Monday, February 28, 2011


Um. It snowed in Los Angeles. 0_o

That makes me want to write a nasty letter and complain to Dr. Evil. But instead, I'm posting this week's prompt.

Write a short story of 1,000-10,000 words based on the following:

"Why would you keep doing that? Of all the things you would stick in a bottle . . ."
Have a great week!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trisha's story pick, Week 8

Oops. Nearly too late, but I am here just in time!!

This week I've opted to feature Madeline's story, even though the other two I had to choose from were brilliant (and of course our Saturday feature was a great read too!). Madeline kinda had me at "one thought". I just love that concept, of knowing you can only have one single thought upon reawakening, and not wanting to waste it. ;)

Warning: if you're not into Lucifer, don't read on.


My eyes opened.

For the first time in seven hundred billion years, too.

When I was created, I was delicate. The galaxies put me to sleep for billions of years until I was strong enough to wake up. They didn’t want me to be disappointed when I finally came back around. So they gave me one thought. “If you think again, you might be disappointed,” the tiny stars told me. It was so innocent. I was weak, I couldn’t stop them.

Besides, I couldn’t think anything of it. I didn’t want to waste my one thought before I had even seen the new world of the future.

I knew I had missed a lot while I was gone. When I finally woke up, there was crying and pain. I heard blood fall and wings shatter.

Then someone walked past me.

He was gorgeous. Stunning. He had silver hair that hung in his narrow face, almost covering his deep brown eyes.

And I thought one thing. “He’s absolutely beautiful.”

He didn’t stop walking though, he paid no attention to me.

Inside I could feel my heart drop, disappointed that there was no one to catch it.

I shivered and opened my white wings. Billions of years worth of black ashes fell off. They slowly fell to the grassy ground and I bit my lip.

I looked around. Everything had changed, and I realized that now there was a sky and light.

Standing up, I buried my talons deeper into the soil. I realized I was down in a valley. Thousand of rocks danced around me. Waterfalls dripped off of the floating mountains, and thousands of castles hid themselves on the mountain sides. I smiled because I knew Creator had done a good job while I was asleep.

“Hello Jerichi,” something whispered in my ear.

I jumped back, surprised. And then I smiled. “Good morning Lisle,” I whispered gently back to the tiny star. She giggled.

But there was still the agonizing crying and screeching. I frowned.

“What have I missed?” I asked.

She stopped moving. “I’m not sure,” she said, but I knew she was lying.

“Honestly Lisle,” I said. “Something is wrong.”

She closed her tiny eyes. “This is war,” she replied, her voice heavy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jennifer's Story Pick, Week 8

Oh boy. Two days of snow for me. Thankfully light, but it’s still coming down. I so just want to hibernate right now, but I’m off to Indiana for a secret mission. Hope everyone north of the equator is staying warm. And if you’re south of the equator, have a watermelon mojito smoothie for the rest of us.

And . . . it's . . . week . . . eight. Is it just me or is anyone else surprised that they are still alive?

My feature this week is about three friends starting a band. For that reason alone, it totally reminds me of Trisha, who had a band (or maybe a few bands?!). It also reminds me of a couple of friends who are skipping the rest of winter and heading out to Morocco to teach drumming for the next few weeks. Here's Virginia's story.

I never wanted to be a rock star – Zoe put me up to it. But then, she tended to lead us in nearly all of our antics. So when she decided we should make a band and get a house, we made it happen. On my dime, of course – it only made sense that I spend all that money that my parents gave to me upon reaching adulthood on something.
Of course, one could blame it all on the fact I already played the drums. For all my parent’s flaws, buying me a real drum kit and getting me a proper instructor was a wise choice. Even as a baby, I’d beat on everything that I could, and when I was denied, I’d try to destroy things in earnest. Not that anyone outside of my family probably knows or realizes, but I have some severe rage. Drumming has always been a way to channel that, and actually having a talent for it… Zoe always compared it to Keith Moon, her unjaded jade eyes glazed with dreams and ruminations.
Perhaps I gave her too much power in my life, but what choice did I have? I had no siblings; my parents thought the correct course of parenting was to buy me off at every possible juncture. This strange and cherished friend of mine who, miracle of miracles, liked me for me was too precious a commodity to squander. Zoe was like that with everyone – she treated people kindly, and managed to somehow seem almost oblivious to those who would wish her poorly. Not that she was invincible, far from it – if she was truly upset, she had no qualms with being true to herself and curling up to sob quietly. She never tried to make a scene – she just was.
But that was only the outer layer; beyond that, there was someone determined to take life by the balls and make life her bitch. Zoe always knew what she wanted in life, and it was about the same as what anyone wanted in high school – to grow up to be rich and famous, to be a big rock and roll star. I gave up on trying to make it clear to her that money couldn’t buy happiness; if it were, I wouldn’t’ve been cutting, getting high, and hiding from the world. No, I would’ve been doing the Charleston on a flagpole while singing glories of glories if money did buy happiness, but that’s just not a fact that ever sinks in to those who have wants, if not needs. That’s why I find it hard to say that she used me, per se – I guess it would’ve seemed that way to most, but really, she knew I’d give her everything I had to make her smile, to make her happy. That’s what sisters do, right?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Galatea's Eyes

I had some fun with this one.


