Hopping on the train! (again)

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Carving out time to write seems to be getting more difficult these days, so I’m going to start setting time limits up for myself. It worked when I participated in 5 minute fiction, so I’m hoping it’ll work now.

My time limit: 15 minutes.

Goal: 400 words for the Friday Flash Fiction Train prompt at Our Write Side.

Here goes!

~~~

Something went wrong with the spell, and her first hint was that smell. Nevermind that one second Celeste had been surrounded by utter silence, and now there was a thunderous roar shaking everything around her. Was someone attacking her? Unwilling to sit around and wait, she hurried out of the tunnel, confused as to why the walls of the cave were now smooth and riddled with strange bars.

It took her half an hour to make her way out.

Something definitely went wrong. As soon as Celeste stepped into the light, she found herself surrounded by people in strange clothes. This wasn’t the forest she’d been running through, and the cave she’d been hiding in was nowhere to be found. Behind her, the large structure she came from towered above her, disappearing into the clouds. She had to walk away from it just to take it all in.

“Lady, move!” Celeste barely had time to react before someone yanked her arm. A young woman, no older than her, probably, gripped her wrist tight as she pulled. Behind her, a roaring beast of a thing passed by, faster than anything she’d ever seen. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Stunned, she couldn’t really respond.

Hello? Sam are you okay? Hey!” The woman looked down at her hand, as if just remembering she had one, and put the small, black rectangle – where the voice seemed to be coming from – up to her ear.

“Yeah sorry. Some lady just walked into traffic. I’ll call you back.”

Wait! We’re still on for dinner, right?

“I’ll let you know.”

Celeste watched, enthralled by the thing in the woman’s hand. How had she enchanted it? She’d never seen anything like it, let alone being used out in the open like this woman was. Celeste couldn’t help herself. “Are you a witch, too?”

“Excuse me?”

“Your item – you’ve clearly trapped someone in there. How did you do it? My binding spells never work.”

The woman looked at Celeste like she’d never seen another person before. After a moment her confusion turned to concern.

“Are you alright? People don’t just walk into traffic like that. Do you need help?” She scanned Celeste from top to bottom, her head tilting as if she couldn’t understand. “Are you in town for a convention or something?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Your costume. It’s pretty cool, but Comic Con isn’t until next weekend.”

~~~

Not *quite* done in 15 minutes. But it’s something!

Check out the prompt! Join in on the fun! You have until 12PM EST today 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!

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Still processing Cursed Child feelings…

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Image from pottermore.com

Hello!

So I meant to get a post up yesterday but things got busy and then when I finally had some free time/motivation, my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finally decided to show up. Of course I dropped everything. I have so many feelings. Too many to really put in words but I’m going to try.

I guess here’s my review/recap/thoughts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Fair warning, I can’t really fully process/review this without spoilers, so SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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#TuesFlashFicTrain R3-W5 Winner!

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Prompt Winner: Imagenn793

Imagenn793

Took a screengrab off the website!

Happy Monday!

You guys are killing me – a three-way tie? Really? This was a tough decision – so tough that I honestly couldn’t pick among the three, so I used a random number generator to choose the winner. To be fair, I did best three out of five, and Imagenn793 came out on top! That particular response is the darkest of the three, leaving Rita both free but a little broken. It’s a great way to end her story and beautifully written to encapsulate the feeling of the overall tale. Who knew this would be where we ended up after Rita’s bout with a cold?

Congratulations to Imagenn793 on a well-deserved win!

Be sure to read parts one, two, three, and four before reading the ending.


The release shocked her. Rita stumbled where she stood, the lurching of the bus and its passengers finally taking its toll on her mind and body.
The power hadn’t overtaken her since…Walter.

The noise of the destruction travelled to Rita’s ears and brain, snapping her back to reality. She stood from where she was sprawled on the floor. Broken glass shards littered the ground and the smell of the brakes’ screeching dominated the wreck.

She was surrounded by shouts of pain. Looking around, Rita suddenly noticed the blood that covered the many glass shards, the bodies that hadn’t moved and the driver who was slumped forward.
All of the anger and fury she had felt at these people vanished like a flashlight dead of battery. One moment she wanted to see these passengers cowering beneath her glare and now Rita wished that she was back under the old woman’s taunts and insults.

Becoming dimly aware that she hadn’t moved, Rita walked around, helping the other passengers. She received some odd and accusatory looks, but Rita stared back defiantly. There wasn’t any way they could pull this on her.

Moving towards a body on the ground, she froze.

It was the old woman. The one who’s sneering had started the loss of control, the involuntary burst of power that for years had been clenched deep inside her mind.

