Menace – a return to #ThursThreads

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I live!

Sort of. Like last year, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. My writing habits in general have also changed which means less will pop up here and more will happen behind the scenes. Alas, such is life when I have trouble keeping up with everything I want to do. Still, every once in a while I’ll throw something up here and today is one of those times!

But first, a few announcements.

If you haven’t read my serials yet, but you want to, now’s a good time. They’ll be coming down soon as I get their rewrites done. A Vampire’s Bride is four hand-written chapters in and Secondhand Soul is my NaNoWriMo project. These’ll be the first to go down as I try to make them something more. You’ve been warned!

Like I mentioned above, I’ve been doing some by-hand writing. This means stuff that won’t see the light of day for a long time. I think I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do when I started putting snippets up here. I’ve got work to do on the writing that exists on here, but if I keep holding myself to having to post it here, I don’t think I’ll ever get it done. Thus, you won’t be seeing much of my writing on here outside of what’s already there. I do want to eventually return to book reviews and movie/show commentary here, but that won’t be for a while.

Onto today’s piece!

Prompt: “I’m a danger.

~~~

Is it bad I enjoy the feeling of bones breaking against my fist? It’s as satisfying as stepping on a particularly crunchy leaf. I don’t tell Max that – they would disapprove, despite their support of my newfound love for vigilante justice.

I drop the latest scumbag to the cement, releasing him from the collar of his shirt. Somewhere down the alleyway, his victim’s hurried footsteps echo as she struggles to run away. She hasn’t noticed he’s no longer chasing her, but I don’t bother to let her know. Max, like always, will take care of it and make sure she’s okay. When they show up a few minutes later, it’s after they’ve seen to the younger girl. Unlike the first girls I saved, this was just a kid – no older than maybe fourteen.

Max brought her back in their arms, unconscious.

“She fainted at the end of the alleyway when she realized it was a dead end. I don’t think she saw you.”

“She didn’t.” I kicked the guy on the ground, turning him over. “She was too scared of this asshole.”

Max grimaces at the state of the man’s face. It’s hardly recognizable after I got done with it. A broken nose, some missing teeth, and eyes so swollen they were shut and would be for a long time. I couldn’t help but smile.

“You’re a menace.” But they smile, too. Never thought I’d see an angel smiling at violence.

“I’m a danger only to jerks like this one.”

~~~

And so that’s how Paola spends her time now – kicking ass and taking names.

As always, think happy thoughts!

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Intimidation

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Sup!

Didn’t think I’d get a post up, but here we are 🙂

Today’s inspiration comes from Plots and Prompts for All.

Prompt: “If I wanted you dead, this room would be a lot quieter.”

~~~

Standing at exactly five feet and two inches, I’ve never thought of myself as particularly intimidating. No one has ever cowered before me, shaken in their boots at the sight of me. That is, until now. I guess it helps to have a gun.

“Are you going to kill me?” He tries to maintain eye contact but his eyes won’t stop flicking to the gun. It’s the fifth time in as many minutes that he’s asked me that.

“If I wanted you dead, this room would be a lot quieter.” Grabbing him by the shoulder (no small feat, considering the foot he has on me) I pull him into the chair. “Now shut up. I’m the one asking questions.”

To be honest, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far. My bravado is holding up better than I thought, and going by the apprehension in his eyes, I’m doing a good job of hiding how worried I am. How terrified. I’ve never killed anyone before – I don’t want to start now. He relaxes in his chair, comforted by the thought that I don’t want to kill him. “Ask away.”

“What do you know about the Flamel Project?” Even saying the words out loud makes my stomach turn.

“Enough to know that you’ll die if they find out you’re snooping.” It isn’t technically snooping if my family runs the project, if I was once supposed to carry that legacy. But I don’t tell him that.

“You let me worry about that. I need to know what phase it’s in. Have they started human trials yet?” As one of the scientists on the project, he should be privy to that kind of information. My suspicion is confirmed when his eyes finally look somewhere other than mine or at the gun. Despite the resolve in his jaw to keep his mouth shut, a flicker of doubt – and shame? – passes through his eyes. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

I struggle to hold back overwhelming horror. It helps that I’ve concealed my face with a scarf and glasses. Still, it’s not long before my hand begins to shake. In an effort to keep him from noticing, I lower the gun.

With a sigh, I continue. “I don’t know how they convinced you to participate, but know that – whatever it is – it isn’t worth it.”

Holstering the gun, I turn to leave. There’s no point in continuing the conversation, I have what I need.

“What are you going to do?” I don’t expect him to call out to me. When I turn back, there’s a hint of hope in his eyes.

“Whatever I can to stop it.” Before I can leave the room, he speaks again.

“Let me help you.”