She is the eighth. She appears in a swirl of dust, and he scrutinizes the lace around her neck. It flowers out from her prominent collarbones, clinging to her frail neck, wrapping around her bony shoulders. The rest of the dress clings tight to her anorexic angles, and her weary left eye—the only one visible past a curtain of dark hair—stares as if he were her savior. Not into his eyes, though. They never do.

Yes, he thinks. Beautiful. How he has wished for someone this glorious!

He raises his hand and brushes back the thin hair from her cheek. As the shadow lifts from her face, he recoils and realizes the blemish. The disfiguration is hideous to behold. That eye socket is healed over, puckered and concave, as if the eye were removed and the lid sewn shut.

He shakes his head, and the eighth vanishes. Something inside him laments his inability to create perfection—but he knows it is not his place to create perfection. That would be His place. All he wishes is someone good enough.

So he tries again, taking a seat on the ground, his bare chest glistening with perspiration. He closes his eyes and imagines.

It is not long before another the ninth springs into existence, this one even more waiflike than the last. She is small, corpse-thin, her knees jutting out in thick knobs from her meatless thighs. This girl is clad in white shorts and a black t-shirt that swallows her torso.

She observes him. His beautiful eyes intimidate her, electric blue and piercing to the bone. There is hardly any distance from her skin to the bone, but his eyes pierce nonetheless.

"Yes," he mutters, rising gracefully to his feet. She cringes back from his tall body, her lips parting slightly as she stares him in the eye. He is taken by surprise.

This one is different. She looks at him as though they were equals, making eye contact and holding it. No matter that she looks afraid—the creation is always afraid of its creator. But it is to be noted that she dares to meet his gaze.

He lifts his hand to her cheek. The soft contact makes her stiffen, her jaw setting in stubbornness. She has green eyes, wild untamable green eyes, and he smiles.

Against her will, she is taken by his beauty. Awe strikes her, but she does not let it show.

He traces his fingers down her side, over the jutting bone of her hip. Her size fills him with satisfaction—the most beautiful size, purged of all evil, purged of all humanity, leaving only the soul. This one’s soul glares out from her face in sharp relief. This is the one. This is the one he was born to build.

He leans down to kiss her, but she smacks her bony hands onto his chest and shoves him back.

His eyes snap open and he glares, open-mouthed and shocked by her insolence.

She glares back, venom pervading her expression. There is a minute of ringing silence between them.

Perhaps he was wrong.

He comes closer again, more aggressively this time, but she catches his face in her hands and says, "No."

He is rooted in place by the word. She should not speak. He did not create her to speak.

But he fears cancelling her. She is physical glory like he has never managed.

So he stares, and waits, and debates, his chin wrapped in her cold, strong fingers, his eyes mystified.

Eventually her joints uncurl from his face, and he takes a small step back. Far enough that she lowers her hand. Still close enough that he could lean in and taste her breath. "You speak," he says.

"I do." Her voice is high, clear, and strong. It is a voice that could go for miles.

"What do you wish?"

She lowers her eyelids once, slowly, before answering. Her spindly eyelashes stretch shadows across her hollow face. "I wish that you may perceive not your thoughts but your needs."

His cheeks redden. His skin seems to glow gold with fervor as he replies. "You presume much."

"And what, pray, do I presume, Alion?"

Alion clenches his jaw. He does not know how she knows his name. "You presume that I care to be advised by your ilk. You presume that I take stock in that which I have already, and with reason, suppressed."

"And you have suppressed me?" Her deep green eyes sparkle with impish daring, and she slides her fingers down his sweaty chest. She can feel his heart beating faster under her touch. Stepping closer, she wraps an arm around his back, leaning her cheek against his torso. "Why have you suppressed me?" He can feel her throat vibrating against him, can feel the whisper of her lips against his slick skin.

"I have."

"Why, Alion?" There is a dark smile in her voice, a filthy smile.

"Siren!" Flustered, he forces her away. "I must not admit to my attraction. Suppression is the natural consequence."

She reads his pause. "…and yet…"

"And yet," he says, looking her up and down, "there is always some flaw, Galatea."

"And mine?"

Alion shakes his head, his dark hair sticking to his forehead. He is too aware of the shape of her, too aware of the knowledge in her eyes, too aware that he wants her—"Your voice."


"Perhaps." He swallows, forcing his eyes away. This one is too much trouble. This one cannot be stood. This one questions where she should not.

"Consider the challenge," Galatea says, licking her dry lips. "Appreciate how I compensate for all that you take from my body." She looks down at her bonelike calves, at her skeletal arms. "Appreciate how I compensate for your weakness."

He meets her eyes, and there is some understanding between them. He knows she is right. She knows she is right. Most of all, she knows he is too cowardly to care.

She closes her eyes as he cancels her.

Alion sits down and tries again. Number ten is missing an arm. Number eleven is missing a leg. Number twelve is missing a nose.

Number thirteen is a carbon copy of Galatea. And she does not speak.

Alion rejoices and moves to kiss her.

But he has hardly touched his lips to hers before he recoils. She is cold, hard stone. She is soulless, voiceless, and as he stares into her eyes he cannot call her Galatea. And neither can she.


(Author's note: I kept the name Galatea because it's beautiful, but I shortened Pygmalion of legend (who fell in love with his own creation) to simply 'Alion'. I thought it lent an appropriate sort of bizarro feel to the work.)

Week 7 Wrap-Up

XD ...and we're back on schedule, somewhat.

I'll be editing this later with names and descriptions of all the fabulous stories I read about inanimate objects, but for now it's past midnight so this post shall serve as a placeholder for before the weekly story.

