Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
One by one, my companions started to disappear. Mostly it was the ones before me, but occasionally, there would be a light and movement and a hand would snake through to take someone from the depths of our group.
Eventually, I was in the front row and able to look out at the world around my shelf. There were many other shelves running in long rows under flickering florescent lights. There were signs with numbers and names on them, but while I could read the signs under others, I could not see the one under me. I spent much time wondering what it could say.
Sometimes the lights went off and the building sat in silence, but most of the time, the lights shone and humans meandered by at irregular intervals. They came in two basic height groups, tall and short. The tall ones sometimes pushed carts and took from the shelves. Other times, they pushed carts and added to the stock.
The short ones never brought anyone to the shelves and seldom came unaccompanied. A few of them picked me up off the shelf. Some found me wanting and put me back, others where told they couldn't have me by the tall people with them. No one ever bothered to explain why I was being left, but as I didn't know whether things would be better off the shelf, I didn't really know if I wanted to be taken or not.
Then He arrived. He was short, with light brown hair and blue-gray eyes, and he smiled brightly when he saw me. He picked me up and I knew this was My Boy, the one I had been waiting for.
“You sure the panda's the one you want?” his mother asked, but I knew from the way she looked at me that she was certain I was going home with her.
He nodded and hugged me tightly to him.
They ran me through a scanner and took me out into a bright world filled with humans, cars, trees, blue skies, and all sorts of things I'd never imagined. And as they walked me through this new and amazing world, they gave me my name, Pong-Pong.
That's when my life started.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This time was a little different though. This time instead of everyone snickering and someone pretending to smell wet dog, a voice from directly over Goldie's shoulder tossed out something I'd never heard before. “Yeah,” he said. “Something wicked awesome!”
As a group, the student body turned to stare at the new kid. He's just gotten in this morning and nobody knew much about him other than the basic stats. Name: Rhett Hoodson. Attractiveness: High. Height: Even higher. The rest was a bunch of unknowns. Heritage: Unknown. Powers: Unknown. Alignment: Unknown.
Goldie herself had been flirting with him every time I'd noticed them in the halls together, but now her nose crinkled up. She turned to her minions, who all mimicked the sneer. “I guess someone has a taste for bestiality.”
The entourage smirked like this was a new cut and not something uttered any time a guy said more than two words to me. Like my furry tail and tufted ears overrode my humanoid everything else.
New Boy gave a truly wicked grin. “Oh, I don't. Which is why I'm afraid I have to decline your invitation to sit at your table.”
Oh, wow. Mama would love this guy. Which, of course, meant I needed to steer way clear of him if I was going to have any hope at all of graduating with a Neutral designator and making it into Happily U rather than being delegated to a random community college of Evil.
But when he turned that grin my way... Well, I was certain that while I might be the big bad wolf-girl, this boy was the one who spelled trouble. But I followed him anyway.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Nathaniel pulled a shiny silver spoon out of his bag after sitting on my living room sofa. “What's this?”
I raised an eyebrow at my instructor. “You're kidding right?”
But of course he wasn't. That would require a sense of humor.
“What is it?” he asked again.
I sighed. “It's a spoon.”
Gah. The old and wise guro thing that had been done to death in movies decades ago didn't suite Nat at all. For one thing, he was barely out of college. For another, his jet-black skin had almost as many piercings as pores. And, probably worst of all, he wore a cowboy hat. All the time. In Boston.
“Okay, maybe it's an object you've glamored to look like a spoon.”
My eye-rolling was entirely automatic. Mom was constantly telling me to lay off the motion, but I didn't see how anyone could possibly refrain in my position.
He rolled his eyes back. “You're supposed to prove it. Without magic.”
“You're my magic tutor,” I pointed out.
“Yeah. And I'm trying to teach you something. How can you tell this is enchanted?”
I shrugged, something else Mom bugs me about doing too much. “Touch it?”
