Thursday, July 30, 2015

Three Good Things: 7/30/15

So I probably won't be able to get to posting the short story tonight and instead reflect on 3 good things today:

1.  SS - It's nice to receive good feedback/healthy criticism and recently I've been sharing my short stories.   And it was nice to read that a friend of mine enjoyed one of my fave short stories I've written for the year.  Actually of my short stories thus far I've figured my favorites so far have been Ned Finally Died, The Job, Haunter's Anon (at least the concept of it), and Clifford's Baby.

2.  Work - I had an hour meeting with one of my projects.  It was a follow up meeting I'd been putting off since I knew it would take a lot to work through everything and we took the whole hour plus needed more time to be frank but I hit my deliverables associated with the meeting, ran it, and feeling good even though the scope of the project has expanded.  I'm not big on public speaking so I always get anxiety whenever I know I'll have to speak but I made it through :)

3.  House update - So this can sort of b.  Ie a testament to the week but in trying to potentially close sooner rather than later I got my earnest money into my agent, submitted an app to another lender to see what they might offer (vs the discount I get with my job), and submitted some of my docs I needed.  Tomorrow I'm planning to submit for the appraisal and hopefully know which company I'll be moving forward with. 

I also had a realization tonight.  And it wasn't so much a realization but a confirmation of something I'd been thinking for awhile.  Once I finish my revision with TYW if the traditional route doesn't work out I'll probably self-publish it.  Once I get to the part where I'm querying or a little before I'll probably start looking more into the marketing aspect and figuring out what I'm comfortable (and capable) of actually doing. 

Anywho need to do a couple more errands tonight and try to head to bed.  Will hopefully be shooting out of work early tomorrow so I can go to the library and work on my short story. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

52 Week Update / Short Story Challenge - July 29 ... And randomness

I had intended to post a new short story tonight.  Figuring that tonight I would have time to do something I wanted (like read a book or write) since Monday night I was tied up with the house inspection and last night I was tied up at the laundry mat.  I even bought food thinking I'd buy myself time versus experimenting with new dishes like I did on Mon and Tues.  But nope.  I snuck in a few pages of reading before hearing my name called out for one thing, then another thing, then another thing and oh, it's Wednesday so need to do the meds again, still need to do the dishes/clean and get to bed at a decent time so I can wake up and do it all over again. 

At any rate I'm still behind.  According to this site it's week 31.  I'm definitely cranking out some short stories (5 so far this month and 2 in the works) but I still need to catch up.  Typically there are 52 weeks in a year but apparently in 2015 there are actually 53.  Just dropped a random fact ^_^ But I guess this also means I'll have 53 short stories when it's all said and done?  Or maybe a free week once I get myself back on track? 

Who knows but here's what been posted to date-

Week 1 (1/1 - 1/7) - Ned Finally Died (a story spurred by NPR)
Week 2 (1/8 - 1/14) - LLFH:  Broken Things (side story for another project)
Week 3 (1/15 - 1/21) - The Confession (office crushes)
Week 4 (1/22 - 1/28) - The Garden:  OTTM Side Story (side story brought to you by The Order)
Week 5 (1/29 - 2/4) - Haunters Anon (Haunters Anonymous, 'nuff said)
Week 6 (2/5 - 2/11) - Polluted (posted 3/19) ... (teens doing teen conjuring things)
Week 7 (2/12 - 2/18) - The Job: A Justice for First Wives Side Story (posted 3/22) ... (mistress novel)
Week 8 (2/19 - 2/25) - Serial Beauty: Lucky #11 (posted 3/23) ... (serial killer artist)
Week 9 (2/26 - 3/4) - Doctor P (posted 7/15) (day in the life of a poop doctor)
Week 10 (3/5 - 3/11) -  Clifford's Baby (posted 7/16)... (Clifford and his stolen baby)
Week 11 (3/12 - 3/18) - A Bot Love (posted 7/18)... (Nerd love connection)
Week 12 (3/19 - 3/25) - Hangover (posted 7/19)... (Drunk love connection)
Week 13 (3/26 - 4/1) - Secrets (posted 7/27)... (talking secrets over frozen coffee)
Week 14 (coming soon to a blog near year) -
Week 15 (please stand by for the feature) -
Week 16 (it's still being conjured) -
Week 17 (just playing the field for now) -
Week 18 (just not into the blog thing) -
Week 19 (wants to commit but hates the idea of being 'committed'; not a fan of labels) -
Week 20 (what?!  there are 20?) -

So technically I got to write tonight.  I'm counting this blog entry darnit.  I did some writing.  Still need to do writing for nano though :(  Another 2k ish before I hit my 10k writing goal for this month.  Hopefully these next 2 shorts stories will get me there. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 13: Secrets

