Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

The Hollow Place: #StoryADay May; Day Thirty

The Prompt:

  • Write a Hansel & Gretel Structured Story.

  • This story is the thirtieth in a series of explorations for my upcoming novel, Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8), which I will be drafting in July.

The Hollow Place

“Put it back on! Put it back on!” Marilyn squeezes her eyes closed, claps her hands over them.

“Marilyn, put your hands down and look at your daughter. You can’t hide from this.” There is something in Ophelia’s tone that Marilyn latches onto. It’s a distraction; she won’t have to think about how childish she looks like this, covering her eyes so she won’t see the baby girl.

“You aren’t my mother!”

“No. But you are hers.”

Damn! She’d fallen right into the trap. Ophelia is good enough at that to actually be someone’s mother.

Would her nameless broken doll of a baby be broken if Ophelia was her mother?

“She’s a broken doll – ”

“No, she isn’t. She’s a living being. She’s going to die soon – and she deserves to be seen by her mother while she’s still alive.”

But Ophelia’s wrong. This isn’t a baby, and not a living being. Not really. It’s a broken doll, and she doesn’t want to look at the shattered places in the doll’s head, and the hollow place where a brain should be, but isn’t. It reminds her of the hollow house, and her hollow life.

And the hollowness inside her.

“Marilyn.”

Damned Ophelia, not letting her hide, not giving up on her. How the hell did she get so stubborn, so strong?

But Marilyn knows the answer to that.

She has a mother who loves her. A mother who stayed alive, and does the things a mother is supposed to do for her child.

Marilyn has a baby now. That makes her a mother.

The mother of this nameless, broken baby girl.

She’s broken too – not with a skull that has a hole in it, and no brain inside…no. Not like that. But she’s no less broken.

Sometimes broken doesn’t show unless someone peels back her long sleeves to find the track marks.

“Marilyn. It’s time to look at your daughter. To face this. That’s why we came here, after all.”

She doesn’t argue. There’s no point. Ophelia takes her wrists and applies gentle pressure upward. Gentle, but firm and relentless, just like this strange half-sister who is at least half a mother.

And more of a mother than Marilyn can ever remember having. So she lets Ophelia guide her up, guide her to the side of the little clear plastic basinette where she knows her sister taped pictures and notes – stupid, to do that for a baby who is blind, deaf, and has nothing to see or hear or think with…but that’s not the best thing to be thinking about, because it just slices at her insides, and Ophelia isn’t going to let her loose until she looks, and she doesn’t want to think about what’s waiting when she does.

“Let’s count to three, then it’s time to put down your hands and open your eyes. See her, hold her, and give her a name. Then we can put the cap back on.”

She isn’t going to give up. Marilyn pretends she’s on the nod inside, and counts with her sister.

And then she has to look. At the places where there’s no skull, and emptiness stares up at her…it helps to pretend she’s looking at a doll, and nothing more, but she doesn’t say so, since Ophelia will try to force her to see a real live baby. She looks, but won’t let herself feel. She doesn’t even feel when she holds the little warm bundle – she used to have lifelike baby dolls – that’s all this is. No matter if she doesn’t name her –

“Time to give her a name, Marilyn.”

“Damned nosy kid.”

“That would make a lousy name. You can do better.”

She just wants Ophelia off her back. Out of her face. She tries to think of something – anything.

There’s a lavender band around the edge of the blanket, and on the cuffs of the baby’s sleeper.
It gave her an idea – “Lavender. Her name is Lavender.”

“Miss Morgan?”

Marilyn knows the doctor’s voice; she has an unmistakable accent. Warm and soft, like the way she feels after she shoots up. But now, there’s something darker lacing it, and Marilyn holds the broken doll of a baby close to her, and rocks it. She turns to look at the doctor.

“She can’t live much longer than another day or two. Her breathing is failing. I know you haven’t been ready till now, but the donation papers need to be signed before she dies, if her organs are going to have the maximum positive impact -”

“I have to use the bathroom.” She presses the baby toward her sister; Ophelia opens her arms, cooing senselesly to the blind deaf brainless little thing. She’s distracted by that; she doesn’t look supicious, and the doctor doesn’t know her well enough.

