Featured Author: Lisa Barry

FEATURED AUTHOR

Lisa Barry

www.Lisa-Barry.com

Lisa’s Facebook Page

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________

Sky, Whip, Banana

“Why do we have to do this?” Leila whined as she whipped a half-eaten banana back and forth. I watched her carefully walk on the narrow wall toward the roof. I glanced at the sky and smiled. She was so gullible. The castle had been built recently and I still loved tricking the young ones. The air distortion was clear with my demonic ears and I waited patiently for my pet to arrive. I saw the scales glint in the double sun rays before the dragon took full shape. I laughed.

“Supper time!” I hollered and a blast of fire shot toward Leila.
____________________________________

Suppress, Banish, Dash

The fact that I couldn’t suppress my laugh made it a bit of a problem but the dragon won in the end. Leila had turned and thrown the rest of her banana directly at Scarp, my beloved dragon pet. It landed, burnt and crusty, directly in his left nostril. Leila hadn’t survived the fire burst but she did fall off the wall before Scarp made it to her. He dashed down and caught her before the ground did but it wasn’t as flawless a kill as I had intended. If I didn’t get banished from the Dark Kingdom this summer, a story for another day, I would steal another human and try it again.
____________________________________

Fish, Key, Purge

Dangling the fish over the sleepy dragon’s nose, I pondered my next move. The Dark Kingdom had the key to my survival what with its vampiric ghosts, hairy shapeshifters and whorish fae. I knew I could make my fortune there easily but that double damned Prince. Everyone loved him and here I was wanting him purge him from our beautiful brimstone covered land.  He had thwarted my plans not once, or even twice but three bloody times he had muscled in on my action and taken the credit. When Scarp finally pulled the fish from my hand it was like a light had been flashed over my coveted talent of The Sight and I saw further than ever before. My salvation may not ever come, thank the Demon Goddess, but my pockets would be full of coin and the Prince would be history. I jumped up and set to work.

 

About Lisa Barry

Growing up in Florida was not a good enough reason for author, Lisa Barry, to avoid wearing black. A daily color choice, Lisa constantly pines for cool enough weather to wear boots.

Living with her supportive (and hot) husband and amazingly awesome kidlets, Lisa counts it a blessing that they still love her despite the deafening sound of her music muse throughout the house.

Writing and reading every minute she can, Lisa counts on the cats to keep her keyboard warm and on the countless gargoyles who listen carefully when she reads to them aloud.

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Blamed the Fish – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 14 May 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Fish
  • Key
  • Purge

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

“And then the huge fish leaped out of the water, teeth gleaming like silver razors, and snatched the key from my hand, swallowing it, and taking to to the depths,” the man on the floor finished his tale, a pitiful wail escaping his lips as he cowered, his face pressed to the ground.

Rex lounged on the cushioned bench, and took his time selecting another grape from the solid gold platter beside him. The servant hovered somewhere in the vicinity, out of sight, but just as Rex had swallowed, the servant appeared, swooping in to offer the little vial of the potion that would purge the stomach should Rex be full yet wish to continue eating. Rex waved him away, and the man retreated to the world of invisibility.

“A fish, you say? With teeth?” The man on the floor trembled, and somehow managed to nod his head while keeping his forehead against the stone. “Interesting,” Rex said, and ate another grape. “And how is it your hand is still attached to your arm?”

The man quaked, but did not say anything. Rex considered for a moment, his mind going over the possibilities. He needed that key, more than anything, and it was all he could do to keep his calm. There were spies everywhere, their eyes and ears leading directly to the White King, and it would not do to have him know Rex’s growing desperation.

“Perhaps,” Rex said aloud. “You swallowed the key yourself, and blamed the fish?” Only now did the man lift his face, though his eyes were squeezed shut, his mouth trembling in unspoken pleas. Rex waved at a guard. “Open him up.”

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LISA BARRY:

Dangling the fish over the sleepy dragon’s nose, I pondered my next move. The Dark Kingdom had the key to my survival what with its vampiric ghosts, hairy shapeshifters and whorish fae. I knew I could make my fortune there easily but that double damned Prince. Everyone loved him and here I was wanting him purge him from our beautiful brimstone covered land.  He had thwarted my plans not once, or even twice but three bloody times he had muscled in on my action and taken the credit. When Scarp finally pulled the fish from my hand it was like a light had been flashed over my coveted talent of The Sight and I saw further than ever before. My salvation may not ever come, thank the Demon Goddess, but my pockets would be full of coin and the Prince would be history. I jumped up and set to work.