WC: 800 Words

                Frankie Thorn had a secret.  Twiddling with her fingers she removed a ring and slipped it into her pocket.  “All the good ones have some dark harbored past.  Give me a bad guy any day,” Frankie said as she sipped her frozen fufu coffee.  “I’m just saying think about it.  Every decent guy you’ve approved of has not worked out.”
                Finch Thorn, Frankie’s twin, had a secret too.  “Approve is a relative term.  Dan wasn’t half bad.”
                “What’s your definition of half bad,” Frankie asked raising her recently pierced brow, she winced from the motion.
                “You know Mom’s going to just love that you finally put a hole in your face,” Finch said as he drank from her cup.
                Shrugging, “What can I say Christmas came early for Mom.”
                They laughed lightly but the truth found them in the awkward silence that followed.  Frankie reached to retrieve her cup, her free hand twiddling with the ring in her pocket once more.  Feeling the sun warm her skin emboldened her next words as she searched for the courage, “Now,” she started taking a tentative sip, “I’m assuming you’re going to tell me who you really are?”
                Finch looked across the table at the girl he’d called his sister for the last year but shook his head, “No, not really.”
                “Then what reason-”
                “When?  When did you figure it out,” Finch said as he reached for her cup again.  Frankie’s eyes followed his every move.  “How did you know exactly?  I watched your brother, your entire family, I am curious to know if the twin bond is so strong?”
                Frankie watched as he drank from her cup once more.  “Maybe just a little bit of that -”
                “But where’s my brother.”
                “He’s somewhere safe, much safer than here.  You know this planet doesn’t have much time left,” Finch said as he drank more.  It was then he reflected how he’d likely miss her taste in drinks.  She never went wrong in that way but how she’d known still plagued him.  Fake Finch started to suspect he might not actually discover the fatal flaw until he caught her eyes on him and the cup.  He smiled. 
                “What do you mean,” Frankie asked as she leaned in closer.  The spirals in her long black hair had fallen, her sunglasses pushed onto her forehead had crept forward.  She stayed hidden as Fake Finch stared at her and for a moment her mind wondered what if he knows…
                “Exactly that,” he said finishing her drink.  As Fake Finch stood Frankie followed suit.  Her hair in tumbles because she knew this was her only chance.
                She rushed to his side of the table for a goodbye hug, “Please, I- I just want my brother back.”
                Fake Finch smiled and shook his head, “The assignments over-”
                “What are you going to do to him?”
                Fake Finch brow arched, “You can always find out.  It might turn out to be a better set up when you think about it.  You pick- die here or out there?” Fake Finch said looking toward the sky. 
                “What are you… really?” Frankie’s voice fell to a deathly whisper, not afraid of the answer but afraid that maybe he might see past her.  That he might figure it out.  She let one hand fall to the side and reached into her pocket once more.  The ring was like a talisman, she pulled power from it and as she watched Fake Finch ponder the answer she worried if she’d be able to keep her own promise.
                “Take me instead,” Frankie burst out as Fake Finch opened his mouth. 
                Fake Finch considered her words and without another walked away.  Frankie watched as he weaved the cafĂ© tables to the exit and at the gate he stopped.  He waited and Frankie rushed over.  As she grabbed hold of her fake brother’s hand she took in the sights of this planet once more.  It had been home for a long time. 
                Frankie and Finch were placed on assignment centuries ago, often choosing their host carefully but now it was in jeopardy.  Frankie found her ring and slipped it on.
                It was at an abandoned warehouse where they finally stopped.  Fake Finch pulled a key from his pocket and undid the chains.  “You know what’s odd?  I’ve always thought you somehow knew.  It was as though you knew my secret the entire time.”
                “Give me a bad guy any day,” she smiled nervous that if she spoke any more her mouth might betray her.  Afraid she might not ever see Finch again.  As it was Fake Finch took her words without question and let it go. 

                Frankie twisted the ring on her finger and held onto her secret once more as she left one world behind and entered another.    

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Making Time for Creativity / Never Giving Up

Saw this over on  and thought it was well worth sharing.

Click the link to see the full comic... as I'm too lazy to copy all the images here and plus support the writer/artist (with views and such ^_^)

Is that not worth exploring?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Three Good Things 7/21/15

So I think whenever I don't have a legit post or short story to post I'll just do filler. 

Filler = posting something random.

Posting something random = three good things that happened today.

Posting something random = other random things.

Three Good Things:
1.  I had a writing prompt yesterday that I started and couldn't get anywhere but then this morning while riding the bus a story started filling in and I realized it was the back story for one of my character in a novel I have yet to write.  So before I cracked open my bus book I started writing with NPR playing in the background and fought the sleepiness.  Now I just need to type it and finish up the story now that I've figured it out.