Most glamors are completely vision-based tricks and can't stand up to touch. Everyone that.
“What if you can't reach it?”
Obviously, I could reach it. Nathaniel looked tough, but he worked for my mother, who was easily the most bad-ass witch in New England, so he wouldn't hurt a hair on my pretty blond head if I tried to take it. “Whatever. I don't know.”
He held it up in the shaft of sunlight piercing the window until its shadow fell on the coffee table between us. Its decisively fork-shaped shadow. “Illusions fool eyes, but not the sun.”
Okay, that was worth knowing. Still, I was going to say something scathingly sarcastic until a little voice in the corner of my mind screamed at me to look down.
My eyes drifted to the floor and I started to laugh.
Turned out, Nathaniel did have a sense of humor. Though maybe a slightly twisted one. Because his shadow wasn't wearing a cowboy hat. His horns would have pierced it.
The minotaur sighed. “Took you long enough.”
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Chronos, what year was this anyway? Sometime after trains, but before air conditioning. So... Twentieth Century somewhere? Sometimes Celia really regretted not paying more attention in history class. If she'd known back in school that she'd be stuck paying off the student loans on her Chronological Engineering degree delivering dumplings to Time Travelers with the munchies, she would have.
It wouldn't be so bad if she was at least in Coordination, making sure the machines were properly calibrated and would dump you in the right time and place, rather than on the other side of the planet during the wrong war, as had happened to many an early Traveler. She was still at least two years and three promotions from that though, and for now her job consisted entirely of stepping through portals to strange places with weird smells. And never anywhere she'd want to go, of course, because all of those time periods occurred after the invention of fast food delivery and very few people were stupid enough to pay Speedy Snacks' delivery fees when there were local alternatives.
At least this drop-off wasn't in the Middle Ages. She'd been back and forth from there all week and her hair absolutely reeked of the time period when she got home every night.
Dripping sweat, she followed the directions of her customer-locater app across a train platform and up a small set of stairs that looks to be made out of pure rust. Why in time would anyone vacation here?
It took a few moments to spot her target, but once she did there was no mistaking the couple. They were the only people on the train with white sneakers and top hats. Bloody tourists.
Celia handed them their order and shifted from foot to foot waiting for payment. Outside the train, people were rushing around and Celia had a bad feeling about the whistles that were being blown.
“Honey,” said one of the customers, “do you have a ten? I'm a little short.”
“What? You said you had enough.”
The train made an ominous creaking sound and yet more whistles sounded.
“I do, but I don't think she can break a hundred. Can you break a hundred, dear?”
Celia shook her head. “No. You can send credit through your phone though.”
The male tourist snorted. “Don't trust those things. I'm sure we've got cash somewhere.”
The train shuddered and started ever so slowly to move.
Ugh. Celia was going to be stuck on the thing, speeding away from her portal home. It was a million degrees here and she was supposed to get off in half an hour!
She grabbed the money the woman was holding in her hand. “I've got ten I'll spot you. Have a good trip!”
She took a running leap, landing on the platform just as the end of the train car accelerated past it.
Prompt taken from The Flash Fiction Project on G+.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
First, the ghost started with small threats. A skate on the palace stairs was followed by a light shove into the moat. It seemed more funny to the castle's occupants than anything. But then the actions got worse. There came a falling chandelier, a broken suit of armor that just happened to let fall its sword as His Majesty passed, and an arrow flying toward the king's heart in the middle of breakfast. But the king remained unconcerned until one night he was awoken by the sound of his first-born child's cradle cracking apart, split asunder as if struck by lightening.
“A threat to my person, is cause for concern,” the king told his people. “But a threat to the princess is something we must take action on. I offer a cart full of treasure to who ever can banish this ghost from my land!”
Most people in the kingdom weren't too keen to take on a homicidal ghost, but an entire cart full of treasure wasn't something to be ignored and many came forward to defend the princess.