Sorry for bein' so lame. It'll fade.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Week 6 wrap-up (a little late, I know)

I decided to put this up because I am just a wee bit obsessive about these things, and want all the blanks to be filled. ;) So yeah, week 6 saw us with the following prompt from Jennifer:

Well, you certainly picked a fine time to go all 'happily ever after'.

And as soon as I saw it, I thought, "Ohhhh, the possibilities!" This is what we got for the week:

  • "What do you get when you mix Interview With A Vampire and The Frog Prince?" Jenn asked this question, and Brooke answered it with her story.
  • Michael brought us another episode from Princess Caitlyn and co., but this time things looked a little scarier than usual! What will happen to Caitlyn?! Maybe we'll find out this week!
  • I still want to know what happened to the baby in Madeline's story for this week! But judging by some of her other work, it might not have ended prettily. ;)
  • Friday feature - I wrote about a psycho chick (whose name was not Susan :D) whose unrequited love makes our protag's life a misery.
  • Jennifer's as yet unfinished (if I'm guessing right...) series of slightly absurd (enough of the letter 's' in there, do ya think?) love letters, and the hilarious story they began to tell.
I am yet to see what Winter wrote. *nudge nudge* Hehe.

Aaaaaand that about sums it up! Yay, I feel better now. :D

P.S. I anal-retentively rearranged the tags for this blog. Yes...I'm like that. ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Write a short story of 1,000-10,000 words based on the following:

"If you think again, you might be disappointed."

See ya later in the week! Have fun. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter's Story Pick, Week 7

This week, I picked Brooke's fantastic story revolving around a bipolar person's pill bottle. Brava, Brooke. The original is here.

That pill bottle is staring at me again from where I left it on top of the dresser. The artificial light glares off its empty, white surface, hurting my eyes, but I can’t look away. To do that would be to lose. And to lose would mean I would have to take one, one of those itsy bitsy capsules that will roll down my throat into my stomach and somehow “fix” my brain.

That’s the deal I’ve made with myself.

It impresses upon me that I have control over my medication. Will I take it today? Maybe. Or maybe not. It’s up to me.

Even though it’s not.

Judge says I have to take it. When he said that, I asked him how he could do that to me. He looked me in the eye and said, “Easily.” It makes me want to cry, picturing that cold look in his eye.

But I don’t.

I don’t cry, because that’s something I can control. And control is everything. Just ask the Judge. He knows all about it.

The sun is starting to come up and it’s coming through my window. The pill bottle shines brighter. And I want to blink. My eyes get down on their knees and beg me to blink; they’re burning alive they say. But my brain yells at me. I didn’t know that such a small three-word command could be so impossible to follow. DO NOT BLINK! Simple.

I blink.

No! No, no, no! It’s not fair! I let the tears fall now as I grasp that wicked bottle in my hands. The lid has a little smile inscribed into it; it stole that from me. I stare at it for a long time, wishing I could snatch it back. When I can’t take that torture anymore, I open the bottle, my hands shaking.

And there they are.

The smooth blue pills rest at the bottom of the bottle, stacked on top of each other, jostling for my attention. How eager they are to destroy me. I spill out a single one into my hand. It rests in the center of my palm, an ugly discoloration. I jiggle it around, stalling. As I watch it move this way and that, I get an idea.

You can’t take a pill without water.

I take slow steps to my kitchen; ballerina type steps, lining them up toe to heel. My assassin rests in one hand, its container grasped in the other. The tile is so cold under my feet; my toes may freeze off before I get there. I don’t care. I should care though, because this teeny, tiny little abomination? It will make it where I won’t care about anything.

I get to the kitchen and turn to the cups. I test every single one in my hand. This one is too wide, this one feels strange, this one is too tall.

My selection, in the end, is a shot glass.

I plop the lonely pill into the cup and trudge to my bathroom, taking the cursed pill bottle with me. There’s water in the kitchen, of course, but I’m going for later rather than sooner.

I’m engulfed in a deep, deep blue when I walk into my bathroom; it’s much prettier than the speckled blue that’s sitting in my glass. Blue was calming to me once upon a time. Now, it just reminds me of the monsters that I’m forced to put inside.

I splay it all out on my spotless countertop, setting it up carefully. I turn the facet and clear water gushes out instantly. The pill falls onto the small tiles surrounding my sink. I push the shot glass under the water. Then I notice it out of the corner of my eye.

The pill is rolling.

It captures my attention, entrancing me. I feel hypnotized; I can’t move, I can’t look away. It falls right into the sink, spinning around and around the porcelain racetrack. My eyes widen as it gets ever closer to the drain.

It’s on the edge. It wobbles. Then it falls.

And it’s gone.

I smile big enough to crack my face. It’s like watching all my troubles melt away. It’s wonderful, exuberant, amazing, insightful. It is so absolutely perfect. A glow I have not felt for a long time wells up in me.

Then the pill bottle catches my eye. It’s staring. Again.

I deflate like a balloon; I can even hear the air leaving me. I sag like a puppet with its strings cut; I think I hear the snap.

Then the anger swells up inside.

The anger is scary. The anger is mean and hurtful. The anger is controlling, consuming. The anger is unstoppable. The anger is wrong.

I know that.

But I don’t care.

I grab up my pill bottle, my evil, twisted pill bottle. My grip is so tight the lid pops right off. I look again at the rocky, blue mountain inside.