2.  GinH - pronounced sort of like Gina (aka Dawn).  Very interesting person I met while waiting on this evening (I actually missed two busses).  At any rate we had just a very open conversation about escaping Missouri (Misery), her transition (from MtF) and the insecurities with it, jobs, and just other stuff.  Also it's been awhile since I've had someone ask me if I were mixed or my heritage/ethnic profile but she complimented my eyes.  What can I say, I like random compliments :)

3.  Car fixed!  Realizing that the other two things would never have occurred if my car was working doesn't escape me.  I actually like PT because I get to people watch or just let someone else do the driving for me so I can read during that time, nap, write, or allow my mind to drift.  However it's not so fun shuffling heavy grocery bags (like I had to yesterday) or attempting to do the accumulation of laundry for 4 people.  Plus I've been getting to work earlier just because I have to rely on PT. 

I really need to work on TYW or write up this short story but I'm soooo sleepy.  Also it looks like there might be a counter offer for the house I'm looking at.  Will hopefully find out more tomorrow. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


So how bad do you want it?

" Here’s the thing about being a writer, or a musician, or an artist, or any sort of creative person. The ones who make it are the ones who make themselves do it. They’re the ones who practice even when it seems like they aren’t getting any better. They’re the ones who open up their work-in-progress when their friends are going out hey-are-you-coming-with-us — even if they know that this novel is not the one that will be good enough to get published, because they know that practice is the only way to get to the one that will be good enough to be published. They’re the ones who send out query letters and hear no and they send out more query letters and they hear no again and they send out query letters and they hear no again. They’re the ones that hear no as not yet... They’re the ones who are hungry for it. No, they’re the ones who are starving for it."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 12: Hangover

WC:  562

I fucking hate my life right now.

“Gawd Alissa! How much did you have to drink this time?”

My roommate, ever so supportive, does not hold back on her general disdain for the the manner in which I left the bathroom. The cold tile floor feels good against my inflamed cheeks.

I feel my mouth opening to say ‘chill Lu’ but the words are swallowed by another swell of vomit and it goes projectile before I’m able to find the porcelain throne once more. When I’ve stopped, body ragged and feeling spent I look over to Lu. She’s standing in horror at the smelly company her legs have attracted.

“My beautiful kingdom,” I mumbled before falling to the side, body leaned against the tub, “off with her head!” And I fall asleep noting the particular note of disgust on Lu’s face. Looks like I just lost another roommate. And friend.

The next night I’m at a new bar that promises to not hold any of the familiar faces that will reprimand or invoke those evil words “you’re cut off.” I don’t need them. I don’t need their judgmental gazes bearing down on me as if I’m not in control. I know perfectly well what I’m doing… most of the time.

“Hey sexy” said creeper at nine o’clock. He’d been watching, stalking, and finally had worked up the courage to take a chance. I might entertain a free drink but I was still pissed from the not so warm welcome at my favorite digs. It was eating at me.

“Don’t waste your time buddy,” said a voice I hadn’t expected to hear. I turned around just as Lu’s older brother, Ray, took a seat beside me. Creeper slowly backed away. “I had a theory,” Ray started as his eyes followed creeper, ensuring he went back to whatever crawl space he’d come from, “Either you went to Friendly’s or the nearest sketchy place that would shower you with free drinks.”

“Ding, ding, ding,” I said. “Free drinks always win.”

“You sure, I thought it was the sketchy part that sealed the deal,” he said holding up a hand and getting immediate service. I always figured bartender’s must have a secret signal to get such fast service. Ray was the bartender at the bar I liked to seek my ‘spirits’ at except tonight he wasn’t so open to receiving me.

“Shouldn’t you be getting a tip for smiling at a pretty guy right now?” I said as I took a swig of my beer, “thanks for the drink.”

Ray shook his head and tipped the bartender. I watched the exchange but when I couldn’t decipher anything out of the ordinary I guzzled down the rest of my bottle and took Ray’s.

“You know if you’re that thirsty-”

“I’m not,” I said taking another swig. I started to stand and the world spun. I reached for the edge of the bar but instead found my hand grasping Ray’s bicep. As we stood there my eyes staring at his chest, too afraid to look up I heard the one thing I’d been dreading all week.

“10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5…”

Ray’s grip tightened as he stood me erect…

4… 3…

His hand under my chin, tilting it…


My eyes closed…


His lips came down on mine.

I didn’t hate my life at that moment.

I was sleep... 52 Week Update / Short Story Challenge

Sometimes I feel like I have three kids.  Not fun.  And tonight I thought I was going to have a good sleep.  The niece is away.  I'd completed another short story, speaking of which I need to figure out to how to recover the ones I started on my smashed in laptop -_- but I digress, and was about to do a bit of reading.  Instead I dozed off for what must have been an hour or two before being awakened.  And I was cranky.  It's one thing when I intend to cat nap and I can go down for as little as 15 min to about an hour and be legit.  So now I'm wide awake and trying to do something productive until I pass out again. 