The woman’s face which once snarled was instead drenched with crimson. Her eyes were torn, covered in pieces of glass like so many other victims.

Rita backed away. She ran past the people screaming in agony, the bodies that lied still, the driver whose head now rested on the wheel’s horn.

The ear-wrenching and startling deep honk made people jump, but not Rita.

She escaped from the damage and the one she cared most about.
Walter is gone, Rita reminded herself forcefully, and bringing back this power will do more bad than good.

Rita was through with the horrific dreams and memories that haunted her being.

Walter.

The colony.

The chants and sacrifices.

It was too much…

No one noticed her departure in the commotion but later on they would mutter to themselves in their homes:

What happened to that crazy business girl? The one whose eyes glinted scarlet, whose growl pierced everyone’s ears before the crash and whose nails grew into long talons as sharp as a razor.

They would never know.


And there you have it! I wonder what will become of Rita now. It’s a sadder ending than usual, but that’s what makes it so great, don’t you think? Thank you so much to everyone who’s participated this round – this story only got this far thanks you: writers, readers, and voters 🙂

Be sure to check out Imagenn793’s blog and show the writer some love! It’s a young blog, but there’s great stuff to read:

If you have suggestions for a title, send them my way and I’ll put them up for a vote!  We’ll be taking a break from #TuesFlashFicTrain before we pick up another round next week, but keep an eye out the rest of the week for a post of the whole round 3 story.

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!

 

#TuesFlashFicTrain R3 W5 – All A-Vote!

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traintracks

Image found on phototree.com

Hello!

Excitement abounds! Multiple submissions to the prompt means we have yet another vote this time around 🙂 We have really great potential endings to Rita’s story, and I can’t wait to see which one you guys pick. While you’re at it, suggest some titles? I’ll put those up to a vote as well.

Be sure to read parts one, two, three, and four before picking an ending!

Read on!


Imagenn793

The release shocked her. Rita stumbled where she stood, the lurching of the bus and its passengers finally taking its toll on her mind and body.
The power hadn’t overtaken her since…Walter.

The noise of the destruction travelled to Rita’s ears and brain, snapping her back to reality. She stood from where she was sprawled on the floor. Broken glass shards littered the ground and the smell of the brakes’ screeching dominated the wreck.

She was surrounded by shouts of pain. Looking around, Rita suddenly noticed the blood that covered the many glass shards, the bodies that hadn’t moved and the driver who was slumped forward.
All of the anger and fury she had felt at these people vanished like a flashlight dead of battery. One moment she wanted to see these passengers cowering beneath her glare and now Rita wished that she was back under the old woman’s taunts and insults.

Becoming dimly aware that she hadn’t moved, Rita walked around, helping the other passengers. She received some odd and accusatory looks, but Rita stared back defiantly. There wasn’t any way they could pull this on her.

Moving towards a body on the ground, she froze.

It was the old woman. The one who’s sneering had started the loss of control, the involuntary burst of power that for years had been clenched deep inside her mind.

The woman’s face which once snarled was instead drenched with crimson. Her eyes were torn, covered in pieces of glass like so many other victims.

Rita backed away. She ran past the people screaming in agony, the bodies that lied still, the driver whose head now rested on the wheel’s horn.

The ear-wrenching and startling deep honk made people jump, but not Rita.

She escaped from the damage and the one she cared most about.
Walter is gone, Rita reminded herself forcefully, and bringing back this power will do more bad than good.

Rita was through with the horrific dreams and memories that haunted her being.

Walter.

The colony.

The chants and sacrifices.

It was too much…

No one noticed her departure in the commotion but later on they would mutter to themselves in their homes:

What happened to that crazy business girl? The one whose eyes glinted scarlet, whose growl pierced everyone’s ears before the crash and whose nails grew into long talons as sharp as a razor.

They would never know.


Stacy Overby – @dontpanic2011

Everything froze.  Glass shards twinkled in mid-air like tiny stars reflecting the bright heat of her rage.  The first drops of blood that had begun to stream from their eyes hung like macabre parade streamers.

“Rita.”

She looked up.  The old woman was shaking her head as she stood up.  Her form blurred as she moved toward Rita.  By the time she’d crossed the short distance to stand in front of Rita, the old woman had become a stunning raven-haired woman in her thirties.

“Morrigan,” Rita whispered.

“Did you not recognize me?”

“I’ve never seen you as an old woman.”

Morrigan shook her head, “Where is your awareness of power?  Surely you sensed mine.”

