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A gloved hand brushed against pink paint. White chalk dust came away on Victoria’s fingers. Scrawled upon the wall was a smiley face: so crude a child of five could have drawn it. Next to it were a series of lines, like tally marks.

She had seen them before: at the school, at the houses, under the bridge.

“Come on,” Sergeant Brodie grabbed her hand. “We have three missing girls to find.”

Victoria smiled. “And I found them.”

“They drew that?” Brodie looked at the face.

“It’s a symbol,” Victoria said. “Marking meeting places. Safe houses. It’s how they’re communicating to each other.”

“The kidnappers?”

Victoria shook her head. “There are no kidnappers. They ran away. And not just them. It’s a network of runaways and forgotten people, all watching out for each other.” She looked at Brodie. “It’s almost a shame we have to bring them back.”


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Grant-Sud for providing the prompt photo!

 

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tltweek88

The page is always blank to start with: stark white like a snowfield, ink dripping from the pen like ash. Then you start to write and it just flows, flows like a river, winding, twisting, so fast you can barely lift your pen from the page and all the words and sentences jumble together.

How long does it take you to realize that they aren’t your words – and how long until you realize that you can’t stop?


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Kira auf der Hiede for the prompt photo!

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In the ruins of the hall, the mad king kept his court. His tapestries were crawling ivy, his musicians cawing crows. He sat upon a throne of skull and stone, his sunken eyes glowering at his subjects: foxes and badgers and feral cats, a snarling court of white-toothed beasts.

Nobody came here, not anymore. He was sealed away with his madness, only old bones for company. Sometimes they whispered in the dark, telling him the secrets of the dead.

Each morning, he stood at the gate, watching golden light spread over the hills, never able to take that first step.


Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Roger Bulltot for providing the prompt photo!

 

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Light shone out across the dark room, coming from the bathroom door.

Funny, Keeley thought, I was sure I’d turned it off.

Footsteps tapped on the tile. Humming rose up – off-key Sinatra.

Keeley tensed, every muscle becoming rigid, the hairs on her neck standing on end. She grabbed a lamp and crept towards the door, the power cable trailing behind like a tail.

With a deep breath, she turned the corner, lamp held high, heart pounding.

A man was standing there, a toothbrush in his mouth. He blinked, then sighed.

“This isn’t my house, is it?”


Word Count: 96

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and providing the prompt photo!

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The elders told of how the stone arrived, trailing fire and smoke, kicking up clouds of dust as it slammed into the earth. They had understood that it must be a gift from the gods, sent from the stars like a streaking arrow.

For a thousand years, it was a place of sacrifices: gold, silver, crops, bone, and blood. It liked the blood most of all.

But then the old ways died out and the star-stone was forgotten.

Alone it lay in the woods, piled high with needles and dying leaves.

If rocks dreamt, this one dreamt of blood.


Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and CEAyr for providing the prompt photo!

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Emergency services buzzed around the car like flies around carrion. Police officers with notebooks out shouted at road safety workers, arguing about the importance of preserving the scene versus reopening the motorway.

In the end, the police conceded and the car was hauled away. There was no evidence to be gathered, nothing but the testimony of the other drivers and the distant, poorly angled CCTV video.

They handed the footage off to experts. They even showed it to a magician. The conclusion was unanimous.

In the middle of the motorway, the driver of the car had vanished from his seat.


Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Kent Bonham for providing the prompt photo!

Welcome to Living Authors’ Society’s Doctor Who Discussions. This week, we’ve called a special discussion to deal with the fact that parts of the Internet are, metaphorically speaking, currently on fire.