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ERIKA LANCE:

Marcile fished in his pocket for the key.  

 

The demon moved closer towards him snarling and flexing as if causing fear would make his prey taste better. It most likely did, but if one wanted to survive such encounters one best not think on this too hard. 

 

With key in hand he grabbed the box, closed it, locked it, read the words or better described as symbols around the lid and unlocked and opened the box as the demons jaws were about to clamp perfectly on his head. 

 

Suddenly there was a pop and the demon was gone and in it’s place was a banana. 

 

Marcile looked down at the fruit and wondered if he should bother touching it, but magic was fickle so he left it be, closed and relocked the box and headed after Jerimiah.  

 

It didn’t take long to stumble upon his friend or at least what he assumed was his friend in the form of a peacock now pacing the hallway leading out of the tomb.  

 

The bird had apparently purged any contents in its stomach moments before.  

 

Hmmmm” Marcile said looking behind and wondering if peacocks liked bananas. 

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

I needed to purge some of the contents from this damn purse. I had been fishing around in it for a solid 90 seconds now looking for my housekeys. It was time to make dinner, not time to be lollygagging outside. Ugh.

I knew I’d placed my keys in the purse when I left the house. I sat in a huff, jeans too tight as I crouched onto the bricks of my front stoop. The entire purse turns upside down, light started fading. Digging through the contents and still not finding the keys, I remembered my mom’s advice and started rethinking all the steps that I’d taken as I left the house. I’d popped on my new peeptoes, walked to the hall, flipped the switch to turn off all the inside lights, pulled the keys from the hook, flipped the switch to turn on the porch light, locked the door, popped the keys into the side pocket of the purse, and then walked down the steps. Then I spent the day walking the city with Jimmy. It’d been a blast. Jimmy who I had never thought would be fun, but it really was. He had just walked me back and just now was disappearing around the corner, half a block away. I texted him quickly.

“Hey, can’t find keys. Come back?”

I hoped he didn’t take it as a come on, but I didn’t want to wait for the locksmith alone. The daylight was almost completely gone now, and locksmiths could take a while.

Jimmy hadn’t emerged from around the corner yet, but as I was dialing the locksmith, I noticed the front porch light must have blown out. I could still see the contents of my purse as I put them back into place, though, and I realized why. The livingroom light was on, and shining out through closed blinds. Blinds I hadn’t closed.

Oh, crap. The front door knob started turning, as I ran down the steps, trying to dial 9-1-1. I realized I’d been halfway through dialing the locksmith already, and it failed. I hung up on the locksmith, running full tilt, as I saw someone emerge from my house. What the hell, it looked like… It started running toward me, and I realized.

It looked like me. Exactly like me. I almost couldn’t look away, but I had to, I had to run faster. I turned to look behind me again, as I ran straight into Jimmy.

“Jimmy?” I was scared. I grabbed onto him, looked into his eyes, and something didn’t seem right. Something about Jimmy was just… wrong. Oh crap, I thought, just as everything went black.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

John raised an eyebrow, knife poised over the fish splayed on the ceremonial plate before him. “So, do I just cut it or what?”

“It’s the Great Fish Feast, Human John,” Serena the Supreme Leader whispered. “Please find some measure of decorum.”

John kept his knife held over the plate, deciding that he would wait to see what everyone else did first. This dinner was a big deal after all, the key to sealing the peace treaty with the Estonians, his people’s only way of  avoiding the planet purge these Fish-loving people were so fond of. He had to show them that his people were worthy. That he was worthy. He’d hate it if he screwed it all up before they even got started because he didn’t know the proper way to eat fish. And at the Great Fish Feast, he was sure such manners were required. This was a test.

He stared at the fish, wishing he knew more about the creatures. It was grayish, with one gelatinous eye still staring balefully up at him. Weren’t the cooks supposed to cook it more, or skin it, or at least take the eyes out before serving it? What kind of savages ate like this?

They probably didn’t eat like this he realized. No doubt they purged all of the fish from their own seas, just as they destroyed everything else they decided needed to go.

And then they had to find new planets to inhabit, with strange new creatures to worship for a few moments before they purged again and moved on.

Fortunately for him, they seemed to live a long time. Maybe they would be entertained by the many different types of fish on this planet for the next hundred years and it wouldn’t matter to him anymore.