And I laugh.

Now, it is at my mercy. I will give it none.

The pills sense this and they start to shake, shake, shake. It makes a rattling noise when they hit the side. Giggles fly up and out.

What should I do with them? I look around.

The sink catches my eye.

A grin splits across my face. It’s a genius plan. They’ll just follow their brother.

I poise my hand over the sink, tilting my hand by degrees. I want them to feel my terror, my dread. More giggles.

I catch sight of myself in the mirror as the first pill comes to rest on the edge of the bottle opening. My hair is wild, my eyes crazy.

My left hand slams into the glass.

It rains down around me, reflecting a million surfaces. I pay no attention to the tiny cuts and bruises left behind. My gaze is back on the pill bottle.

One more millimeter and the first victim falls.

I can’t resist turning it completely upside down. The pills stream down like rain.

It goes on and on. When the flow slows, I give the bottle one more shake.

The last one falls.

“You lose.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trisha's story pick, Week 7

I only had three stories to pick from this week, but I still found it difficult to choose. Still, I've opted to go with Michael's hilarious story (he's good with the funny this guy) about how you should not treat your socks. The original posting is here.

Revenge of the Sock

Bang went the door of Kristi Lathmarker’s room. Whack went the light-switch. Thud went her back-pack as it landed on the carpet. Blare went her stereo as it switched on and began playing the soothing sounds of Justin Bieber. Flop went Kristi, as she stomped across the room and flung herself on her Powerpuff Girls bedspread. She had not had a good day.

Earlier that evening, she had been given the opportunity to sing the national anthem at her high school’s football game. She had been tremendously excited, and terribly nervous. It was probably the nerves that did her in; standing before a thousand people, every eye trained on her, she had flubbed the words to the chorus, belting out, “And the Rockettes’s red glare…there’s a bug in the air…oh dear I don’t know…and our flag was still there…” Kristi was humiliated. She never wanted to set foot outside in the wide world again.

After several moments of sobbing into her pillow, Kristi recalled the sage advice of C.S. Lewis in The Silver Chair, “Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” (She had only just received The Silver Chair for her birthday, and liked it very much). So, with a sigh of resignation, she sat up and looked about for her mini-DVD player. She had gotten a stack of Looney Tunes DVDs through Netflix in the mail that day and she was in the mood to relieve her sorrow through hours of wacky hijinks. As she searched for her player, Kristi decided that she had better change into her pajamas. Absentmindedly she pulled off one of her socks and flung it aside. It landed on the edge of her laundry hamper, where it lay still and forlorn.

At last, Kristi found her player. She was just about to pop in Bugs Bunny when she heard a tiny yet irate voice. “Hey!” it squeaked.

Kristi assumed her parents had the TV on downstairs. But then the voice spoke again. “Hey! You on the Powerpuff Girls bedsheet! Over here, ya moron!”

“Who’s there?” Kristi exclaimed, a little frightened. She’d never confronted a burglar before, and she wasn’t scheduled to take the self-defense class until next semester.

“I am! I’m on your hamper, you half-baked Objectivist!”

“Who…” she looked at her hamper, but all she could see was the sock she’d thrown there. The obvious conclusion was so impossible that she rejected it out of hand. Then the voice spoke again.

“Yeah, that’s right, it’s me! Your sock! And I’ve got a list of complaints I’d like to file!”

“My…sock.” Kristi took a long, slow breath. “And you have a list of complaints.”

“Yeah! Do you realize how hard it is to be a sock?”

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Masterpiece Me

My parents and I led separate lives. It has been that way ever since I could remember.
Dad was an independent Jacuzzi sales man. He worked from home. That meant, at any given time there were a dozen hot tubs set up in the backyard. It smelled like a bleach factory. He did all his wheeling and dealing from a little pool cabana set up beside the garage.
Mom was a dollmaker. Not like Geppetto. She made those reborn dolls they sell on ebay. You know the ones. They’re eerily like real babies right down to their battery operated heartbeats and microwavable butt warmers. Mom was really good at what she did. Her dolls sold for thousands of dollars and she was featured in half a dozen doll magazines. There always seemed to be a bunch of crazy old ladies in the house; they were either whipping out their checkbooks in our living room that’s been converted into a ‘nursery’ or taking notes in the room Doctor Franken-Mom uses as her laboratory. Most people used their dining room table and china cabinets for eating. My mother used ours for mixing paint solvent.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Write a short story of 1,000-10,000 words based on the following:

It's an inanimate object. Inanimate objects don't have feelings. ESPECIALLY not this one.

Best of luck! I look forward to your responses, and sorry for my sudden absence over the weekend. So much for 'free WiFi'... *rolleyes*


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jennifer's Story Pick, Week 6.2

And because I'm growing a little addicted to the Caitlin stories . . . (Thanks a lot Michael)

It’s hard out there for an evil overlord. Oh, sure, being a supreme villain may seem like a cushy job with plenty of perks, where all you have to do is deliver a monologue once in a while and then show up at the right time to run the hero through with your sword, but in fact, it’s remarkably stressful. Vladimir the Marauder knew just how stressful it could be. The trouble was, when one has a violent idiom attached to their name, like “The Marauder”, it’s generally expected that one should actually do some marauding on occasion. Sadly, most of Vladimir’s soldiers couldn’t even spell “marauder”, let alone decide where to do it, how to get there, what tactics to use, when to fall back and regroup, how to keep themselves supplied…and all these tasks fell inevitably to their glorious leader. When he’d murdered his father, Stefan the Pudgy, and assumed command of Stefan’s massive horde of soldiers and minions, Vladimir had woefully underestimated the amount of work in store for him. He was beginning to wish he’d left his father alive.

