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

Hollow Laughter for Story A Day May; Day Twelve

The Prompt:

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlookt for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye;
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glorie die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.”
– William Shakespeare
Sonnet 25

Hollow Laughter

Marilyn looks around her, hugging herself tightly. The overarching trees lean in too close, breathing on her while they scratch and claw at the sky.

What the hell do they want from her?

But she knows. They want her to go back to that damned rehab she just walked out the front door of. Or they want her to go back to that damned house, with its empty, hollow embrace that feels just like Mom’s laugh….never any joy in either one of them.

Whatever the hell they want from her, she’s not giving it to them.

“Not tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow….” The trees leered at her, scratching and clawing. Those words were from something, but she couldn’t remember, and it didn’t matter.

She had to get away from these trees. That house.

Mom’s ghost.

Foul and pestilent congregations of vapor.

The circles her own head ran around in.

She didn’t know where to go. She didn’t know where any of her dealers lived; they came to her for sex, and she took them in Mom and Dad’s bed, pretending it was her own – but it never had been, and it never would be.

That bed was empty – even when she brought a whole orgy in, or all her dolls, there was still nothing really for her there.

That bed, what she did there – all so that she could get what she wanted from them – the only thing that mattered.

Ways to hide from things like pestilent vapors, hollow laughter, empty houses.

When had she decided to come here, to Ophelia’s tiny little place? She’d only been here once, but she remembered that it was a place that was full- like a womb.

Her hands rolled over her belly. It was full; too full. Overflowing with life that didn’t make her feel any more alive, or full.

She was empty.

Wanting.

She tried the door. It wasn’t locked, so she slipped in.

And there were her precious dolls, all piled together in a garbage bag, waiting for her, because she’d asked her sister to keep them for her. She didn’t want them in the vapors or the empty house with its memories of hollow laughter.

She ran to the dolls, dumped them on the bed, found Raggedy And by the secret threads in her hair.

Yes, yes, yes!

She tears the doll’s scalp, brings out her kit, and shoots up. She wants to rest now, surrounded by the mound of dolls who are her only friends. But she can’t let Ophelia know about their secret treasures, and there are trees outside the window; trees that might spy.

She hides the evidence.

But she can’t lay down…not yet. Can’t, because of the scratching, spying trees.

She has to get away from them.

Into Ophelia’s office – to find a huge leather-bound book with gold-edged letters. Filled with words – a vast wealth or words….Ophelia was rich!

But even that wasn’t enough for her greedy sister, who had already stolen so much from her.

All those words, all that wealth, pouring out and out onto fresh pages in small flowy letters that made words that danced and sang and laughed rich, full laughs.

What will Marilyn do with Ophelia’s book?

Will the trees betray her secrets?

Will she be discovered?

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

“With All Our Warts”: #StaD May; Day Twelve

 

The Prompt:

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlookt for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye;
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glorie die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.”

– William Shakespeare
Sonnet 25

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.

Word List:

Prompt Word Donor; Kitndavj

  • Moist

  • Pumpkin

  • Perfectionism

  • Ballet

  • Snow Fairy

  • Matisse

  • wart (s)

  • ginger

  • canvas

  • Differential

And now I offer you…

“With All Our Warts”

“You’re a victim of your Vulcan perfectionism, Soval. You can’t understand humans by devising your ‘differential algorithms.’”

“What do you suggest?”

“Go see the Ballet of the Snow Fairy. Eat pumpkin pie. Drink ginger tea.”

“I fail to see the logic -”

“It’s not about logic. Study Matisse. Paint a canvas. Read Shakespeare; better yet, go see a play. That’s all I can do; I need to save my best Warp Five Engineer from a damned five man warp core breach.”

Sarek breathed moist ocean air. “I don’t understand -”

“Just learn about us, Soval – humans, with all our warts.”


Will Soval take Admiral Forrest’s advice?

What will he learn, if he does?

What kind of five-man warp core breach is this?

Any guesses?

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

Posted in #STaD 2017, Blog Hops and Fests, Fan fiction, fantasy, Kifo Island Chroincles, Short Stories, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, The IDIC Romance, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

A Mysterious Situation for #StaD May; Day Eleven

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 (or even remotely!) that fast at posting them!

Ready to read?

Well then, what are we waiting for?

Story A Day May 11’s prompt is from Bea a bilingual writer and freelancer currently living near Venice, in Italy. She blogs and helps writers with their writing and creativity at  . The Busy Muse

The Prompt:

Your company sends you to meet a costumer at their house. It’s a standard, nice neighborhood.

You ring and ring but nobody answers. The door is ajar, and you enter, calling aloud.