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

Wesley pulled the key out from around his neck. It was truly unique as it was shaped like the skeleton of a fish. It had taken him almost a year to find the door that it would unlock and today was going to be the day he’d find out what secrets were held within. He took a deep breath as he turned the key in the lock until a click sounded. As he pushed open the door a rush of air streamed past him, pulling him inside. It was useless to resist and he found himself trapped in the room, the door had slammed behind him. After he regained his equilibrium, Wesley realized he couldn’t remember who he was or why he was here. It was as if all his memories had been purged from his mind.

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BRANDON SCOTT

From the lake, he pulled forth a golden fish. It was large, heavy, and gasped at the lack of water. Fen looked at it and felt a tinge of guilt at his actions, but still placed it down inside the large pail he had brought for such an occasion.

“Hello, you little thing. How’s today going?” he said, trying to calm the thrashing creature. “It’s going to be okay, we only have to go a little way, and then we will have a feast, you and I.”

“Oh, now that’s bull,” said the fish, sounding a little hoarse. And Fen jolted away from the pail, his eyes wide.

“You think I am really going to fall for something like that?” the fish continued, now sitting in the center, it’s mouth flapping in accordance with human speech. “You’re planning to eat me.”

“Well…” Fen said, unsure what to say to a fish. He hung his head in guilt.

“No, no—don’t be that way. Your species eats fish, I understand—but here, I can make it worth your while. Reach into the pail, and I will give you a golden key.”

“A golden key?” Fen asked, incredulous.

“Yes. A key to the secret door, at the center of the pond. Behind it, gold and jewels beyond your wildest dreams.”

The man’s eyes widened, and, in a fit of greed, reached forward into the pail. A moment later, defying all laws of physics, his entire frame flew into the pail and disappeared.

The fish let out a loud burp and then chuckled. “That’s one way to purge a human—if only I could do it more often. They are good eating.”

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Blood of the Fallen – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 14 May 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Suppress
  • Banish
  • Dash

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

ALANNA J. RUBIN

Lord Keenan looked across the field now stained red with the blood of the fallen. It had been several months since his banishment from the Kingdom of Dashult and he hadn’t wasted a single moment to build his forces and suppress the evil that had cast him out. The taste of victory was bitter, as he eyed the bodies of his beloved comrades, but this was a mere battle and the war was just beginning. The cost of freedom was going to be high, indeed.

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LISA BARRY:

The fact that I couldn’t suppress my laugh made it a bit of a problem but the dragon won in the end. Leila had turned and thrown the rest of her banana directly at Scarp, my beloved dragon pet. It landed, burnt and crusty, directly in his left nostril. Leila hadn’t survived the fire burst but she did fall off the wall before Scarp made it to her. He dashed down and caught her before the ground did but it wasn’t as flawless a kill as I had intended. If I didn’t get banished from the Dark Kingdom this summer, a story for another day, I would steal another human and try it again.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Drin stared at the Overlord, sure he couldn’t be hearing right.

“What?”

Thunder clouded the lord’s face.

“I mean, I beg your divine pardon my lord, but could you repeat that?” Drin said.

“You are banished from this land.”

Drin swallowed. “But – how is that possible?”

The Overlord’s eyes gleamed, and he seemed to be suppressing the dancing flames that glowed in their depths.

“Like this,” he hissed.

He threw out his hand, and the magnificent purple drapes hanging beside his black throne fell like some circus act, revealing a…a “What is it?” Drin asked, tilting his head with an puzzled frown.

The Overlord’s head came up sharply, and sparks ignited at his fingertips.

“I do beg your indulgence, most magnificent lord,” Drin quickly restated, wanting to dash his head against the wall for his impetuous stupidity.

He was not going to get out of this situation unscathed and in one piece if he kept up the attitude. The Overlord, now mollified, swept his hand to encompass the squat, wheezing contraption that leaned drunkenly to the left, and shuddered every now and again as noxious green smoke leaked from under it in tendrils.

“This is the portal to another world!” the Overlord exclaimed. “It will send you far away, to a place from which you can never return.”

“It doesn’t look like it toss a stone over a wall,” Drin commented before he could stop himself.

When the Overlord froze, but for the twitching of his left eye, Drin knew that his chance of getting out of this alive had just reached zero.

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ERIKA LANCE:

Marcile knew they should not have opened that box. 

 

“Maple is the enemy” Jerimiah said pointing at the box and then the map.  