The stress had gotten so bad, and he’d grown so irritated with the constant interruptions from his underlings, that Vladimir didn’t even pitch his tent with the main camp anymore. He had set up his palatial quarters on the top of a pine-covered hill that overlooked the camp, far enough away that the noise of the soldiers drilling or singing barely disturbed him. That explained why, on that inordinately eventful night, Princess Caitlin was able to march right up to Vladimir’s tent without any of his soldiers noticing. Of course, they probably wouldn’t have noticed even if she led a horseback parade with balloons and a marching band right through the center of the campground. Vladimir’s soldiers, as Caitlin had already noticed, were exceptionally stupid.

She dispatched the squad leader who had reluctantly led her to Vladimir’s tent, knocking him over the head with the hilt of her sword and sending him off to blissful dreams of minion women. Caitlin flicked a glance over her shoulder and saw Colin lurking in the shadows of the pines. Whatever his failings at miming, Colin could certainly lurk with the best of them. Caitlin smiled, that same slow half-smile that she had shown before defeating her would-be assassin not so long ago. Then she turned back to the tent, raised the flap, and ducked inside.

She saw him at once. Vladimir the Marauder, destroyer of a thousand towns, besieger of castles and slaughterer of villagers beyond count, sat there on a pile of blankets trying to make his way through a stack of horrifically misspelled reports from his captains. Caitlin had expected him to be an old man, powerful and a daunting warrior maybe but still old, which meant she would have a physical edge on him when they came to blows. It came as rather a shock to her when she saw that he was only a few years older than she was. That meant he must have been only about twelve or thirteen when he…but that thought only made Caitlin hate him all the more. For a second, she couldn’t speak, as all the fury she’d hidden behind her slow smile for the last five years came roiling up inside her. Then Vladimir glanced up and saw her as well. “Ah. You must be Princess Caitlin. Thank heaven; if I have to read another of these reports I’ll go mad. So, shall we get on with the swordplay or would you rather make your little speech first?”

Caitlin’s eyes blazed. “Two questions. Why did you send that idiot to kill me when you must have known I’d beat him easily, and what on earth do you want with my socks?”

Vladimir laughed unpleasantly. “Oh please, do you really expect me to tell you all the details of my evil plan? You don’t think I know what’ll happen? I’ll start in with the monologue, then when I’m distracted you’ll pounce and run me through, or maybe your miming friend will do it for you, or your army will charge over the ridge, or whatever. I intend to tell you nothing.”

“It’s just as well,” Caitlin said, “because I didn’t need to know your plan anyway. I don’t care what you’re going to do in future; I’m more concerned about your past.”

“My…” Vladimir laughed even louder, as if Caitlin had just cracked an insanely corny pun. “Oh, don’t tell me, let me guess, I killed your father and now you’ve come to avenge him in true heroic fashion. Excellent! Of course, you’ll have to remind me who your father was; I’ve killed so many fathers in my illustrious career that I’ve completely lost count.”

“No, my father’s alive and well,” Caitlin said, and her hands gripped the hilt of her sword so hard that they turned white. “You killed my mother, you spawn of a goose monster!” With that, she flew at him, her blade slashing in an explosion of fury, but then Vladimir’s own sword flashed in his hand, expertly blocking her every blow.

“Ah, I see you’ve begun with the Westley Opening, very good!” he said as they fought, their swords flickering and dancing like chain lightning, the clash of steel ringing through the tent. “You’ll realize of course that such an opening can be easily countered by the Falk Defense, yes?”

Caitlin fought as she had never fought before, using all the skills, all the stances, all the combinations of thrust and parry that she had been practicing every day since her mother had fallen five years ago on a distant field, so far away that Caitlin had not been able to reach her in time to say goodbye. And Vladimir maddeningly blocked every strike, and punctuated it with an ongoing commentary on her mistakes and how she might improve. He was no Charles, no clumsy giant, no dim-witted squad captain. Vladimir was, possibly, just as good as she was. “Crap,” she thought, not daring to risk even a second’s distraction by saying it out loud.

Desperately improvising, she snatched a nearby soft cushion and flung it at him, then darted away and tried to dash in on him from the side. But Vladimir deflected the cushion with a flick of his hand, not even bothering to look at it, spinning as he did and blocking her move with his sword. “Ah, the Spanish Inquisition Trick,” he said approvingly. “Good one. But of course you must have known that I’d expect that. Most people don’t expect the Spanish Inquisition Trick, but I’m better than most people. You may have noticed.”

Then he yawned. “Well, I’ve had my fun, and you’re looking a little peaked yourself. Time to wrap this up, yes?” His blade lashed forward and gave a funny sort of twist, and suddenly Caitlin lost her hold on her sword. She watched in horror as it flipped away beyond her reach. Vladimir saluted her with his blade. “That was fun. I’d offer to do it again sometime, but that’d be hard to do, seeing as I’m going to kill you now.”