All is in order in the living room apart from an overturned potted plant on the expensive-looking rug…

Main Project Premise:

  • Ophelia’s story is followed by Marilyn’s – acted out with the ragdolls, of course.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Ophelia can see she shouldn’t have told Marilyn her own mother’s favorite story – but she was put on the spot. Now, Marilyn has clearly figured it out, and she takes her revenge with the rag dolls and a story of her own.

My Favorite Bit of The End”:

Ophelia knows Marilyn well enough to be suspicious. Her sister won’t let her use that bathroom, and, every time she comes out of it, she’s high on something. She wants to sneak in there and clean it up, but Marilyn guards it fiercely.

She’d done it once, while Marilyn was in rehab, but Marilyn had walked out, found herself a few men – even with her obvious pregnancy, the men she propositioned didn’t seem to have any trouble trading sex for drugs.

And now the bathroom is locked, and Marilyn won’t say where she’s hidden the key.
 

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 participates in a human game…

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • T’Pol is watching a visual entertainment recommended by her colleague when she is interrupted by the sudden presence of her human in her mind. He’s dreaming most vividly – of her.

Word List:

Prompt Word Donor: kitndavj.

  • Spin

  • Shutters

  • Doormat

  • Skeleton key

  • Accountant

  • Romanov

  • Blindfold

  • Carpet

Favorite Bit from Your Name’s Paula?”: 

The shutters slam. You spin around. Someone blindfolds you.”

Unlikely.”

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 A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Round Two 2017, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“The End” for Story A Day May; Day Eleven

  • For Story A Day May, Day Eleven (click the heading to see the full post with prompt by Bea a bilingual writer and freelancer currently living near Venice, in Italy. She blogs and helps writers with their writing and creativity at  The Busy Muse

“The End”

“What’s wrong, Marilyn?”

Her sister doesn’t answer, but Ophelia thinks she knows.

It’s something about the story. Did Marilyn know that it was real – her own mother’s account of her first meeting with their father? No. How could she know that was the night her mother claimed Ophelia had been conceived, by the incoming tide on a magical Hawaiian spring night?

“I’m going to tell you a story now.” She sticks her bottom lip out like a pouty child. “I don’t like yours.” She waggles a finger at Ophelia. “But first, I have to pee.”

Ophelia knows Marilyn well enough to be suspicious. Her sister won’t let her use that bathroom, and, every time she comes out of it, she’s high on something. She wants to sneak in there and clean it up, but Marilyn guards it fiercely.

She’d done it once, while Marilyn was in rehab, but Marilyn had walked out, found herself a few men – even with her obvious pregnancy, the men she propositioned didn’t seem to have any trouble trading sex for drugs.

And now the bathroom is locked, and Marilyn won’t say where she’s hidden the key.

So Ophelia waits, knowing that her sister is poisoning herself again in there, and, even worse, poisoning that innocent baby inside her who maybe never had a chance.

It’s twenty minutes before Marilyn appears again. She’s moving slowly, almost zen-dancing her way back to the couch she seems to love, and the pile of rag dolls, who seem to be the only friends she has, unless Ophelia can count herself –

But would she ever be friends with Marilyn, if they didn’t share a genetic history?

Honestly, she doesn’t think so.

And she’s not sure why she doesn’t just leave. This mess is too big for her. It’s too big even for the people at rehab, and they’re trained for this kind of thing. She’s just a kid.

But she’s all Marilyn has.

The older girl – really, she’s not a woman yet, either, even if she’s biologically ready to reproduce herself – sinks onto the couch, leaning back, her eyes drooping.

“Story, Marilyn. You were going to tell me a story.”

“Huh. Oh. Right.” She doesn’t move for so long Ophelia’s sure she’s going to sleep. Then, she says, her voice slow and slurry, “You’re an accountant.” She picks up one of her dolls, the movements heavy and in slow-mo. “See? This is you.” She smiles, but it’s not a friendly smile. “You just started a new job. Your company sent you to this house. It’s in a nice place – good neighborhood, like this one. Maybe it’s this house.”

She pauses. “What’s next?” Ophelia asks, even though she doesn’t really want to know. There’s something almost menacing about Marilyn’s manner, even with her languor.

Marilyn laughs ominously. “The door’s half open. Your ring the bell again and again, cause you’re so polite.” She’s sneering now. “You go in, calling. Nobody answers, but there’s a big banana plant in a pot, and it’s tipped over – wet dirt all over the fancy rug…and footsteps. Big ones, tracking the dirt all over the floor. And then the door closes and clicks locked behind you.”

Marilyn stops talking, but she’s staring at Ophelia.

“Then what happens?” She doesn’t really want to know, but –

“That’s the end. Like the title of the story. It’s called “The End of Ophelia.”

Her smile is so chilling, Ophelia shudders.

Is Marilyn actually threatening Ophelia’?

What did she do in the bathroom?

What happens next?

Any guesses?

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