 

Marcile shook his head and suppressed a laugh. Jerimiah had started rambling nosense within moments of the opening and he was also turning a sort-of blueish purple color. However, pointing this out to him didn’t seem very prudent. 

 

Jerimiah dropped the map as his mouth got wider before he pulled out his sword and pointed “The Banana messed me up”. 

 

Marcile turned to see what was approaching. As, he was sure it was bad and even more sure it wasn’t a banana. 

 

No… it wasn’t a banana, it was a demon, a very large hulking, slathering, teeth everywhere demon. He looked at what was supposed to be a banishment box right as his blueish purple companion began to dash in the opposite direction. 

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

The Grand Visier’s limo was about to pull up to the yacht when he realized he hadn’t yet dashed off the memo to His Supreme Overself. The Overself had mandated that the Visier must be the one advising the change from a mere suppression of hiring of all remaining old-style humans to a complete banishment.

A quick note into his memo pad later, and… send. He was all ready for a trip. One of his concubines purred lazily, adjusting her bionic eyes to a deeper shade of purple.

He stepped out of the limo and started walking toward the latest yacht,  which would ferry him in style all the way to the latest colony to check on, but then he stopped short when he saw the crew lined up on the foredeck for inspection.

Oh drat, he realized he still had one of the pesky unmodified humans working aboard.

“Captain! He sent through his new speakers, and his captain scurried forward, before bowing deeply.

“Yes, your Visiership?”

“His Estemmed Overself, I mean, myself as well and originally, but well, His Overself has ordered that no unmodified old-style humans may continue to be here.”

Well, perhaps we can still take off? We’ll be aloft shortly. Whatever law won’t apply until we dock here again, correct?”

“Hmm. No, I do believe the banishment I just wrote includes all of known space.”

“Oh, dear. All right then, I’ll deal with it before we leave.”

The Visier and his concubines hovered aboard, unworried. The captain had always been so quick to resolve any issues. He’d have to issue another memo giving him a promotion. Maybe. First, he’d check if it meant the man would be reassigned. No use losing good personnel.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

Joanna stared at the book in her hand, then checked the paper on the desk beside her. “Are you sure this is right?” She pushed the book across the table towards her study partner. “I’m so tired. I’m not seeing straight.”

Joseph pulled the book over the mound of papers before him. “What am I checking?”

Joanna gestured vaguely at the left side of the book. “Near the bottom. The words for the incantation. Does it really say ‘to suppress or banish the demon, use a dash of lemon zest’?”

Joseph stared at her. “You really are exhausted. Seriously? What are you studying for, cooking class? This is Dark Arts time.”

“I know! That’s why I’m asking. It just seems weird that lemon zest is part of the spell. I mean, who normally has that with them in a pinch?”

It took Joanna a moment to realize why he laughed, the start of his reaction quickly morphing into a sleep-deprived fit of the giggles. “How…” he wheezed at her in between gasps, “how else would you have a dash but in a pinch?”

Joanna’s brain tried to understand why that was so funny, stopped, considered, and then finally got it. “Oh wow.” She lowered her head into her hands, face flat against the the cool pages of the book.

“For the record, Jo,” he added, “it’s actually lime zest, not lemon. Apparently demons hate the sour taste.”

“Moreso than lemons? That’s weird.”

“It’s a demon, Jo. Everything is weird.”

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BRANDON SCOTT

The game show began, as many do, with the lowest scoring contestant receiving the punishment.

“Banish him,” declared the game show host, and leveled a single large finger at the father of five. He opened his mouth to protest before he disappeared into a puff of smoke.

“Okay, good—now let’s here the next contestant, who we last had a spell on him to suppress his voice.”

With a wave of his hand, a man of thirty, balding, gasped with glee at the sudden availability of his voice.

“Thank you! Oh, thank you!”

“Yes, yes, now, what is the capital of Hippogriff.”

The man frowned. “That’s not a place.”

“Banish him,” he declared again, and as he waved his hand, the man moved into a dash that did not finish the first few steps—him too off to the place where no one knows your name.

“Alright,” the announcer said, sitting down in his chair, “That was a fun opening round. Now, after our short commercial break, we will continue with the show. Next up, we will test their knowledge of thermodynamics the old-fashioned way. Viewers will find their fire-proof suits underneath the chairs, do hurry.”

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To Spice Up… – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 14 May 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Sky
  • Whip
  • Banana

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

DALIA LANCE:

She looked down at the table and frowned. 