He advanced towards her in a rush of speed, little knowing that the princess still had one trick left. As Vladimir’s sword slashed in, Caitlin’s hand flicked to her belt, where she had hidden a small, gleaming dagger for emergencies. Distantly she felt a cold, lancing pain, but she dismissed it to a back part of her mind, whipping out the dagger and stabbing it at just the right spot. Vladimir’s face was right before her, a look of absolute shock in his eyes. He didn’t even have time to say a last smart remark before the life ebbed out of him. Caitlin stepped over his fallen body, picked up her own sword, and returned his salute. Then she made her way on unsteady legs out of his tent.

Colin, standing guard in the shadows all this time, ran swiftly to meet her. “Did you get him, y’r majesty?” he asked.

“Yeah…” she said, her voice sounding oddly vague. “You know, Colin, I wish…I really wish Charles hadn’t been an assassin. He seemed nice. I would’ve liked…I would’ve liked someone to go home to, once I finished this. And a tiara. I lost my tiara years ago…never did find it…never…” she giggled woozily, her laughter ringing too loudly amidst the dark trees on the hill.

A worried look came into Colin’s stolid face. “Now, princess, don’t you go all happily ever after on me now. We’ve got to get out of here before-”

Then he stopped, his breath catching in sudden fear. A slow pool of dark red was welling out across Caitlin’s tunic. “I never…” she repeated, her eyes fluttering, her face going sickly white. “I thought…”

Her unstained sword dropped to the ground with a faint ring of steel. Down below in the camp, shouts of alarm rose and horns blew insistently. Far above in the night sky, the stars shone coldly on, unaware and uncaring what was happening beneath their silver light.

Jennifer's Story Pick, Week 6

In Winter's absence, you all get two Sunday stories for the price of one.

What do you get when you mix Interview with The Vampire with The Frog Prince?

Ask Brooke. She's my first pick.

The Frog Prince had always been my favorite story ever since I was young. My mother read it to me so many times, she didn’t even need the book anymore. She knew it by heart and so did I. My older brother made fun of me for it. He said it was a girl story. That doesn’t hold much ground once you learn he’s gay.

That story implemented in me the lesson to always be courteous to frogs, specially the talking ones. Which is why I picked that dried out frog off the sidewalk, carried it to my home, and gave it some water. And that is why when it said, “Thank you.” I said, “You’re welcome.”

We introduced ourselves and she decided to stay. I had a suspicion it may have had something to do with the never-ending supply of flies that originated from my habit of leaving the windows open. For the first few days, her eyes followed me everywhere. She didn’t speak another word not even when I spoke to her.

When I got home from work on the fourth day of her stay, my old copy of The Frog Prince was sitting on my coffee table. I frowned; it had not been there when I left. The mystery was soon solved however when I spotted the frog. She sat on my book -right on the face of the princess- waiting. I greeted her as I had everyday, not expecting a reply.

“How was work?” she asked, as if she had asked it every day.

Staring, I slowly replied, “It was okay. My boss is getting grumpy. He wanted my new story two days ago.” At that time I was a reporter of sorts, more of a writer really. I wrote a column for a popular magazine for kids. I enjoyed my job if not my coworkers.

She blinked her bulbish eyes, soaking in that piece of information. While she did so, I set down my briefcase and loosened my tie, trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing.

“I have an idea,” her words were slow and carefully pronounced. She was a very well-mannered frog. “Since you rescued me, you deserve payment.”

I protested but she talked right over me, “You need a story. I will give you a story. A story much better than this one,” she stomped her webbed foot on the cover.

I was interested then. Was there really a story better than The Frog Prince? If so my career would skyrocket. I could move on to a bigger and better job, with people who understood me. I accepted her offer and we got down to business right away.

My pencil was poised over my notepad as I leaned forward eagerly from my position on the couch. She remained on her perch as she told her tale; the sound of her words mixing with the scratching of my pencil, “Once upon a time, because isn’t that how most fairytales start, there was a prince who got himself turned into a frog. I’m not sure how he managed that for I never did ask and he never did tell me. He was touchy about it, but then, he was touchy about a lot of things.

“He was not well accepted in our community. The others thought him evil and wrong because he had not always been a frog. I, however, found him charming. I showed him our ways, taught him how to fit in so he could have a new life. I loved him, and I thought he loved me.

“There came a day when I was by myself. The prince would often mope and at these times I could not stand him. I swam about in my favorite stream, enjoying the cool water and the peace. An object fell into the spring suddenly and soon followed a little girl. She cried and wept and sobbed for her lost plaything, that wrenched golden ball.

“I was upset, I will admit. I was enjoying myself, minding my own business, and this pampered child ruined it, and now she would not leave! I knew what she was; her stylish clothing made it apparent. A mean thought welled up into my mind and to this day I regret acting upon it. I told that girl I should retrieve that ball only if she would take me to her castle and love me. I don’t know why I did it, perhaps I thought she would never agree and she would go home, dejected. That did not happen. She agreed.

“True to my word, I got her her ball. She however was not true to hers. She ran away with her precious toy and left me behind. I told the prince of this later, never dreaming of what he would do. For as I’ve stated before, I thought he loved me.

“The next morning I could not find him, no matter where I looked. For days I worried over him, wondering at his fate. Then I heard the news. The whole countryside was raving over it. The princess was to be married and to a lost prince! I think it was a codfish who first told me the story of the frog prince.

“I knew what had happened. My prince had gone to the princess stating that he was the frog who had assisted her and insisting she keep her end of the bargain. The princess, being a human, could not tell the distinct differences between frogs and, as of such, believed him. His curse had been lifted over the time he spent with her. He was human again and had no need of me.