Rita paused.  She had felt something.  That was what brought up those memories.  It wasn’t the eyes; it was Morrigan’s power that conjured the eyes.

“Forgive me.  I should have known.”

“You know I am Death; therefore, not so very forgiving.”

Rita bowed her head.  Death was never lenient and she knew it.  She’d known it back when all of this started.  Part of her regretted her choice back then.  So many things would have been different.  Easier.

“Come, child.  Do not regret your choice to serve me.  I may not be forgiving but I am not unreasonable.  I know the pain you have suffered in my name.  The memories my presence stirred up.”

Rita began to sob.  She would have fallen had Morrigan not caught her and guided her to a seat.  Certain Morrigan had left by the time Rita could breathe again, she squared her shoulders and braced herself to face the mess she’d created.

Looking up, Rita blinked several times, uncertain what to do.  Morrigan still sat across from her.  Death was patient, or so it seemed.

“I can give you peace.”

“I’m not certain I’m ready for that.”

“Not death, my dear, though I could make that an option if you wished.  I have another option; a plan if you’re willing.”

“Will it give me peace from this torment?”

“It will.”

“Then I am willing.”

Morrigan crossed the aisle and wrapped her arms around Rita.  A bright light filled the bus.  When it dimmed, Rita was gone.  In her place was an iridescent black raven.

“Go, my child.  Be at peace.  I will find you when I have need of you.”

 

The raven flew away.  The bus continued down the road unharmed.


Renee Tennis-McKinley – @2old2tap

Rita stood in the middle of the aisle, eyes squeezed shut. The screams no longer reached her ears and she shuddered in anguish at the result of her rage. The memories had flooded her mind, intermingled with the taunts of the old woman and other passengers.

She had let it overcome her.

A hand touched her shoulder then stroked her cheek.

“Rita.”

She ignored the whisper, soft and warm as a summer’s breeze. But Walter would not be shunned.

“Rita, open your eyes. Look at me.”

“Nooo,” she sobbed, “I can’t look! I can’t!”

She could hear the people on the bus again. “What’s wrong with you, girly girl?” it was the screech of the old woman.

Again she heard the soft voice, “Hush now, Lucy. You haven’t walked in her steps. Go still yourself.”

“But…”

“Sit, Lucy.”

As Rita finally opened her eyes, she saw the old woman trudge to an empty seat. The bus moved steadily down the street, the passengers still staring at her, but without the hostility she remembered. There was no blood, no shattered windows. No one screamed.

Rita looked back to Walter, “I thought…I thought I killed them!”

“You almost did.” Walter said, “but you stopped before it became real. You chose life over death.”

“How?”

Walter smiled at her. “Because you are stronger than the coven. They couldn’t control you as easily as they thought.”

“But the memories, the pain.”

“Lies. All of it.”

Rita shook her head in confusion, it had seemed so real. But as she tried to recall the fear and hate, the feelings faded.

“You are free, Rita.” As he turned to go, Walter looked back one more time, “See you in my dreams.”


And we’re right at the end of another round! How will Rita’s story close? What shape will her freedom take?

Thanks again to everyone who’s participated. I can’t say enough how awesome you guys are! I love reading your takes on the prompts and where each of your stories twist and turn.

Voting time! Be sure to spread the word and show these writers some love.

Voting will be open until Sunday at 11:59PM EST. Spread the word!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Alternate Endings – Severus Snape

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Image found on eonline.com

Image found on eonline.com

So I hadn’t planned on putting up another post today, but here we are.

Our Write Side has a flash prompt series titled Fractured Fridays, in which we’re asked to bring our own twists to well-known stories according to the weekly prompts. I’m not all that familiar with classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, at least not those of the European variety (unless Disney got their grimy paws on them) so I haven’t participated in this particular series yet.

This month, however, has been a little different. The theme is rewriting the endings of well-known characters, and so far there have been two prompts that included a Harry Potter character. I dropped the ball last week and forgot to post a response when Hermione Granger was an option. This week, though, I’m in the zone. Harry Potter fan fiction is the stuff I live for! While my usual stories involve Hermione falling in love with Draco (I will ship them with my dying breath and had every intention of having that be the rewrite last week), I occasionally dabble in writing about Severus Snape. It works out, because he was among this week’s choices. Hooray!

Without further ado, my Fractured Fridays offering for the most recent prompt:

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Some changes!

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Image found on fanfpop.com

Image found on fanfpop.com

Hey there!