A whip, well a riding crop with sky blue feathers on it, a bowl of whip cream and a plastic banana. 

She had agreed that they needed to spice up their sex life a little but this was not what she had in mind. 

Looking down at the black satin and lace nightgown and the cute little pumps she got to match, she felt that she might be out of place for this adventure and started to turn to go back in the bathroom and change, into what, she had no idea. 

“Are you ready baby?” Came the voice of her husband, sounding rather husky. 

Crap, she thought. “One minute” she said trying to sound not as panicked as she felt. 

She draped herself across the bed and adjusted all the parts into place and then in a much more sexy tone said “I’m ready big boy.” 

Then he opened the door and entered wearing a gorilla suit. What the hell was happening? 

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LISA BARRY:

“Why do we have to do this?” Leila whined as she whipped a half-eaten banana back and forth. I watched her carefully walk on the narrow wall toward the roof. I glanced at the sky and smiled. She was so gullible. The castle had been built recently and I still loved tricking the young ones. The air distortion was clear with my demonic ears and I waited patiently for my pet to arrive. I saw the scales glint in the double sun rays before the dragon took full shape. I laughed.

“Supper time!” I hollered and a blast of fire shot toward Leila.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

He stood on the ramparts, watching the sky fall, great big chunks of blue and black crashing down into the hills surrounding the fortress. The peasants screamed and fled, but there was nothing they could do, really. Gordon looked up, the spiderweb cracks spreading, streaking out like a whip, coming closer and closer.

To the south, another vortex had opened up, obliterating the fabric of that part of the world. The ground churned and heaved as the heavens rained down. Gordon, in the eye of the storm, could only watch helplessly as whatever he’d set in motion proceeded to destroy the world. “What on earth did you do, boy?” a waspish voice called up.

Gordon turned to see the wild, white hair of Merlin floating just below the lip of stone on the walkway. He hurried over, and saw the aged wizard clinging to the ladder, fierce eyes staring at the havoc around them with not fear, but indignation.

“What did you do?” he repeated.

“I don’t know,” Gordon said,  wringing his hands. “I did everything that the book said. “Obviously you didn’t, or else this wouldn’t be happening. Let me see.” The wizard stuck his hand up, requesting the spell.

Gordon handed over the piece of parchment, and waited, both hoping he had done everything right and that the wizard found something to correct whatever had happened.

“Banana!” Merlin cried.

“What?”

“The word is supposed to be ‘banana’, you dolt!”

Gordon looked to where Merlin pointed his long, knobbly finger. Written in Gordon’s precise, block hand, was the word “bandanna”.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

I just knew I was going to have a great day. I could just tell I’d aced my finals. Jack had asked me to the dance and I’d said yes. Plus, I had lost all five of the pounds I’d gained over break.

I sighed in satisfaction, and looked out the diner window at the gorgeous fluffy clouds floating past. The sky looked like the whipped cream topping on my banana meringue pie, of which I took a huge satisfying bite just as the waitress slapped a ticket down onto the table. It sounded too loud and banged three times, and I was confused.

“Jessie! Wake up!” the waitress yelled at me. I looked at her name tag, and saw that she had the same name as my roommate, “Gahandra”, which was weird because she was blond and looked more like a Tammy.

“Jessie!” Gahandra yelled, as I came back to myself, “Get the fuck up! You’re ten minutes late for your chem final. What happened to your alarm?” She ran into the room, keys in hand.

“Um.” I was bleary. I rubbed my eyes and sat up, then looked at my phone. My lock screen was a bunch of floaty clouds… and my alarm said it was still going, but what use was it if it didn’t make any noise.

I’d missed zero texts from Jack… and after staying awake half the night supposedly cramming but mostly waiting for his answer.

Ugh.  I climbed out of bed and threw on a shirt and pants, running out the door. I found myself wishing I was back with not-Tammy. Today was going to suck so bad.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

I held my arms aloft to the sky as the prophecy instructed, whip in my right hand unfurled and ready to receive the blessing of the almighty, the sword in my left ready to defend against anyone who dared interrupt the moment of my triumph. As the thunder crashed and the lightning flashed, I felt the items change in my hands, and I kept my eyes closed, certain that what I felt was only the magic imbuing the weapons, marking my name in the annals of time and sealing my place in the halls of destiny.