There came priests and wizards and knights. Demon-tamers, vampire slayers, and exorcists. But though they were all brave and mostly competent, they made no progress in ridding the palace of its unwanted occupant. On the morning the last of the specialists left, the ghost threw a tapestry into a fire and nearly burned the audience chamber down.
The king was strongly considering move to another palace when a shy young shepherdess approached him in his garden and announced that she had a plan. He wasn't optimistic about her chances, but with all the sane options failed, surely whatever she wanted to do was worth a shot.
First she ordered the king to bring her fine clothes, then bade his servants to bathe her and arrange her hair like that of a noble lady.
That evening, the king held a grand dinner where he introduced her to court as a princess from a neighboring land.
After everyone else has gone to bed, the shepherdess grabbed a lantern and stole through the corridors softly singing a melody her sheep were particularly fond of. As she walked, she became aware of a cool presence trailing after her, and she smiled to herself.
Certain she had the ghost's attention, she led him out onto the walls and stood looking down at the fields and forests bellow. Gently, she started to talk about her life with her sheep, about how sweetly the grass whispers through a meadow, about how beautifully a brook can sing, and about the great wonders to be found outside the palace.
And finally, she spoke of how she yearned for someone other than sheep to share her life with.
Hearing this, the ghost placed his hand on her shoulder and though she could not see him, the shepherdess could feel the love he felt for her.
In the morning, the shepherdess was able to assure the king that the ghost would bother him no more. She took her cart full of treasure and bought a cabin on the edge of a forest meadow with a brook cutting just feet from the back door. And there she stayed with her sheep and her ghost, and everyone was very happy.
Monday, March 5, 2012
The ball sailed through a gap in the balcony rail and Trey said a word his mother wouldn't approve of. Well, that was that. The ball was in the Undercity now and Trey would never see it again.
Veronica saw the ball crash down from the pristine world lurking above her own. She nudged her cousins and they rushed over to hunt for it in the field of rubbish. An undamaged Uppercity object could be worth some serious money.
The others searched for the ball, but Nica was distracted by a swirl of magic coming from a spot under the nearest Uppercity bridge. Her oldest cousin swatted her shoulder and told her to pay attention, but she ignored him to follow her new lead.
A wooden stirrer lay half-burried beneath a broken doll. It hummed with energy as Nica grabbed it and a vortex of water began to swirl above it.
Shocked, Nica dropped the stirrer and stumbled backwards. Her leg caught on a rusty support beam, opening a gash on her calf. But she felt no pain because she was too busy being stunned by the wet water genie bowing before her.
The genie smiled. “What is your wish?”
This is in response Rachel Harrie's Second Campaigner Challenge of her fourth campaign. The exact prompt was kinda long, so check it out there if you're curious. :) It involved four unconnected images (the above being my favorite) and a brief written description of a situation.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Shadows crept across the wall, hunkering down near the gritty stone and hoping that no one in the crowd below would notice him. It was just his luck that there would be a funeral today, interfering with his ability to get into the cemetery unseen. But it wasn't like he could just do this tomorrow. No, the task had to be accomplished at the rise of the full moon. It was tradition.
He could just imagine what would happen if one of the stupid humans looked up and saw him. “Ahhhh!” it would scream. Then another would join it, “A demon! It's going to kill us!” Right. Like Shadows had time to munch on random humans. Everyone knew humans took hours to prepare properly and the little imps waiting at home would be starving by then. What kind of father would make them wait for human meat when Chicken Shack was on the way home?
Finally at the right spot, Shadows slid down from the wall and made his way silently to row three, plot d.
As the moon slid into view, he laid a bundle of orange daises by Ember's gravestone, then went home to care for their young.
I found the prompt via +Writ on G+, but it's originally from Rachel Harrie's Campaigner Challenge.
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
- end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
- include the word "orange" in the story
- write in the same genre you normally write
- make your story 200 words exactly!
Monday, February 6, 2012
Prompt taken from this photo, found at The Flash Fiction Project.