I thought I would possibly blog about movies I caught this weekend plus give a house update but my car crapped out of me.  I did see Pitch Perfect 2 and Terminator Genesis last weekend which weren't too bad.  But Terminator was just heavy early on and predictable, for me at least, with one plot item that I saw coming from jump.  

As far as the house situation goes.  A few weeks back, I think on June 25th ish or so I submitted an offer for the a house out in Hazelwood.  Since (1) I was tired of looking (2) it had the handicap accessible things I needed for the grandparents (3) it near the major highway and (4) it had a pool :) 

I still need to look into pool maintenance since that would mostly be for me.  At any rate, long story short there were a lot of issues with the house and the owners, since my REA missed the deadline to ask for any fixes (and instead submitted docs to extend it), the owners denied the extension request and said either accept the house 'as is' or they were backing out of the contract. So as of Wednesday I am no longer under contract and sort of back to square one BUT my REA found some others homes and I checked a few of them out today.  All in all it didn't come out too bad but I did have to come out of pocket for the inspection which isn't cheap.  The only good thing about that is the inspector offered to wave the fee if I found another house. 

And if that doesn't work out, well, I'm going to fall on renting.  Speaking of I need to email my landlord. 

Lastly, my short stories...  Suffice to say I'se behind but feeling like I'm going to do the work from here on out.  So I am putting the pressure on  myself to catch up. 

To recap I'm doing the following challenge >>>> See post he-ah

And here's where I'm at as far as short stories for the year.  I'm *attempting* to do at least one a day to get caught up to being on Week 29. 

Week 1 (1/1 - 1/7) - Ned Finally Died
Week 2 (1/8 - 1/14) - LLFH:  Broken Things
Week 3 (1/15 - 1/21) - The Confession
Week 4 (1/22 - 1/28) - The Garden:  OTTM Side Story
Week 5 (1/29 - 2/4) - Haunters Anon
Week 6 (2/5 - 2/11) - Polluted (posted 3/19)
Week 7 (2/12 - 2/18) - The Job: A Justice for First Wives Side Story (posted 3/22)
Week 8 (2/19 - 2/25) - Serial Beauty: Lucky #11 (posted 3/23)
Week 9 (2/26 - 3/4) - Doctor P (posted 7/15)
Week 10 (3/5 - 3/11) -  Clifford's Baby (posted 7/16)
Week 11 (3/12 - 3/18) - A Bot Love (posted 7/18)
Week 12 (3/19 - 3/25) -
Week 13 (3/26 - 4/1) -
Week 14 ( ) -
Week 15 ( ) -
Week 16 ( ) -
Week 17 ( ) -
Week 18 ( ) -
Week 19 ( ) -
Week 20 ( ) -

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 11 Short Story: A Bot Love

WC:  2,850

    Killing someone was a lot harder when you knew how the dying part felt. It was another level of consciousness really. Like having to wash dishes everyday at 5am. Being my own professional dishwasher at the crack of dawn wasn’t how I preferred to start my mornings but I did. And for that reason I became a lot more cognoscente of what I did the night before in order to avoid too many dishes the following morning. So that often meant using the same cup and threatening to kill others for making large messes the night before but it still happened because I still reported for duty at 5am everyday.
But that’s not really why you’ve come here. You’re interested in the dying part, I know. How did I come back? Why? Well those are easy to answer because the how, well, I fought. The why you ask? Why-

    For you.

“So I hear the world is coming to an end and you’ve been paired with Simon?” Lindsay said, “I mean it’s probably not that bad right?”


“Yeah, he probably just acts that way in groups you know, maybe once it’s just you and him alone in the lab he’ll actually you know, turn into a human and emote,” Tamara chimed in.

I scoffed and tried to ignore their good natured intentions but the truth was the idea of having to work on a project with anyone, let alone Simon Torres, felt murderous. I hated projects which involved “team” anything or “partnering” or “collaborating” or … insert your political corrective term for defining an activity that involves grouping people together for some kum-bi-yah failure. I hated it. I always hated it and up until this point I’d cleverly avoided it. It wasn’t as though I’d gotten away with it in high school completely but where there was a will there was a way. College challenged that.

“But you know it’s kind of your fault,” Tamara added. I wanted to poke those beautiful brown eyes of hers that I’d always joked about stealing. It was true that I had brought this on myself.

“Oh yeah, the match, right? You made a bet with Professor Casper that no one could beat your score”. I rolled my eyes and looked down at my watch, five hours before I had to meet up with Simon.

“By the way has he come to a class yet,” Tamara asked as she bit down on her double chocolate cookie. I’d recently developed an issue with a lot of foods it seemed and couldn’t keep much down so I just settled on water and broths. Everyone thought I was dieting but really I’d become afraid to eat so while people were congratulating me on my weight loss I was silently fuming over the sort of world I lived in as a curvy female. Well a female slowly losing her curves.

