor at my feet. I took a deep breath, swallowed, and pushed the door open an inch or two.

That was all. Just an inch or two.

I didn’t see anything but light. Then she came into me. My wound made it possible, I think. That’s where the mark is anyway.

Oh. She’s waking up. I have to hurry. If she catches me still here…

390 words

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stairway to Heaven

The 55 word challenge over at Jezri's Nightmares is a tricky one for me to enter...the whole 55 word thing...you know... Anyway, I managed to make it work today! :) However, I first got so caught up in the picture I thought it was one of the 100 word flash contests...sigh. That was disappointing. I was so excited about my 100 words! And I had to cut almost HALF of them? Was it possible? Could it be possible? Well, I did it. I actually like BOTH of them. I'll let you decide which you like better! First, I'll post the one I submitted (55 words) then the original (100 words). Did I capture the essence in half the wordage? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and the picture prompt! Photo by DaStafiZ

Here's my entry:

I looked up. There were so many stairs. It seemed my life was like the medieval basement of some dilapidated castle. Life was so impossible. I placed my hand against the rough brick and considered staying. Darkness hid the true state of everything. I lay down, listless. No. I stood. One step at a time.

This is what I started with:

I looked up. There were so many stairs. I wasn’t always in the deepest, darkest dungeon of life. I probably lived most of my life in a second floor condo, but now I was definitely in the medieval basement of some dilapidated castle. It was so impossible. I placed my hand against the rough brick and considered staying. Darkness hid the true state of everything. Perhaps I could get friends to join me here? Keep me warm? I lay down, listless. This wasn’t who I wanted to be. I stood, placed my foot on the step. One at a time.

I thought it was just a cold.

I was able to join in on the fun at Motivation Monday hosted by a sick Wakefield Mahon. In case you forgot, it's a 500 word limit flash fiction contest with the first sentence as the prompt. David Ludwig was the judge this week and had a lot of great stuff to say about everyone's piece here. If you failed to follow that nice little link I put in, I'll just tell you: I won an Honorable Mention! Yay! So, now that your expectations are blown all out of proportion... Enjoy! :)

I thought it was just a cold. I’d never had one before, but other people got them all the time, so I figured the severity of it was just the cold exacting revenge for my healthy immune system.

I looked around the quarantine room with trepidation. Would I die here? Had I infected everyone I’d come into contact with for two weeks? They wouldn’t even tell me what I had. Apparently it was classified, although how they could classify a sickness from the sick person was beyond me.

It was 2:58. My nurse would be in to take my vitals any time now. It was nice to have a face to look at, these bare walls and sterilized floors became tiresome after one minute – it had been 3,037. Knowing that probably made me a math geek, but I couldn’t help that. I had been counting the seconds, all 182,220 of them – well 182,284 of them until the moment the new nurse walked in.

I guess I forgot to keep counting the moment she opened the door. She was wearing what looked to be a space suit, which she wore every time, but she moved differently. By the time her faceplate swung in my direction, I already knew she was a different nurse. It was the hunched posture that gave it away. My old nurse stood tall and straight with confidence – she had been tight-lipped and no-nonsense and very professional. This nurse was terrified.

The hunched shoulders and timid movements said enough, but when she turned to me her eyes were round and dilated with fear and her hands shook. If I had any doubts before, they were gone.

“What happened to my other nurse?” I figured the direct approach was preferable.

She jumped at the sound of my voice and finally met my eyes. She stared for a long moment before saying, simply, “She’s gone.” She fiddled with the needles and vials and such, but her hands were shaking so hard she was having trouble.

I reached out and grabbed her hands. I didn’t think it would cause her to fling herself away from me and hit the wall! “What? What is it? I’m not attacking you! I just wanted to help you calm down.”

She tried to calm her breathing, but it wasn’t working. “She’s dead.” It took me longer than it should have to realize she meant my nurse. “48 hours. I don’t want to die.”

I tried to think of something comforting to say, but failed miserably. People weren’t my specialty. “I’m still alive. How? Why?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. The entire city is under quarantine now. There’s no way we’ve contained it.” The ENTIRE city of Chicago? “You’re our last hope.”

“Then start taking some blood, woman!” I would like to believe I could bring life as well as death from this body.