But she has to get away, has to escape. Somewhere with no broken baby dolls, no broken places in herself, no papers to sign and pieces of her doll given to all the mothers of all the other broken baby dolls, because those ones can be fixed, but hers is broken forever –

She grabs her purse and leaves them there. She can feel her kit through the fabric.

She thinks of Brad. This is his broken baby doll, but he left her here alone with it.

He escaped.

She can escape, too.

Will she sing the organ donation papers?

What kind of escape is Marilyn planning?

Is there any hope for her hollow placces?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

First Known Incidence: #StoryADay May; Day Thirty

The Prompt:

  • Write a Hansel & Gretel Structured Story.

  • This is a Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction drabble. You can find more of my fan fiction by following this link. 

    Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words from:

kitndavj:

  • Abberation

  • Magnetic Resonance

  • Constitution

  • Intercede

  • Serenity

  • illicit

  • Depression

  • Architecture
    Audit

Local NaNo Group prompt list:

  • first

  • care

First Known Incidence

Soval must intercede with care; this was the first known incident of Awakening to a human. An audit of the magnetic resonance, and its effect on the architecture of Mr. Tucker’s mind, was indicated. There was the possibility of depression; this was a significant aberration, and human constitution hadn’t evolved for the degree of sharing T’Pol was capable of. His illicit complicity gave him a responsibility to this human.

He must protect the nascent connection between his kindaughter and her Intended until T’Pol understood the nature of the flame she touched and held.

Soval went to speak with Maxwell Forrest.

What will Soval say to Admiral Forrest?

How will he manage to evaluate T’Ppol’s Intended?

What is Awakening?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the brand-new fanfiction.net series link!

 

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

The Ugly Duckling for #StaD May Day Twenty-Nine

Hello there, and welcome to my Story a Day May “Show My Work” post! This is where I give you a sneak peek into how I’m creating two (very short, and very different) stories, every day this May. Yep, that’s right; less than 24 hours from my first reading of the prompt to a committed story, even if I’m not quite that fast at posting them!

Ready to read?

Well then, what are we waiting for?

Story A Day May 29’s prompt is from StoryADay creator Julie Duffy.

The Prompt:

  • Watch the video and write an Ugly Duckling story.

Main Project Premise:

  • Ophelia goes from the near-desperate solitude of caring for Marilyn alone to the liberation of Kifo Island, where both she and Marilyn are treated like royalty.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Ophelia is overwhelmed, unable to meet Marilyn’s unending needs.

My Favorite Bit of Burden and Release: 

What’s she supposed to do about Marilyn, when nobody else seems to have the slightest ability to change her? When her baby is already as good as dead, and not a person in any sense medicine can explain? Not one adult seems to know what to do – why should she be able to?

Side Project Premise:

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

  • T’Pol is deeply conflicted – her need to protect her human is warring with her concern that this illogical perception that she shares some manner of telepathic contact with a Terran male is delusion…

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • T’Pol is displaced in her own life, and her own logic. Since her incident in San Francisco, she is uncertain whether she’s experiencing a telepathic condition that should be impossible, or a psychotic delusion. Only when she receives Soval’s missive does she begin to find personal peace and the beginnings of balance within this new reality.

Prompt Words:

Braxin:

  • tempestuous

  • obstinate

  • seductive

  • degradation

  • forbidden

kitndavj:

  • Flaming

  • Seared

Writing Group Prompt List:

  • cushion

  • report

  • bed

  • tested

  • level

  • scientific

  • support

  • theory

  • waves

  • psychotic

Favorite Bit from “Am I Psychotic?”

“Am I psychotic?”

T’Pol sat on her cushion, staring into the flame. Her forbidden excursion had caused a degradation in her logic; she was no longer acceptable for the Consulate. 

To see the drabbles in sequence, as they post, visit my fanfiction.net page!

And, if you’d like to learn more about Julie Duffy and Story A Day May, click the links and learn away!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Burden and Release: #StoryADay May; Day Twenty-Nine

The Prompt:

  • Watch the video and write an Ugly Duckling story.

  • This story is the twenty-ninth in a series of explorations for my upcoming novel, Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8), which I will be drafting in July.

Burden and Release:

Ophelia needs a winter coat.

But, if she buys one, that means she’s staying here.

She peels herself out of the baggy layers of hoodies, sweating and contorting, and pulling a muscle low in her back.