This was my moment. And it was actually happening. All that work finally paying off in a substantial way. And with everyone watching. This was perfect. My life was perfect. My god was perfect.

I opened my eyes and looked down, eager to see the handiwork of my deity. The crowd gasped, the silence drawing out in unbearable suspense.

Oh no. No. Seriously?

The whip in my right hand, the weapon handed down through generations of my family, the symbol of my long heritage, had been turned into a yellow banana. The sword in my right hand, the mighty weapon forged in ancient fires and stolen from a master dragon’s lair, had been morphed into a letter opener.

Sometimes, it really sucks having sworn oneself to a trickster god.

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

The wind whipped around Ollie, causing his hair to fly into his eyes. Through the strands, he could see the sky turning from its normal shade of blue to a blood red. Ollie, drew the jewel encrusted knife from its sheath, the crescent shaped curve of the blade glinting in the sun. It gave off a yellow glow, and Ollie couldn’t help but think it reminded him of a banana. The thought made him chuckle, a welcome respite to the dire situation he was now in.

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BRANDON SCOTT

The sky was full of clouds until he cracked the whip. Then it was full of nothing at all, just blue across the horizon. Jake marveled at the leather of the device for a solid minute, before the man next to him cleared his throat.

“You going to stare at that all the darn day. It’s magic, don’t you know. It’s magic from handle to tip,” said Henry, as he took a bite out of the banana he held. When he finished the first one, he produced from his pocket another, equally yellow fruit, and ate that as well.

“Yes—I’ve never seen anything like it,” Jake said, still not looking as his companion, who had a steadily growing pile of fruit remains at his feet, all pulled from a small pouch: apple cores, pear cores, and peels, along with the remains of a pineapple.

“Well, you’ve seen magic before, right?” Henry said.

“Well, yes, of course I have—but weather control is much better than anything The Wise ever spoke about. Why would he not tell us about something this powerful thing?”

“Perhaps it’s for the same reason that he locked it up in the first place, and didn’t tell us about the safe either.”

“Hmm,” Jake mumbled, and then flicked it out again, a smile dancing forth from his lips from the noise of the taut leather. Above him, a storm cloud formed and churned with light. “But this isn’t so dangerous.”

A moment later a lightning bolt struck him.

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Featured Author: Alanna J. Rubin

FEATURED AUTHOR

Alanna J. Rubin

www.AlannaRubin.com

Alanna’s Facebook Page

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________
catastrophe, revolver, brandy

Ren stood over the large puddle of blood, its metallic smell assaulting his nose. He had been called to the crime scene, because he was the best with “unusual” and/or “catastrophic” cases or so he was told. So far, this case didn’t strike him as falling into either category. It was odd, however, that there was no body, only a silver revolver and a brandy glass lying at its center. He was about to walk away and turn the case over to one of the other detectives at the scene, when the blood began to boil.
____________________________________
Spectacle, spark, nude

As the blood began to boil, the lights sparked and went out leaving only the moonlight to illuminate the spectacle that was unfolding. The puddle of blood began to take shape, it’s form female and nude in appearance, the flesh the color of crimson. She smiled, her white teeth creating a startling contrast to the darkness surrounding her. She knelt and wrapped her fingers around the silver revolver, then aimed it at Ren.
____________________________________
predictable, twinkle, dragon,

He stared down the barrel of the gun that was pointed at him and realized that this could be it. That this was the end of his life, but took comfort that it had been unpredictable and spontaneous. He had lived to the fullest. Ren took a deep breath and made sure to show no fear to the leering silent demon, when he felt something pushed him to the ground. He hit the floor hard, knocking the air of out him. It took Ren a moment to realize that it wasn’t a something that hit him, but a someone. Down her cheek, was an emerald colored dragon tattoo, its scales twinkled in the moonlight. He was about to thank her for her impeccable timing when she unceremoniously knocked Ren unconscious.

 

About Alanna J. Rubin

Writer, Whovian, Jane-ite, Trekkie, & Geek. I could go on, but you get the idea. Originally from Massachusetts, I never missed an opportunity to pick apples, carve pumpkins, or go to Salem for witches and haunted happenings. Now in Florida, not a day goes by when I don’t miss the changing colors of leaves, but wouldn’t give up not having to shovel snow. Often, I find myself torn between watching a Jane Austen adaptation or hopping on the Tardis for an adventure in time and space.

