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

Getting Emotional for #SoCS and #StaD May; Day Six

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 6 prompt,  by writer, writing coach, and international speaker Angela Ackerman:

Emotional trauma is an experience, or set of experiences, that can change your character in fundamental ways, altering their personality, embedding fears in their minds, affecting their ability to connect and trust others, and steering their needs and desires during your story.

Write about a wounding experience from your character’s past that changed them into who they are today.

HINT: most wounding experiences involve someone close to the character as it is the people closest to us who are able to do the most psychological damage.

For emotional wound ideas, try this list.

Additionally, this is my entry into Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday for this week. This week’s prompt is “inter”, used however we wish.

I’m doing things a bit differently this week. I have two stories linked from this post; both fit the prompt, so I’m submitting this master post, so that you can choose one, both, or neither, as you wish!

Main Project Premise:

  • Marilyn goes outside to smoke a cigarette – she’s messed up again and wants out of the strangling, smothering house – and finds her mother dead on the front porch.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Marilyn is on a great trip, and she wants a cigarette. But Mom forbids smoking, and the damned cook can smell it anywhere in the house, and she’ll tattle to Mom any chance she gets. So Marilyn heads outside with her clove – and opens the front door to find Mom sprawled there – cold and dead.

Favorite Bit of Trip Interrupted:

Here, with a mother who wants nothing to do with her, because, “You remind me of that ass I married, who thought tropical waters were just fine to take a dip into.”

She wished Mom wouldn’t talk like that, when she was little. But, now – now that she was growing up, Mom said she looked just like her damned father, sounded just like her damned father.

How is she supposed to not be like a father she can’t remember even ever having seen? A father who was gone out of her life before she was three years old?

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.

Side Project Premise:

  • Soval is a young man upon the Forge when, offered Vulcan’s rarest gift, he hesitates, and the opportunity is forever lost.

Word List:

  • Serenity

  • Magnetic Resonance

  • Obsidian

  • Sandstone

  • Superfluous

  • Entropy

  • Tantalize

  • Taboo

  • Intercede

  • Withdrawal

This story follows directly after the previous Soval chapter, “Put Your Eyebrow Down”. And there’s no premise development because, when I went to write one, I ended up writing the drabble instead!

And so I offer you...Logical Withdrawal, in its entirety:

“You believe the accusations false.”

“It doesn’t square with what I know about him.”

“There is logically much about any individual that remains unknown to others.” Soval remembered – The serenity of night on the Forge, T’Khut a magnetic resonance above, reflections diffracted by obsidian; absorbed by sandstone.

Superfluous beauty, because he feels the plant germinate, and he is compelled to the place where the entropy grows to tantalize him. The moment taboo; alien to logic, unchangeable once committed to. Will he choose to intercede in the life cycle, and take the nectars?

He pulled his hand back, in logical withdrawal.

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, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Interrupted Trip for Story A Day May; Day Six

Interrupted Trip

Marilyn feels like she’s melting into the couch again – but she doesn’t want to be the couch, or have the couch be her, either, right now.

What she wants is a cigarette.

But damned Anna the cook thinks she runs the entire house, and she can smell smoke miles away. There’s nowhere inside where she won’t smell it, and it doesn’t even matter if Marilyn smokes cloves instead of tobacco.

She’s tried vaping, but it doesn’t work for her. The cold hard metal interrupts her trip. That’s no good – she can’t always find a guy to let her pay him for what she wants in sex. When she can, she doesn’t want to waste the high.

But today – today she’s got enough for a week’s worth of good trips, more if she’s careful. And she’s got a pack of cloves – if she smokes them outside, Anna will be none the wiser, and she’ll be able to pretend she’s in a Madagascar market or something else that’s exotic.

Somewhere – anywhere! – that’s not here.

Here, with a mother who wants nothing to do with her, because, “You remind me of that ass I married, who thought tropical waters were just fine to take a dip into.”

She wished Mom wouldn’t talk like that, when she was little. But, now – now that she’s growing up, Mom says she looks just like her damned father, sounds just like her damned father.

How is she supposed to not be like a father she can’t remember even ever having seen? A father who was gone out of her life before she was three years old?

Damn. She doesn’t want to think about that anymore.

She takes another hit, and heads to the front door. It’s going to be a great trip – a better than great trip. A damned vacation, right there in her own head, without ever living this damned house that Mom forbid her to leave.

She takes a deep breath, imagining she’s already filling her lungs with sweet clove smoke. It’s going to be a fantastic, one-of-a-kind trip.