“He’s supposed to be coming in on the final day,” I said thankful for a change in topic. “I don’t think anyone has ever met Professor Casper actually. Since he’s had that unknown medical condition since he switched from his last school.”

“I think he’s actually a vampire. It’d explain why he’s only available at night,” Lindsay said as she popped her straw out to lick the last of her banana milkshake. It smelled so banana-y and I just wanted a taste.

I shook my head, “I’m heading out. I don’t think I can stand to sit in this food court of torture another second. Catch up later,” I said and I could hear Tamara promising some sentiment which meant they’d be more sensitive to my diet and Lindsey discarding her milkshake but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to be able to have a life without anyone feeling they had to accommodate me. It wasn’t that I had to be alone, I just found it easier to not be pitied for my own shortcomings.

Unlike Tamara’s predictions much to my relief Simon Torres was no different once isolated from the classroom. He was still the same kid whose emotional radar registered zero and spoke very little which given my own work ethnic worked out pretty well. We were preparing a presentation to deliver to a group of kids at a local charity that Professor Casper headed up to empower young girls. Since I was at the top of my class Professor Casper had originally reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in being the face of female engineers and talking a bit about it and some of the projects I’d’ worked on. But I wasn’t enough. He hadn’t said that but in some ways it felt like he had. I never quite understood why he felt the need to challenge my ‘one-alone’ mentality.

But even more surprising than that was Simon Torres. He was a quiet student and he did decently on test. I couldn’t quite place where his sudden drive had come from. The bet between me and the professor was one that hadn’t been particularly hidden, it was on the online class forum but most of the students didn’t use it, even though it was a requirement. As I turned around to look at Simon, we both were sitting at separate lab tables so his back was to me, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he’d seen the bet. But then what might that imply if he had?

We worked in silence on our respective bots. You would think we’d need to be a lot more talkative if we were supposed to be presenting in just a few short weeks but Professor Casper had a plan for us to compete, who could design the best bot, and I too had a plan. Something that one upped Professor’s Casper idea and while I couldn’t see his response I’m sure it rendered a smile. At least I liked to think so.

So for three weeks this is where Simon and I would meet. For those three weeks I learned how quickly ones life could change.

The first few nights in Simon’s company was uneventful. We were both working on original concepts and without saying much slowly he began to observe what I was doing. Simon often got to the lab before me and I’d seen him in my space a few times. His wet brown hair looking over my sketches, him tilting his glasses back. Unlike the evening class at 3 on Monday and Wednesday where he wore contact lenses, at night when we met in the lab he choses glasses. I wasn’t sure why his hair was always wet but it wasn’t a bad look and it didn’t drip onto my papers so I hadn’t complained. I’d watch him for a few minutes before going back down the hall to make some sort of ruckus to announce I was nearing. By the time I arrived in the room he’d be at his table working as if he hadn’t been in my space at all. He always left it just as I had it, remembering every angle the paper sat, which was closest to the edge, and the piece of gum I sometimes used to dangle papers off the table-

I’d made it a point to never look at his own work despite being curious. And I stuck to that promise though Tamara hadn’t believed me when I told her. I was reconfiguring a port when my stomach decided to disrupt the silence. My cheeks reddened and though I sat up straight I was too afraid to turn around to see if Simon had even noticed. How could he not?

I hated it. It shouldn’t have been a big deal but I felt the unfairness hit me. The ‘why’ me parade wanting to chime in and have it’s moment but I fought it. Without warning I heard Simon’s stool scratch against the floor and when I looked up he was out the door. Which only made the chatter grow worse, the self hate impede, and nothing would let up. My chest felt tight. I gripped the lab table and tried to count, sometimes that helped but the tears, I could feel them as they gathered. If I dared open my eyes at ten there would be no stopping them. I sat in the lab crying with my eyes closed when I heard a sack plopped down in front of me. I heard Simon’s stool move again and the sound of him at work.

I hadn’t pulled the contents out of the bag immediately, afraid it’d be something I couldn’t eat and I’d have to be rude but when I found my fingers curving around the familiar shape of a cup of ‘to g’o soup I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know how to feel. I just know that I had.

I never said thank you aloud. I left a note for Simon thanking him since I often stayed later. So when he left I placed the note at his station. When I arrived the next day it was gone. I just assumed he’d taken it but I worried, what if he really hadn’t gotten it. What if it got buried beneath an avalanche of papers, what if someone took it thinking there was money in it only to discover I was cheap and didn’t put money in envelopes. Simon hadn’t said a word. And I never skipped dinner again.

One day it rained and Simon put on music which I thought was strange but I hadn’t said anything. The next night it rained again, and again he turned on the station. There was no rhyme or reason for the station he chose, I imagined it was tuned into whatever the last person left it on but when it didn’t rain the radio didn’t come on. I became curious but still we hadn’t spoke.