 

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Featured Author: JM Paquette

FEATURED AUTHOR

JM Paquette

JM’s Website

JM’s Facebook Page

 

This posting is a super special mention to JM Paquette for making her writer’s group laugh like crazy while making us realize just how much we care about and respect each other. Her short blurb gives some great insight to one of our meetings.

 

Enjoy!

____________________________________

“Looking back on it,” Alanna commented, staring down at the small dragon perched on Lisa’s dining room table, “we probably should have seen this coming.”

Erika reached out to move her mug out of the way of the dragon’s little tail, took a slow sip, and sniffed. “Well, yeah, but I don’t think this actual event was perfectly predictable.”

“She always said she would do it,” Lisa added, voice carrying to the dining room from the kitchen where she was making more tea.

“So now what do we do?” Jen asked, watching as the tiny creature with the twinkling eyes and glittering scales took a few small steps back and forth across the table. “I mean, do we try to change her back?”

“Can we change her back?” Desi sat down hard in her chair, pulling out her e-cigarette and speaking from within the puffing haze. “I mean, do you know how?”

“Maybe she left instructions,” Alanna guessed, reaching around the dragon to tug Nicole’s abandoned computer closer to her. The dragon was twisting this way and that, small wing fluttering madly. She was gaining ground as she practiced, small body lifting a few inches off the table every few seconds. “Maybe she left a note.”

“I bet it’s a cliffhanger,” Erika commented.

Just then Brandon walked in, face surprisingly impassive as he settled himself at the table, settling his laptop on the edge of the table just beyond the reach of the hovering dragon’s tale. “So, I see we already got started,” he said. “What did I miss?”

“Girl stuff,” everyone at the table chorused, and the dragon blew a tiny lick of flame in agreement.

 

 

About JM Paquette

JM Paquette writes cheesy vampire romance novels filled with action, adventure, intrigue, and sometimes slightly steamy sex scenes. She enjoys alliteration and puns of all kinds.

Follow her on Twitter @authorjmp

 

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Featured Author: Erika Lance

FEATURED AUTHOR

Erika Lance

www.ErikaLance.com

Erika’s Facebook Page

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________
catastrophe, revolver, brandy

Sam looked up from his glass of Brandy, that was now painfully empty besides a couple ice slivers, to see a revolver pointed at his head. 

 

This was probably a bad thing. 

 

He took a breath and raised his head a little higher to look into the eyes of the person holding the gun to his forehead.  

 

It was his ex. She looked mad. Very mad. This was absolutely a bad thing.  

 

“Umm…” He started to say, but he was cut off by Cherie, his ex telling him to “Shut the hell up!” 

 

He pondered for a moment what had lead to this catastrophe. 

 

He remembered going out to dinner after work, he remembered meeting a girl at the bar. What was her name? He thought. 

____________________________________
Spectacle, spark, nude

“What did you say to Cara?” Came Cherie’s shrill voice again. Was her voice always this shrill or did their break-up cause him to finally here it? 

 

“WHAT… DID… YOU… SAY… TO… HER?” She was yelling now.  

 

However, this did spark the name of the girl he was talking to at the bar: Cara. 

 

“Yes. Cara.” He heard himself say. 

 

She slapped him across the face with so much intensity she almost knocked him over.  

 

“What the hell was that for?” He asked. This was of course a mistake.  

 

Cherie began yelling and waving the gun around.  She was also pointing a lot. She was speaking so fast he couldn’t really follow along with what she was saying. He was memorized by the spectacle of it all. 

 

“and showing her your nude….” She was turning from red to purple.  

____________________________________
predictable, twinkle, dragon

It was almost predictable what she did next. Shooting right past his head. 

 

Wait, maybe it wasn’t that predictable.  

 

He had never seen her with a gun. He also wouldn’t have guessed she knew how to fire one with the exception of the fact she just had.  

 

Did she mean to miss? 

 

The loud ringing in his ears made whatever she was yelling now unheard by him. There was however a twinkle coming from the red gemstone eye of the dragon charm she was wearing around her neck.  
 
Hadn’t he given that too her for her birthday. She liked dragons. 

 

Then she slapped him again. 

 

“Why did you show my sister nude photos of us?” She said this time pushing the barrel of the gun against his forehead. Which actually burned slightly. 

 

In this one moment this all made sense. Unfortunatly. She should probably just shoot him. 