Marilyn opens the door halfway, and it catches on something and won’t go further. She stares down. For a moment, she doesn’t understand. Her brain is ready for a trip, and it doesn’t include the dead body of her mother.

That’s an interruption her trip can’t recover from.

Has Marilyn really found her mother’s body?

Is this part of the trip?

Why was she forbidden to leave the house?

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

Logical Withdrawal: #StaD May; Day Six

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.

This story picks up immediately after my previous Soval story, May 3’s “Put Your Eyebrow Down” , but you don’t need to have read that one to get the gist of this one…

Logical Withdrawal

“You believe the accusations false.”

“It doesn’t square with what I know about him.”

“There is logically much about any individual that remains unknown to others.” Soval remembered – The serenity of night on the Forge, T’Khut a magnetic resonance above, reflections diffracted by obsidian; absorbed by sandstone.

Superfluous beauty, because he feels the plant germinate, and he is compelled to the place where the entropy grows to tantalize him. The moment taboo; alien to logic, unchangeable once committed to. Will he choose to intercede in the life cycle, and take the nectars?

He pulled his hand back, in logical withdrawal.

What did the younger Soval retreat from?

Did he make the right choice?

Where is the emotional wound?

Any guesses?

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

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

“Don’t Die” for Story A Day May: Day Five

“Don’t Die”

Ophelia sighs. That run was just what she needed – and, with Marilyn finally safely in rehab, she was able to just run, without worrying what was going on with her sister.

Strange, that she’d always thought the daughter Sean Martin had with his lawfully wedded wife had it better than the illegitimate one he’d made on a Hawaiian fling. But she’d had a loving, stable mother, and a happy home. Her mom had always told her that she was “the pearl of great price” in her life.

That’s not how it had been for Marilyn.

Her mother had resented the child she’d been left with, and hated the man who left her. She’d gone into a downward spiral of alcohol, then drugs.

Maybe it’s no wonder Marilyn is in the predicament she’s in. She’s been exposed to those things since she was only a baby. Maybe she’d never had a chance.

Ophelia is trying not to feel guilty about that. It’s not like she was there, and it’s not like Marilyn’s father had told her own mother that he already had a wife and child. No, he’d saved that until later, when he was ready to go home to that family, leaving Misa to discover she was pregnant, and raise Ophelia alone.

But now she’s here, and she’s seen what happened to Marilyn. She wants to call her mother, thank her for bearing the burden of raising a daughter all alone, and doing in it a way that always let her think that burden was some kind of a gift. She wants to go back in time, to fix things for Marilyn, but that’s not possible.

She can only help fix them going forward. And only if Marilyn’s ready, and willing to do a hell of a lot of very hard work to get herself clean, and learn other ways of coping.

Ophelia hopes she is.

She gets to her door. She’s got a tiny studio apartment, with an alcove by the door she calls her “office.” She loves this place – the first one she’s ever had all of her own.

She lets herself in, and turns to hang her keys in their place in the alcove –

Her hand covers her mouth, the keys jabbing into her lip, cold and metallic-tasting.

The whiteboard in her office alcove has a message that wasn’t there when she left.

“Whatever happens, don’t die. See you Monday.”

It’s scrawled, but not in dry-erase marker, because it’s dripping. Paint?

Is it meant to be some kind of joke?

Is it a threat?

Who wrote it?

There is a sudden sound from further into the apartment – from the corner where she had her daybed, screened by mosquito netting, to remind her of home. She clutches the keys, wriggling them so they poke out between her fingers like weapons, and peers around the corner in the direction of her bed.

She can see something mounded there. It isn’t her laundry – that’s overflowing its basket beside the bed, not on it – or the bedding, because she made the bed before she left.

Then the shape moves, with a soft moaning sound.

What or who is in Ophelia’s apartment?

Is it the same person who wrote the message?

Is the message a warning – or a threat?

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

“I’m Just Joking”: #StaD May; Day Five

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.

“I’m Just Joking”

“Do you like your new workspace – Paula, is it?”

“That appellation will suffice.”

“Serious, eh? Guess the message was folly.”

“Message?”

“‘Whatever you do, don’t die. See you Monday’ – and it’s Monday.”

“I’m aware of the potential dangers from geothermal features and wildlife.”

“But what about radioactive slime on your toothbrush? Or if I defenestrate you, or throw you in a dungeon? Strange tentacles created by alchemy? Or attack by succubus zombies? Hey, why are you staring at me like that? I’m just joking – I’m not prone to manslaughter.”

“I am of strong constitution. You simply remind me of someone.”

Who is Paula?

Who does the joker remind her of?

Is it a pleasant reminder?

Any guesses?

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