“He watches you,” Tamara said from out of nowhere causing Lindsey to raise her brow and me to choke on my strawberry infused water.

“Excuse me,” I said not sure where that had come from and not really wanting to know.

“Remember last week I told you I planned on stopping by.”

“Yeah, and I also remembered you not doing that.”

Tamara shook her head, “But I did. I walked by and was about to enter but I wanted to sneak up on you two but when I got there I couldn’t. It was weird. Like Simon couldn’t see that I was there because he was slightly turned the opposite way but he was watching you work and it was, well…”

“Just spit it out Tamara, geesh!” Lindsay cried out. Out of all of us I think she was the most impatient when she went without food and both of them, right now, were attempting to be satisfied with just strawberry infused water.

“He smiled.”

“For pete’s sake,” Lindsey said and she threw back the rest of her water as if it were a beer. I half expected her to crush the glass against her head. She seemed to be in that kind of mood but I was distracted.

He smiled. Simon was smiling. I still didn’t know how I felt. I just knew that I had. And again now.

Throughout the entire process Professor Casper kept tabs on us to check the progress of our work, it was mostly through the forum on a private post where he had only invited me and Simon. I don’t know if Simon ever accepted the invitation.

Professor: “I saw the bots. There almost done. What about the presentation?”

Student 482-1293L: “Yeah they are. I think the kids will like it.”

Professor: “And how about the presentation? What words do you two plan on giving to young impressionable minds?”

Student 482-1293L: “All of the best words known to Myriam Webster of course!”

Professor: “I’ll see you both in class tomorrow.”


Professor: “Just a figure of speech. Have a nice evening.”

Student 482-1293L: “Night Prof”

I caught myself. I’d almost called him Professor Casper though I think the Professor was familiar with the nickname he shared with one friendly ghost. I was leaving the library and on the way to the lab when I saw Simon with his wet head of hair running in the direction of the lab when he collided with another guy attempting to catch a Frisbee. From my end it all happened in slow motion. The impact caused Simon’s glasses to get knocked off in the process. I ran over as Frisbee dude shouted expletives, basically blaming Simon for the collision.

What started as a light run became a lioness run and before I knew it my fist were clenched on my sides and I was standing between Simon and stupid Frisbee dude. “How dare you!? Why don’t you try watching where the hell your going next time? Or better yet playing over in the damn field away from the rest of us that actually intend to do something with our education you waste of sperm scum.”

A hand was placed on my shoulder. I hadn’t seen it but Simon had gathered up his stuff and shook his head as if to say ‘it’s not worth it’. But my cheeks were hot and it felt very much worth it.

“Yeah tame that,” Frisbee idiot said before snatching the disk from the ground and running back toward his friend to speak crap from out of ear shot.

I opened my mouth but no words came out. I don’t think I’d ever heard Simon talk. Maybe he couldn’t. Maybe he was mute. And I wanted to say something like ‘sorry’ or ‘are you okay’ or ‘that dude was a douche’ or … … But nothing came so I shook my head in resignation and we headed to the lab together. Once there I sat my stuff down and started to walk to the restroom when I heard a very soft voice mumble, “thank you.” I think I smiled.

A couple nights before the presentation I had beat Simon to the lab. There was rain in the forecast and rather than risk having my book-bag and the contents of it soaked I opted to grab dinner from the cafeteria for the both of us. I wasn’t sure what Simon liked so in turn I ended up over spending and knew most of this would probably end up as food scavenged by my roommates later.

Though time passed and the food grew cold. Simon hadn’t arrived. The rain poured heavy and I worried maybe there was some legitimate fear to the rain for him, some bad association that I should have asked about but never did. At 7:30 I found myself going outside to scan the lot. It didn’t take long for me to get soaked which is why five minutes later I stood near the window in the lab looking into the darkness for movement.

I saw nothing.

Unconsciously I turned on the radio, a jazz station played, thunder clapped, and a Sade song started just as I heard a bag hit the ground. I turned around and found my eyes locked onto Simon. His brown hair dripping, his glasses slightly fogged, and there was a cut on his lip. There was a million different ways this moment could have gone but I could only think of one I desired.

I walked over to Simon. Removed his glasses. His eyes scanned my own and slowly they roamed from my eyes to my lips. The same hand that had once found my shoulder did so again as he pushed back my shirt to kiss my shoulder. I initiated this encounter.

But Simon finished it.

“I nearly died several weeks ago. My mysterious illness had finally did some damage and landed me in God’s Waiting Room for all of 30 seconds before I was revived. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be here when my partner,” and my eyes found Simon on the side of the stage watching me closely, "came to present our bots. I heard a lot of you had questions and for that reason I wanted to come back.”

How did you come back?

“To start you have to know both our bots were designed to be better than the other…”

Why did you come back?