A winter coat would be a burden, but then so are all these layers, and the sweat underneath them, and just being here with the half-sister who seems like she’s more than halfway a monster most of the time.

The ridicule and shame heaped upon her are burying her. Before coming here, Ophelia never really cared what people thought of her – but then, most people seemed to think well of her. Here, just because of the way she looks, and who her family is, she’s judged, and the judgment is grinding and crushing her.

And that’s all before Marilyn had taken advantage of her biological need to sleep, and snuck out.

Another burden, there.

What’s she supposed to do about Marilyn, when nobody else seems to have the slightest ability to change her? When her baby is already as good as dead, and not a person in any sense medicine can explain? Not one adult seems to know what to do – why should she be able to?

**

Ophelia needs a swimsuit.

She reaches for the bell, and two minutes later, there’s a tap at the door, and a package slips through the chute.

“Are you ready to go to the beach, now?” Marilyn’s belly is huge; the baby will be here in a couple of weeks, maybe three, but no more than that.

She pushes the thought away, stretches and yawns. Her muscles are alive and warmed by the sun that reminds her so much of home. “Let’s go, sis.”

Is it just hiding, to pretend that all is well? To ignore that glassy look in Marilyn’s eyes, and the almost giddy bounciness to the way that she walks? To see the admiring glances and bask in acceptance, as though this is a welcome, healthy, happy baby waiting to be born, and a robust young mother-to-be, and a younger sister who will soon be a doting aunt?

Maybe it is – but, as long as she pretends, she’s free of the burdens. Maybe that’s why Marilyn’s always on a trip – it’s her way of getting out from under her burdens.

Maybe this is her type of trip, then – to take this time to just be with Marilyn, in a place where she’s not an ugly duckling, but instead a beautiful swan.

Is Ophelia just on her own kind of Trip?

Is Marilyn actually any better?

Will this end well?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“Am I Psychotic?” #StoryADay May; Day Twenty-Nine

The Prompt:

  • Watch the video and write an Ugly Duckling story.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words:

Braxin:

  • tempestuous

  • obstinate

  • seductive

  • degradation

  • forbidden

kitndavj:

  • Flaming

  • Seared

Writing Group Prompt List:

  • cushion

  • report

  • bed

  • tested

  • level

  • scientific

  • support

  • theory

  • waves

  • psychotic

“Am I Psychotic?”

“Am I psychotic?”

T’Pol sat on her cushion, staring into the flame. Her forbidden excursion had caused a degradation in her logic; she was no longer acceptable for the Consulate. She should be tested in accordance with scientific theory. Logically, she required support.

She rose; went to her bed. Her human’s presence was tempestuous and obstinate, moving through her in flaming waves that seared through her awareness. It was seductive at a level too deep for logic to be relevant. Without him, life would lack something beyond naming.

Real or imagined, he was her flame, her nectar. All was well.

IS T’Pol psychotic?

Will she adjust to the human presence in her mind?

Is that presence real, or imagined?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the fanfiction.net series link!

 

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Imprisoned: #StoryADay May; Day Twenty-Eight

The Prompt:

  • Write a story with a Cinderella structure.

“Imprisoned”

Marilyn wants to scream, but her throat is too raw – and, besides, Ophelia’s wearing those damned noise-canceling headphones, so there’s really no point. Maybe it would be worth it if her damned monster of a half-sister would just look at her; but instead she keeps her focus on that book – the one Marilyn’s words exploded in.

She’s never said a word about that destruction, but now she doesn’t let Marilyn near it – or anything else she cares about.

Marilyn tries to tell herself that it doesn’t matter, that she doesn’t want any of the lameass things her naive little bitch of a sister cares about – but even she knows she’s lying to herself.

She wants to get back to that magic feeling they had together when she first got to Hawaii, when Ophelia didn’t know too damned much about her life and what it was really like. She’d stayed at a resort, there, and it had been easy to create an illusion that she was glamorous and sophisticated.

Back there, she’d had the upper hand, and could arrange things however she wanted them.

But it’s different here.

Ophelia isn’t nearly as naive as Marilyn thought, and she’s way too damned smart.

When Marilyn wrecked her little apartment, Ophelia waited until she nodded off again, then somehow got her right back here, to this damned hateful hollow house. She won’t let her have the ragdolls, or her couch.