~~~

This is bits of a story that has been sitting on the back burner for literal years. It’s probably not going anywhere, but the prompt fit. And it helped me reach my goal for today.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Angel in Training

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Hello!

So yesterday I failed miserably at trying to improve my layout. Here’s to trying again today. This redesign will not get the best of me!

In the meantime, here’s another flash piece.

Prompt: You have just passed away, and you find yourself at the Gates of Heaven. You were not evil, but you weren’t the epitome of good either. So you are offered a choice: Wait your time in Purgatory, or become a Guardian Angel for an individual until they die. You choose the latter.

~~~

“Does anyone ever pick Purgatory?” I don’t expect the angel to answer my question, but the silence is beginning to get to me. We’ve been walking for what feels like hours. I’m not tired – the dead don’t get tired – but I am bored. Instead of answering me, the angel in front of me just turns down another hall.

“Wait here.” They step aside and gesture for me to enter through a door. Entering the room, the first thing I notice is that there’s no one else, though it looks like a waiting room. You’d think there would be others. “And to answer your question – you’re the first in a millennium not to.”

“What?” But by the time I turn to ask, they’ve closed the door and I’m alone. Is there something everyone else knows that I don’t? Why would anyone pick Purgatory? With no one left to answer my questions, I take a seat on the far side of the room, near a small window. The glass is foggy and I can’t see to the other side but there’s a door a few feet down from it. I assume that’s where they’ll call me.

Maybe I waited for hours, or seconds – there’s no way to tell since time runs differently – but eventually static comes over an unseen intercom calling my name. “Sasha Contreras, please approach the door.”

When I do, the door opens by itself and I’m greeted by yet another angel. This one sits on the other side of a desk and doesn’t bother looking at me as I enter. Their focus is on a set of files lined up on the desk. “Take a seat.”

I manage an uncomfortable silence for about a second. “So you’re going to give me my assignment?”

“Yes.” But they still don’t look up. “So you perished in a fire, correct?”

I flinch at the memory. “Yeah.”

They consider this for a moment before finally looking at me. “Your assignment is a man named Malcolm Turner. He’s the firefighter who recovered your body.”

If I could feel winded, I would. He didn’t just recover my body – he watched me die. He did everything he could to save me, but it was too late by then. That pillar had crushed me beyond repair. “W-Why?”

“He needs you. Your job will be to watch over him – make sure he survives his assignments. We have big plans for him.” They rearrange the stack of files before shuffling through the contents of one of the desk drawers. A moment later they pull out a watch and hand it to me. “Should you need guidance, you can use this to reach me.”

I take it, noting that it looks like a smart-watch. “How do I…how do I watch over him?”

“Befriend him, follow him around, do what you need to do.”

“Won’t he recognize me?”

“No. You’ll have a new face, new identity.” They hand me a manila folder. Inside, there’s a picture of a woman with deep blue hair and thoughtful brown eyes. Her name – my new name – is Chris Sanders. “Everything you need is in that folder.”

“Okay.” I’m beginning to understand why people prefer to just wait around in Purgatory.

“Head out that door behind you. Your assignment begins as soon as you do.”

I nod, closing the folder and standing. “Thank you.”

With a deep breath, I move to the door.

~~~

And there’s that. In my mind, this happens in the same universe as Secondhand Soul and Provisional Freedom.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Flickering Sun

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Hello!

So the piece below was inspired partially by the eclipse a few weeks ago and by a writing prompt I saw around the same time. Basically, one day the sun starts to flicker. What happens?

I started this story with the hopes of entering it in a contest but lost track of time and missed the deadline. Not to mention I didn’t finish writing it. I’m putting it up now because I don’t think I’ll have time for my fifteen minute writing burst today but I don’t want to lose momentum. So instead I’ve edited this short piece.