“That was our Professors challenge.”

I fought.

“But I told my professor what if we designed something that could work independently but worked better together when they merged…”

For you.

“You see we could have created bots for the pure reason to destroy just to excite you all in a glorious explosion of tech and get you interested in the sciences. But lets be practical, when you’re familiar with the feel of something, you become a lot more aware of it-”

I could feel Simon’s eyes on me.

I found myself smiling and when I sneaked a peak at him, there was a smile waiting for me too.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 10 Short Story: Clifford's Baby

WC:  850

   Clifford Thomas had decided that having two first names meant he should pass on one to his stolen baby. Baby Thomas was Clifford’s first and only crime. Baby Thomas was also the only achievement. 
“You’re going to grow to be something great, just you wait and see T!” Clifford said flashing a toothy smile down into the stroller where Thomas lay.

“Simple Clifford they always said. Not anymore, nope, not anymore not with you T. They’ll all see. Just you wait and see,” Clifford said as they turned the corner. The sun was bright, the breeze felt good, and it was Spring. It was no better day to be living than this very moment. Clifford waved to a couple jogging by, interracial, and was even more pleased by this.

“The world’s ready T. No waiting on that. Just you and me son, against this world. Just wait and see is what I’ll tell ‘em. Just wait and see.” Clifford paused as the couple stopped to admire the baby in the stroller. It was the black female jogger that observed something amiss.

“Lovely day,” she said, “keep hydrated” and she tilted her head to her counterpart and they were off.

Clifford stood there watching them for a moment, noting the encounter hadn’t felt completely right but once he saw they were gone he kept on walking to the park. He was anxious to get his baby there. To have fun with the others.

Just as Clifford approached the park entrance, the gated arch was like a welcome smile. “It’s been waiting on us T. Just waiting, you see,” Clifford said as he leaned into the stroller and pointed toward the arch. As Clifford smiled for the twentieth time in the span of five minutes he noticed a police officer rounding the corner. Clifford ordinarily wouldn’t have cared, in fact he might have smiled if not for the same black female jogger standing next to him, looking his way and slowly raising her arm to point at-

Clifford diverted the stroller elsewhere, quickened his pace and went toward one of the more tree filled trails for the shade. He felt warm all too suddenly.

“SIR!” Clifford heard someone call from behind, much far behind, really really REALLY far behind as he kept trucking past casual walkers on the trail. Up ahead there was a less traveled trail, one carved out by those who like to go ‘rugged’ in the park or maybe just couples that were feeling frisky and expeditious.

Clifford looked into the stroller as it bounced on the bumpy ground, worried the vibrations might wake a sleeping Thomas. “Shhh, shhh T, don’t you worry, just wait T, just wait and you’ll see…” Clifford whispered, his voice dropping as he found a spot to park the stroller. He carefully removed Thomas and sat against a tree.

Clifford unwrapped the blanket to expose Thomas’s face and he smiled as he admired his beautiful baby. HIS beautiful baby boy. Clifford stroked his face, nuzzled his own face to Thomas’s and smiled for all the world to see. He was happy. He was finally happy.

But the moment was interrupted by a strong cologne. Clifford turned slowly and watched as the officer and a few other people, including a small girl had come there. He quickly turned his face back around and sought the comfort of his baby.

“You see this T, we’ve got an audience,” he whispered to him.

“Cliff,” came a woman’s voice that Clifford recognized but refused to acknowledge. Instead the officer cleared his throat.

“Mr. Thomas,” the officer started then paused. Clifford hadn’t turned back around but could hear the shuffling, the whispers, and understood enough to know what this resembled. He was black. The baby was white. And the woman… that voice.

“Excuse me mister,” said a tiny voice.

“Claire,” hissed another voice, likely the child’s mother, “back over here… NOW…”

“Pretty baby you got there Mr. Thomas,” said the officer.

Clifford’s ears perked at this, “He’s going to grow up to be something real special some day. Just you wait and see… they’ll see T. Just wait.”

The officer was there, standing beside Clifford who still sat leaning against the tree, “I agree. But you know what, there’s a little girl here who has the same hopes and dreams for her own baby.”

Clifford looked down at Thomas whose eyes were still closed.

“In fact I bet that little girl probably loves that baby just as much too. It’d be a shame, really, don’t you think, if something ever happened and you couldn’t find them.”

Clifford began to rock slowly, he held onto Thomas but the plastic only pinched him back. The warmth was leaving him.

“Cliff, baby,” said the voice he recognized earlier and slowly felt as real heat encroached onto him. Arms wrapped around him and suddenly the baby was gone from his own arms but tears bled onto his cheek, moistening his dry skin.

“It’s going to be okay baby,” the woman whispered to Clifford in broken sobs, “just wait. Just wait and see.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 9 Short Story: Doctor P

WC:  680 words
A/N:  I make no claims for being a science expert but given the word prompts of 'virus' and 'diet' I came up with the following short story.