“So they got married and lived happily ever after,” she stopped there with the most bitter expression you will ever see on a frog.

I stared, my eyes wide, not believing this twist. My favorite story was a lie! The frog prince had been turned from a misfortune hero to a lying, traitorous scumbag. I managed to splutter out one question, “What did you do?”

She blinked and a toadish smile crossed her face, “I went to the fairy that had turned him into a frog. It took me some time to find her for the story of The Frog Prince did not specify her name. It turns out she was very fond of frogs and she was eager to help.

"With the lessons that she taught me, I snuck into the castle. And after I had turned them both into flies, I ate them.”

Wisely, I left that last detail out of the story I turned in to my boss.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter's absenteeism

Hey everyone, just here to report that our Winter is out of range this weekend and won't be able to choose a story. She may pick one later, or she may not. I suppose only time will tell! But look out for Jenn's pick on Sunday. :)

Thank you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

If You Won't Do It, I Will

Alrighty, here we go with my story for this week! I haven't really edited most of it, and I just tacked the last scene on at the last minute. So...yeah. Here we go.

If You Won't Do It, I Will

She lifted her face into the cool breeze coming in through the small square window, smiling and closing her eyes. "That's beautiful," she murmured. "Doesn't it take you back, John?"

He didn't answer. It was pretty hard to talk at present. Instead he just watched her, waiting to see what she'd do next.

She sighed. "I've been alone so long. I guess I've been…waiting. Stupid as that is." Her grey gaze settled on him, enjoying one of its silver-rain moments. He'd always loved her eyes in those moments. But that had been then. This…well, this was now. "I'm stupid, aren't I John?"

Did she really expect him to answer? Or maybe she thought she could read his thoughts, like the olden days. Except his thoughts were so far from her by now. That old ability didn't hold, not when so much had gone between them. So much.

She was the President's daughter, and a dangerous woman for that reason alone. When you took her in her own right, she was downright deadly. Especially when her eyes turned from silver-rain to winter-chilled steel.

They hadn't changed that way yet. Not today.

But it was only a matter of time.

"Once upon a time, I thought you and I would be together for ever." She shook her head. "I was a complete fool then. And I'm a fool now, to bother with reminiscence. But…those are some of my fondest memories."

She'd always enjoyed monologues. At least when she was the one speaking them. She had never been a good listener. But talking…oh, that was something she did well.

"I pictured what our babies would look like."

He suppressed a shudder.

"And I had our wedding day all planned out."

Now she was the one to shudder. That surprised him. As did the look of loathing on her face. She'd always been overbearingly clingy and suffocating. Now it looked like maybe she was the commitment-phobe. The men of the world would be fortunate in that, if it were true.

But then she looked at him, and her eyes were still silver-rain. They held hope, and something like longing.

"Did you ever think it might…work out with us?"

He shook his head. That was all he could do, under the circumstances.

"Care to elaborate?" she asked. Her eyes now glimmered with amusement. Cruel amusement. Oh yeah, she was laughing at him.

He just looked at her. It was all he could do.

"So," she said, clapping her hands down on her knees and leaning toward him. "The day has finally come. I never thought I'd actually see you die. But there's no going back now." She eyed him up and down, an unmistakable look of appreciation in her eyes. "Pity. You're top grade meat."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 5 wrap-up

First off, a reminder that tomorrow I am posting my story for this week's prompt, and I hope to see you guys posting yours or emailing them to us as well. :)

Anyway, on to business! Last week's prompt saw me waiting till the very last moment (almost...okay, Friday isn't quite the end of the week, but whatever) to get my story done - let alone started! Before that I had read a few other stories already, and one last one on Sunday I think. These are the stories I've read:

  1. Madeline wrote about some creepy-ass creatures called Lurkers, and what happens when they brainwash your brother. *shivers*
  2. Michael brought us another episode of Caitlyn and Colin goodness, and once again feisty Caitlyn showed why she puts the capital P back into Princess.
  3. Brooke totally creeped me out with her slowly-building tale of horror which had a very gasp-worthy ending.
  4. Virginia brought us the tale of the (insert number here) Coming, in which the Chosen One is revealed as prophecy has foretold. Who knew he would be a thirteen-year-old boy covered in paint and with a sore thigh. hehe.

And of course our Friday-featured story was from Winter, and she wrote about eight-year-old Cinnamon's journey to Hell to rescue her friend from the "big scary" Devil's clutches. Her sacrifice? That spectacular red hair.

As for me, I wrote about two ghosts who are stuck in the "After", and deliberately miss their chance to move onto oblivion so they can protect their loved ones. And things get worse from there.

All in all it was a great week and I want to thank everyone for participating! I hope you are having as much fun as I am. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011


Write a short story of 1,000-10,000 words based on the following:

"Well, you certainly picked a fine time to go all happily ever after."
See you Thursday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trisha's story pick, Week 5

This week I have opted to choose Virginia's story about the chosen one, as I thought it was cute and amusing. I liked how it started and I liked how it ended. Oh, and I liked the stuff in between too. :D I want to give an honourable mention to the other stories I read this week though, which I will talk about in the 'wrap-up' on Thursday.

Anyway, without further ado, here is Virginia's effort this week (originally found here). ;)

Happy Birthday, William

“And so was written in the annals of comedy, that one day, a child would come into this world. And this child would say, ‘Woe betide, where did all these pies come from?!’. And the Wise Ones would say, ‘Lo, it has come to pass that The One has been born upon this world, and lo, it is funny.’