Enjoy!

~~~

No one thought the sun’s death would be so slow, or breathtaking.  At least, that’s what we thought was happening when the sun began to flicker. I slept in that morning, and when I woke up I thought it was just one of those days when the passing clouds would fade the light in and out. It wasn’t until after my morning coffee that I really looked outside and saw it was more than just clouds. The longer it went on, the darker those brief moments. Looking up at a cloudless sky, I nearly dropped my coffee when I saw it – a brief blink. The sun disappeared – for several seconds – before reappearing and nearly blinding me with the sudden light. Below me, my shadow followed suit, in and out of existence with the sun.

The air stood still, as if holding its breath. In the darkness of those flickering moments I could only hear my own heartbeat, my own breathing. For the first time in my entire life, it was total silence. With the light went all natural sound. That is, until the panic started.

My phone rang, cutting through one of the longer periods of darkness.

“Blake – are you…this?” Her words tried to cut through static.

“Ana? Can you hear me?”

“…can’t…mom and dad…home…” I couldn’t catch more than a few words before the call dropped. When I tried to call my sister back, all I got was a busy tone.

Before I could really analyze what I was doing, I packed a bag with my essentials and booked it out of the apartment. If I hurried, I could reach my parents in a few hours. Assuming my sister had the same plan, I’d meet her there.

Outside, chaos reigned. People ran scared, clutching their children and belongings. Those without either shoved the others out of the way as crowds attempted to flee – though no one actually knew what we were trying to escape. A fire had already started in a nearby storefront, lighting the area when the sun didn’t. By the time I reached my bike, I was battered and bruised. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to drive with the intermittent light, but I started the bike anyway, driven by instinct.

~~~

And there’s that! Maybe someday down the line I can extend this to be a short story instead of just a scene. We’ll see.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Nervous

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Sup sup!

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to #ThursThreads, so it feels good to get back into it again. Today’s piece is for Provisional Freedom  and though it includes references to Secondhand Soul, it’s only getting categorized under Paola’s story, since Videl’s origin story is all done!

Prompt: “Do I make you nervous?”

~~~

Having Max around all the time makes it difficult to make friends. Not that it’s their fault entirely (I’m not exactly approachable), but it puts a damper on the whole college experience. Max noticed, so at their suggestion, we’ve been visiting Marcus and Videl, when I don’t have too much work. In the angel’s words, I “need more people to talk to.” Even if those people happen to be demons.

And that’s why I now find myself alone in a room with Marcus. It’s clear he’s still very uncomfortable with me, though I’m not sure why. To both our horrors, Videl is off on an assignment this time, and Max had to split (for a reason they refused to disclose). Normally Videl makes conversation to dissipate the awkwardness, but with her gone we’re both stewing in it.

“I can go, if you want? I have some reading for school…”

“No-no it’s okay. Videl should be back soon.” But it’s clear he wants me gone. He fiddles with some paperwork, and I can’t help my next words.

“Do I make you nervous?”

He looks like he’s been caught red-handed. I give him some time to respond, but he just stares at me. Since I’m always with Max, I don’t usually get to see Marcus’ eyes. With his glamour uninterrupted by the angel’s presence, I can’t help but notice how similar they are to mine.

Marcus sighs. “Is it that obvious?”

“Yes.” I almost laugh. “Any reason why?”

“Your eyes – my eyes.”

~~~

And their stories meet once more! I’ve been meaning to bring Marcus and Videl back into Paola’s life somehow, so I’m glad this prompt gave me the chance to do that.

Be sure to check out the other entries at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

 

#100WordChallenge – Wish

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Morning!

And the 15 minute writing bursts continue. This time, with a prompt from Thin Spiral Notebook, the 100 word challenge.

Prompt: Wish

~~~

Despite everything I’ve seen, I know wishing and praying won’t get me anywhere. Still, that doesn’t stop me from wishing with every fiber of my being that Max would leave me the hell alone.

“You do realize I returned to school so I could feel normal.” Sitting under a tree on the campus green, I bury my face in a book. Beside me, they lounge without a care in the world. “Hard to do with an angel tagging along.”

“Would you prefer I watch from afar?”

I pause, uncomfortable with them stalking me. “No. Obviously not.”

“Then deal with it.”

~~~

What kind of shenanigans can an immortal teenager and an angel get into? Stay tuned! I’m actually happy with the direction this is taking – the beginning way back when was a little too dark for my liking.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#100wordchallenge – Lost

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Hello!

Work is beginning to wind down a bit, so I think I’m going to try participating in the #100wordchallenge every week. After all, it’s only 100 words. I think I can manage that on a weekly basis.

Prompt: Lost

Today we dive back into Provisional Freedom (this title needs work, I’ll be changing it eventually).

~~~

I’ve died and been to purgatory – but I’ve never felt more lost as I stare at a map of the campus. Given everything that’s happened, returning to a normal life shouldn’t be this terrifying, but it is. I can’t even find my god-forsaken dorm.

“Need help?” Max looks over my shoulder.

“Go away.” Last thing I need is to be seen talking to myself.

“Would that I could, but I’m on babysitting duty.” The angel crosses their arms and smiles, coming into my line of vision.

I’ve never seen them in human clothes. “No…you don’t mean…”

“Let’s go roommie.”

~~~

And that’s that. Will this become a slice of life story? A super-hero origin? Who knows! I certainly don’t 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!