Just a quick update. It’s only just struck me today that I really need to be a little more organized on here. To start, I need to make it easier to find related fiction posts. I thought of that way back when and created a section for just The Breach Trilogy stuff, but it never occurred to me to do it again for all the stories that have come after. If you’ve been keeping up with me over the past year, you’ll know I have a habit of letting my stories go beyond their original shorts, turning them into serials of sorts. As a result, I’ve decided to create a section dedicated to my Serials, and even gave them titles and synopses! You can find them under the Writing menu, but here they are for your convenience:

Offered up by her village to be their vampire monarch’s bride, Ariella must learn to adjust to her new life – even if it means befriending her captor.

Videl’s 25th birthday is more than just an arbitrary milestone in her age – it marks the end of her life as she knows it, and the beginning of her existence as a demon.

A witch in training and a cursed shape-shifter – when Emma needs a familiar in order to get admitted to the next level of training, Malakai offers his services in exchange for breaking his curse.

Enjoy!

As always, think happy thoughts!

WOW 555 – Tension and Friction

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Image by PhoeniXea on DeviantArt

Happy Friday!

It feels like this month has flown by! Halloween is next weekend and I still have no clue what I’m going to be. Even though I’m way too old for trick or treating and also don’t have children I can use as an excuse to get candy, I still intend to kick ass at the company Halloween costume contest. Here’s hoping I can come up with something over the weekend. Something tells me my costume will rely heavily on makeup. I’m open to suggestions!

The week has been a pretty busy one, with even more participants in #TuesFlashFicTrain. They’ve written some pretty great pieces, so please give them a look and vote for your favorite! While they were submitting to my contest, I was struggling with the #WOW555 prompt. I’m not really sure why this one was so hard for me, but it feels like it took me forever to get the words and ideas onto virtual paper. Hopefully it’s up to par.

Prompt: write a story in which you explore the tension between two opposing forces.

Enjoy!

~~~

Finding Balance

I’m not sure how long we watched the phoenix arrange its nest, only that the bird seemed to be pretending we weren’t there. Our presence didn’t bother it, and it simply continued gathering seemingly random bits of sand from various nooks and crannies throughout the chamber.

“It’s getting ready to die.” Esther was the first to move deeper into the room, walking along one of the walls that depicted the life cycle. She pointed at one image – a large bird sprinkling sand onto an altar, similar to what the bird before us was doing. The picture immediately after showed a bird encased in flames.

“What does that mean for us?” Malakai’s voice, although barely higher than a whisper, echoed in the chamber.

“According to the drawings, it’s reborn immediately after its death. No egg. But look.” Esther pointed at another image closer to the entrance. It showed the phoenix with a round object in its mouth, apparently setting it on an altar. I hadn’t noticed it before, but there was more than one – the tall pillar-like structure in the center of the room, and a second one on the other side, lower to the ground and resembling a sarcophagus in size and structure.

Careful not to draw attention to myself, I made my way across. Malakai followed, while Esther continued to examine the images on the walls.

“Looks like it stores its eggs somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.” Just as I spoke the last word, I rested my hand on the altar. Within seconds, the phoenix’s cry echoed throughout the chamber, a hollow sound following as it dashed towards us. It moved faster than I could keep up – before I knew it, I’d been thrown on my back, the phoenix’s talons digging into my ribs, its eyes holding my gaze.

“Emma!”

I held my hand out to stop Malakai, eyes never leaving the phoenix. I addressed the bird, “I’m sorry – please – I didn’t mean to…”

It pressed its forehead to mine and the next thing I knew, I was back in the dark room with the mirror floors. But I’d broken it – hadn’t I? On the other side, the darker, fey-like version of myself stared back at me.

“It repaired itself.” She gestured to the cracked glass. “Or tried to. Somewhere, deep down, you’re still reluctant to accept me completely.”

“If I break it again?”

“It’ll fix itself again.” This time it wasn’t my doppelganger who responded, but a different voice. It had a musical lilt to it – like birdsong. Was that the phoenix? “Your human half cannot touch an egg without being consumed by it – the flames will kill you. That’s why I stopped you.”

“How do I free you?” She met my hand with hers against the glass, her eyes reflecting the fear bubbling inside me.

“Same as before – but you were afraid last time, reluctant. Accept me, embrace me, and we’ll be fine.”

~~~

And we continue moving forward! Here’s hoping the end is nigh – working on this will make it difficult to keep up with my NaNo project. Maybe I’ll take a break from Emma and Malakai after next week – who knows? We’ll see how I feel come next Friday.

Remember to check out the other entries on Saturday and vote for your favorite! If it strikes your fancy, give the contest a shot! Flash fiction is an awesome way to jump start the writing process if you’re struggling with your NaNoWriMo project.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on DeviantArt.com