“I’m sick.”

Ophelia gets up, brings a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag. She’s not smiling, and she doesn’t look directly at Marilyn. “Take care of it when you’re done, or it will stink.”

Then she goes back to the chair she’s backed up against the door – the door of the guest room. She keeps Marilyn right in here, locking the door if she ever has to leave.

“You don’t have any right to lock me up.”

The damned brat lifts the headphones off her ears. “You didn’t have any right to deny your baby what she needs to be healthy, or to scribble all over my home and my things. But that didn’t stop you. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else who wants to help you get better, so that just leaves me. I’m not going to let you hurt or destroy anything or anyone else – not if I can help it.”

“Who died and made you God?”

“Your mother, apparently.” Cold. She’s so damned cold, she slices at Marilyn’s skin like an icy wind. “And I don’t want to be any kind of God, but if there was ever someone who needed someone to get tough with her, Marilyn, you’re it.”

She wants to argue, but she really can’t, because the brat is right. She does need someone to be tough – if she’s going to live. But she doesn’t want to live here. She wants to be someplace else, somewhere she can get away, hook up, find something to give her back her illusions.

Or at least keep her from getting sick –

Ophelia goes back to her chair. She doesn’t even go running anymore.

Marilyn picks up a magazine – Ophelia smashed her phone when she found her trying to score with it, so old-fashioned magazines are all she has left.

And there, staring back at her, is the answer. She feels it like a body high; she knows it’s perfect. Like her own personal fairy godmotherput it here just for her.

“Ophelia, look at this.”

“What?” She’s wary, and keeps her distance. Marilyn tried to go through her a time or two, in the beginning of her incarceration here. Ophelia’s stronger, though, and damned determined.

“This place. It’s perfect for a new start. If we go here, I promise I’ll stay clean.”

“And why should I trust you?”

She shouldn’t. Marilyn knows it; she’s sure Ophelia does, too. But her sister comes closer, takes the magazine from her, looks at it. “I don’t have the money a place like this costs – and I’m not sure you do, either, given the bill collectors who keep calling.” Still, she looks like she wants to go. Of course – she’s from a tropical island.

“Didn’t you see? It’s all free. They’ll even fly us there.” Finally, finally, freedom is just around the corner. Marilyn can feel it, and she almost sobs for wanting it. “It’s going to get cold here, soon enough –” It’s working, but not fast enough. She needs something more; something Ophelia can’t argue with. “I want my baby girl to live and die someplace beautiful – even if she won’t ever see or hear or smell it. Please, Ophelia – it’s the only thing I can give her.”

Her half-sister’s choked-out sob damned near makes Marilyn grin, but then the waves of sickness roll her under again.

She’ll have to wait to do her gloating.

What will Ophelia say?
What is Marilyn planning?
How will things work out?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“What’s the Catch?” #StoryADay May; Day Twenty-Eight

Story A Day May 28’s prompt is from StoryADay creator Julie Duffy.

The Prompt:

  • Write a story with a Cinderella structure.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words from my local NaNoWriMo group list:

  • Therapy

  • future

  • trap

  • authority

  • impartial

  • theory

  • vanish

  • subdued

  • married

  • Taboo

  • Stakeout

  • Withdrawl

  • Entropy

  • Vacuum

  • Antidote

  • Residue

“What’s the Catch?”

“What about the stakeout?”

“It was a good theory…”

“Damn! It’s a damned vacuum, and I’m trapped! My whole future is on NX-01. Now it could all vanish. Sorry.”

“Go ahead. Get mad, Trip. It’s good therapy; you’re too subdued lately.”

“There’s no antidote for this entropy, Cap’n.”

“Lieutenant Tucker.”

“Soval?”

“I request the Captain’s withdrawal.”

“Why?”

“Speaking openly on this matter is taboo.”

“See you later, Trip.”

“Well?”

“I have the authority to clear you.”

“What’s the catch?”

There was a menacing residue in Soval’s answer.

“I require the complete truth regarding your encounter with this young woman.”

Where is this conversation happening?

Who was on the stakeout, and why?

Will Trip tell what he knows about his Vulcan Surprise Package?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the  fanfiction.net series link!