So sayeth, so it will be. Except that that’s entirely too funny, so it probably won’t happen like that at all… will it?”

-The Book of Banjo
Eleventh Cant

Young William (never Billy, no) was enjoying the sunshine of a beautiful morning as he strolled to school. It was one of those perfect mornings that everyone dreams of, but rarely sees – the sky had the right amount of fluffy clouds, the breeze was gentle and intimate, and the sun did its bit of warm caressing as well. Much like the rest of his life, it was perfect, perfect, perfect. Why, it was even his thirteenth birthday. To celebrate, his parents had promised his favourite dinner, cake, the works – they even managed to scrimp together enough to allow him to have his best friend James to dinner with them.

In short, it was just about as good a day as one could hope for. Why, he even found himself smiling, his lips curled up in that foreign shape. It looked decidedly odd against his gaunt cheeks, pale blue eyes, and midnight curls, but heck, the cheer had to escape somehow! In fact, he was so busy thinking about how cheerful he was feeling and what a nice day it was going to be that he was shocked to have his reverie disturbed by a cry of “Look out!”, quickly followed by getting tackled down the pavement.

“Watch where you’re going!” William growled as he wiggled out from under his assailant. He stood up and brushed himself off while looking around to see what would have caused some random guy to barrel him down in the street. To his surprise, he spotted an accordion groaning brokenly about where he had been standing.

“Are you all right, young master?” his aggressor enquired courteously.

“Yes,” William began slowly, “But was it really necessary to knock me down to avoid an accordion? Surely, it wouldn’t have been nice to have it fall on me, but I sincerely doubt it would have been fatal.”

“Oh… you might have a point. Good day!” And with that, the other man cheerfully moved on down the pathway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jennifer's Story Pick, Week 5

Eeeek! I don't know how everyone else's brain is doing this week, but mine hurts. This is pretty sad considering that we're only five stories in.

That being said, another hilarious Caitlin story was much needed.

It was a dark night. It would have been a stormy night, too, except that the cold front had stalled over the Scrumdiddly Mountains north of the encampment instead of moving over the valley as the weather-forecasters had predicted. So instead the weather was a cool 60 degrees, and the stars glimmered brightly in the sky, like little glimmery things that glimmer.

The minion army of Vladimir the Marauder was taking full advantage of the crisp night air and the lack of storms. They had been at that encampment for the past month waiting for orders to invade Princess Caitlin’s kingdom, but so far no such orders had come. There had been some sort of foul-up in the chain of command, some plan that had gone astray, or so went the rumors. The minions didn’t know for sure, and wouldn’t have asked; minions weren’t supposed to ask about those things anyway. Instead, they found other ways to occupy their time. Even now, after the sun had gone down, groups of minions were going about the camp engaged in various activities, many of which Princess Caitlin could see from her hiding place in the bushes outside the camp.

One group of minions was clustered about a man who appeared to be a minion drill instructor, and was in the middle of giving a lesson on the proper way of attacking a single enemy soldier. “Now, you blithering excuse for redshirts, when you see an enemy soldier, and he is alone, WHAT DO YOU DO?”

Sir! We form a line and attack him politely one by one, sir!”

Friday, February 4, 2011


I'm on time, just barely! YESSS.

By the way, when I copied this, it deleted all my tabbing. So I tried inserting spaces in place of every single tab, but it deleted that after I'd already done all of them. Then I tried putting in line breaks for every new paragraph, but it deleted those post-hoc as well. So (after twenty minutes of trying to fix it... DX) this will still look like one giant, very daunting block of text. My sincerest apologies.

There was once a girl named Cinnamon Lynn Sanders. She had incredibly long red hair. It was her favorite thing about herself—Mama had always told her she had magic hair.

She had a best friend, a boy whose name was Brian McAlister. They were both eight, but she was a month older than he was, so she told him with all the surety of an eight-year-old that she would keep him safe since he was so young.

It was October twenty-fourth, a warm, welcoming day in Atlanta. Cinnamon and Brian were climbing trees in Cinnamon’s back yard, Cinnamon’s red hair the color of a ripe tomato in the loud sunlight. Brian’s smile was wider than the soft-banked creek out in the woods, because they were dangling upside-down from the boughs of one of the trees, now, and Brian thought Cinnamon looked goofy with her face all red like that.

“You look silly,” he laughed. “Really silly, Cinn.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Week 4 Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! Here to wrap up Week 4. Thanks for the great reads.

Also... yep, Brooke, I suppose I do have a thing for manners prompts. XD I'll change this the next go 'round...

A quick recap:

1. Madeline's Please explored the narrator's relationship with her deceased grandfather and with her distant, dispassionate, (delicious,) Antarctican lover.

2. Brooke's story created a torturous, hungry dystopia ruled by a beautiful murderess.

3. Michael's Another Shore gave us a simple man with a simple love in a crazy science-fictionalized world.

4. Jenn's Causing Silence brought us to a world where starving orphans, unable to speak, are caught in the war between the Protestors and the Patriots.

...and, off-set, Trisha crafted a high-school-and-onward relationship filled with insecurity and hopeless dependence. My own story was about a girl constantly denied, from keeping her dog from euthanasia at a young age to getting rejected from college at 18 and other stuff.

Thanks to everyone for participating! I hope I can get my story finished for tomorrow, eek.