No one really liked the idea of someone else’s fecal matter being spread across their rectum but if you told them it belonged to a celebrity - ‘OMG! WOW! WHOSE POOP DO I GOT?!” - it was met with a lot less resistance.
Celebrity poop was big business. So many people were interested in having Demi’s youth-like appearance. Beckham’s body. Hawking’s intelligence. There was a market for everything. Bacteria and our gut bio’s were big in the private arena. You banked big if you were smart to invest early on and there was no end in site. It was exciting when you really thought about. 
I wasn’t so fortunate.. In many ways if you asked some. I dealt with everyday poop and once in awhile our facility was gifted with celebrity poop that no one else wanted, think Bill Cosby- who really wants that crap up their a—. 
Aside from reject celebrity poop there was just the job itself. No one ever called you Naturopathic Gastroenterologist or cared to remember once they realized your clientele involved human excrements so I was Dr. P which was easier for me to settle on that being called the poop doctor.

Today was different. Today I felt the nickname fit.

“And where did you say you got this sample from?” I asked the man, Richard Vancroft, sitting across from me. There was a tiny bead of sweat that crept down his left side. Richard looked to his left and right. His hands clumsily came together one moment then broke ferociously at the slightest sound. I’d seen people like him but this felt different.

“I hadn’t,” he said to me point blank. Richard and his hunchback nose were suddenly annoying but I couldn’t let him go. He’d come days earlier and left the sample with me, with great reluctance, and I soon discovered why. The sample had a virus I’d never seen anywhere and when placed in petri seemed to overrun the colony of bacteria already there to the point of extinction. I couldn’t risk using the sample but I knew it might risk him going somewhere else a lot less careful.

“Are you okay Mr. Vancroft?” He'd taken to biting his nails. His eyes, when not on me seemed to dance across the room.

“I am. So what do you think Dr. Penelope? Can you fit me in today?”

I sighed. “I’m a little concerned about the sample Mr. Vancroft. The results were- well I’d like to have another day to examine the results further and possibly run an additional test.”

Mr. Vancroft’s face was blank, “That won’t do. She’ll kill me before then.”

His voice muttered toward the last part but I was sure I’d heard him correctly, “Mr. Vancroft, are you in any sort of - Well who are you worried about? I could call the-”

Mr. Vancroft stood suddenly, “Can I have the sample back? It’s okay. I knew this would be a bad idea.”

Lost him. “Mr. Vancroft, I assure you we can perform the procedure. I just have some concerns and you know, really if you’re worried about your safety that should be your main-”

“I KNOW WHAT MY MAIN PRIORITY SHOULD BE!” Mr. Vancroft's breath was heavy, his body visibly shaking and his eyes, were they always grey? A second ago, I thought maybe they’d been a light brown. I watched as he turned his eyes away from me, shutting me out. His back to me there was a patch of missing hair and suddenly his hands were there rubbing near the nape of his neck.

It was as if he’d heard my thoughts as his hands stroked his hair and came away with strands. “Nevermind,” he said as he walked away, “You can’t help.”

Maybe it was my own curiosity. Maybe science would always come first. Maybe part of me had always wondered what if…

Or maybe it was the sadness in his voice. The defeat in his posture but I found myself re-thinking and Mr. Vancroft who had one foot out the door suddenly stopped. 

“I’ll do it.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started...

As I get ready to revise TYW and work on one of the scene additions I'm staring down the blank page trying to remember how to start.  But how isn't really the problem.  The answer to how just involves tapping some keys and I've started.  The problem I'm experience is where.  Sure I know there are scenes I've had tinkering for awhile but the where is what causes my wheels to spin.  Because in some ways there's a lot invested in that start and if it's not right, for me at least, I might be stuck.  Meaning I'll likely keep going but at some point I might question that start but at that point it won't matter because I'll be past it.

And yet with that knowledge I still hesitate.  I hesitate not only on the where but on the project.  Now that it's 7/1 (Happy July 1st!) I find myself looking at other projects I started last year like The Last Stop, Winter Lily, The Fortune Cookie/Porch Story, etc and other projects that I've sit on like Forever Young, Justice for First Wives and I'm tempted by them all.  Some are stronger than others yet I know at some point I know I'll have to admit part of me is stalling and another part of me wants to write it all and another part of me is just fearful of diving into the wrong one. 

Working on the wrong project.  Starting on the wrong chapter.  Starting the wrong way.  The fear of not being right and possibly wasting time only to find it wasn't right.  But really, honestly,  I don't think I've ever thought I've wasted my time when I later found I was wrong in some way or not wrong but later discovered that feeling of something amiss and that does happen.

So I write tonight just to fill the void.  To get my fingers warmed up because I'm about to start... something ^_^