Jaden: Emergency the Doctor is a woman discussion?
JA: I mean, I don’t know how much I have to say.
Jaden: You mean this casting didn’t literally ruin 54 years of history for you and signal the demise of the franchise?
Jaden: yeah but this time it’s different
the doctor has boobs
JA: Sweet Omega, you’re right. I can take the Doctor being old, young, Scottish, northern, but having boobs is the last line.
It’s like the Doctor’s whole body changed during regeneration or something.
Jaden: Although I am a little bit afraid they are gonna Supergirl it
JA: This would be my one fear.
But bad writing occurs regardless of the Doctor’s genitals, so I’m not too bothered.
Jaden: But bad Doctor Who is often uniquely bad, in a way no other show can be bad,
There’s no other show on earth where you can say an episode was terrible because a moon was an egg, or a woman suggests leaving children to die so they dont miss their mothers during a crisis of sentient trees
JA: Because there’s no other show willing to engage in stories that mad and wild. Doctor Who is bold and bright and beautiful and it always aims beyond its reach. This means, of course, that it often misses more spectacularly than any other show, but I’ll take Love and Monsters if I can get Blink and I’ll take In the Forest of the Night if I can get Listen.
Jaden: So please dear Chibnall don’t be lame and make this a “the universe learns a GIRL can save the world too” series arc.
JA: I second this. I think that this is an area where showing not telling really applies.
Just give us women being awesome. You don’t need to tell us how awesome they are.
Jaden: Moffat, for all the praise I heap on him, was guilty of that sometimes.
JA: Very occasionally, I think.
There were a lot of men being rubbish jokes, which aren’t quite the same thing.
Although I could have done with less of them.
Jaden: Well whatserface and lizard lady wound up saying “look, we’re GAY” every five minutes despite good setup
JA: True.
But they were so awesome I didn’t care.
Jaden: Don’t give whatshisface any excuses
I’ve been up since 5, I’m too tired to remember names
JA: I don’t intend on giving Chibnall any excuses.
But today, for once, I’m not annoyed with him. lol
Jaden: Do you think there should be any sort of explanation for the female incarnation?
JA: No.
Say that it’s rarer, maybe, but otherwise, just leave it as a regeneration.
I would assume that Time Lords tend to stay closer to their “baseline” form, but some regenerations cause more major differences.
Jaden: yeah I agree.
Just basically I hope they dont treat it as all that different
JA: Same.
An idea I can’t take credit for because I found it on the Internet:
The Doctor suddenly freaks out about the regeneration and tries to find a mirror. She looks at it and says “It’s been a while since I was blonde.”
Jaden: I’ll be waiting for a “ohhhh and STILL not ginger”
though when is the last time we had a blonde doctor?
JA: Colin Baker?
I think.
Yeah, Colin Baker.
Who has been pretty amazing on Twitter today.
Jaden: is his childhood ruined?
JA: 
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Jaden: I’m sure he’s just hiding his devastation
JA: Clearly. After, how could a former Doctor be OK with the DEATH OF THE SHOW?
Jaden: “I’m not the worst thing to happen to the show anymore?”
JA: Hey. It wasn’t his fault.
He wanted a black costume. They gave him an outfit in every color except black.
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Jaden: btw I just made the entirely reasonable decision to check the youtube comments for this announcement. Top one: “I’m not mad because it’s a female doctor. I’m mad because the only reason they did it was political correctness.”
I facepalmed so hard i think i have a concussion
JA: See, here’s the thing. And this goes into a lot of this “I’m not racist/sexist/homophobic, but…” BS.
A white man is not neutral.
You’re still making a statement.
Choosing to cast a male Doctor over a female would be just as much of a biased choice made for political reasons.
Also, don’t read YouTube comments. lol
Jaden: I don’t really think casting the doctor is/should be a statement. It’s whoever fits the vision for the moment. Like, had Tennant not been the doctor maybe Chibnall would’ve picked him for the same reasons (I’m assuming) they picked her. Talented actor not too big a name who has worked with him before.
JA: I think Chibnall said he wanted a female Doctor. Which I will defend, because we’ve had 12/13 male Doctors. It’s well past time for something else.
Jaden: Yeah the “it’s been male for 54 years” thing works both ways
Like the Doctor amirite
JA: Yeah, the only question for is whether Jodie Whittaker is the right choice, not whether a female Doctor is the right choice.
And I think she is.
Jaden: Shes got intense eyes. The only physical trait that is a must
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JA: This clip sold me:
That’s some quality Doctor-esque speechmaking.
And you are spot on about the eyes.
Jaden: The Doctor sounds weird with an english accent
JA: I really hope she keeps her natural accent.
Jaden: is that it?
JA: In the clip? Yes.
She’s done different accents in other things.
Jaden: yeah i can imagine that working. just as long as the monologue is less preachy than an episode of cosmos
JA: There are few things more preachy than Cosmos.
Jaden: I think I’ve seen sermons less preachy than Cosmos
Do you see sermons?
Attend?
JA: I do.
Most are less preachy than Cosmos.
Jaden: So it sounds like Chibnall has literally one job now. Putting odds 2:5 on him screwing up Supergirl style
JA: I keep getting all excited about the Doctor and then remembering it’s Chibnall and getting hesitant again.
Please, Chibnall, prove me wrong about you.
Jaden: I should watch more than the first episode of broadchurch
JA: Broadchurch is actually really good for the first series.
And then series two is so boring.
So I don’t know what to think.
Jaden: So iZombie?
JA: More than iZombie.
Jaden: I’m trying to remember my other question I was interested in hearing your thoughts on
JA: The problem of evil? Is the cat alive or dead?
How much do I hate Hemmingway?
Jaden: Why are there no fish in the fish pond?
JA: Ducks.
Jaden: whatever.
JA: Apparently they filmed an explanation and it was cut. I assume it was the cracks.
Jaden: the doctors a girl now the shows dead anyway
JA: Very true.
RIP the show
Jaden: at least we still have ghostbusters
JA: Oh, yes, that time Hollywood tried to get people to see a crappy remake by saying it was feminist.
Jaden: 9 and 13 talking about democracy or something
I like how people are saying her being a woman is the only reason she got the role. Not having worked with two doctors and the showrunner before
I’m on the Whittaker hype train. The only brakes are Chibnall
JA: I would like a ticket for that train.
Let’s hope a mummy doesn’t kill us.
Jaden: lol good a line to end on as any. though im trying to think of a shoehorned twilight zone reference
And yet he never did. Join us for our discussion of the Christmas Special, when we’ll see Peter Capaldi bow out, Jodie Whittaker step in, and the ghost of William Hartnell just hang out.