 

 

About Erika Lance

I would say I was fortunate, some would say otherwise, to have a chance to live across the US. Originally from Minneapolis, MN I spent most of my formative years in Hollywood, CA, then NM, CO, GA, WI and FL. Moving around a lot meant I got to see so many interesting parts of our country and the cultures that are all around us. All through my life I was lucky to have many artists; writers, actors, painters, poets and musicians. It made for a very wild upbringing. I grew up as an elusive female nerd. My head was either buried in a book or playing RPGs (if your cool you know what that means), it made for an imaginative existence. My love of writing started at a young age and although I wrote a lot for myself, it took hitting that certain moment in my life to decide I wanted to share my universe with the world. With that said, it will most likely be an amazing ride so hold on tight.

 

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Find Someone Compatible – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 3 May 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Predictable
  • Twinkle
  • Dragon

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

LISA BARRY:

“You are so predictable!” Holly yelled at him. Shawn frowned.

“How is that?”

“It’s my birthday so you bring me flowers? Like everyone does that!”

“I thought you liked flowers,”

“Of course I do! But it’s my birthday, can’t you be more creative?”

“Well, of course. But it’s only lunch time. Is there a deadline I’m not aware for creativity in a relationship? Does the end of my chances to give you birthday items come at 11:59 am?”

“Well no of course not.”

Shawn was not having this nonsense. At first the anger was funny but now it was just insane. No woman with strange behavior like this could be a life mate for him. He whistled.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she snarled, “are you so happy and cheerful now?’ The rage in her eyes was really something spectacular.

A twinkle, just a flash, of something in his peripheral. He whistled again and nodded toward Holly. He watched with fascination as his dragon snuck up so gracefully behind her. He lifted a hand a waved at her, the shock in her face a sweet end. He turned away and heard the half scream and then crunch of bones. His dating habits were keeping his dragon pretty well fed but he really did need to find someone compatible.

Like Lisa on Facebook!

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Nevin lay on the hard, uncomfortable ground, trying to shift very quietly to a comfortable position in order to avoid drawing Brady’s attention. On seventeen separate occasions he had done something to raise her ire, and in the quiet of the night, with the stars – albeit strange stars – twinkling overhead, he didn’t want to ruin the first true peace he’d had in days.

As always, just before he drifted to sleep, his thoughts took the predictable path to his home, the terrible final minutes there, and his eternal banishment to this place with no name but which he now thought of as Camelot. He’d tried to ask more questions of Camelot, but each time he said the word, Brandy would snort and look at him like some dung on the bottom of her boot, so he quickly desisted and they rode in silence.

He hadn’t discovered if there were ogres or dragons here, or what to do to appease a wizard if he happened to come upon him, though he wasn’t sure he would be able to recognize a wizard. What did they wear? he wondered. What greeting should I give them? His punishment was unjust, but he wasn’t going to wallow in self-pity, he was going to make the best of the situation. It would help if he had a more informative companion, he thought grumpily, still unable to find a comfortable way to lie without something prodding him.

Very slowly, he rolled over onto his side, so he was facing the fire, and looked over to the other side where Brandy lay in her own bedroll. Except she wasn’t there anymore.

Like Nicole on Facebook!

ERIKA LANCE:

It was almost predictable what she did next. Shooting right past his head.

Wait, maybe it wasn’t that predictable.

He had never seen her with a gun. He also wouldn’t have guessed she knew how to fire one with the exception of the fact she just had.

Did she mean to miss?

The loud ringing in his ears made whatever she was yelling now unheard by him. There was however a twinkle coming from the red gemstone eye of the dragon charm she was wearing around her neck.

Hadn’t he given that too her for her birthday. She liked dragons.

Then she slapped him again.

“Why did you show my sister nude photos of us?” She said this time pushing the barrel of the gun against his forehead. Which actually burned slightly.

In this one moment this all made sense. Unfortunately. She should probably just shoot him.

Like Erika on Facebook!

DESIREE MATLOCK:

Dragon breath is my least favorite thing about hunting humans. Would you want the smell of halitosis to waft your way just as your dinner was being served? Well, imagine your dinner is on someone else’s neck. No way. uh-uh. For this reason, I always converse some with my future meals before I get started. No way I’m feeding on someone with nasty digestive issues. It could affect my dinner. I don’t know, really, whether bad breath could link to bad blood. I don’t care. I’m not finding out.

My sire calls me finicky, but since this is my life, not his. Well, not full his. I’ll do as I wish.

Tonight, I was only a little hungry, which means I’d have plenty of time to choose. I’ve been flirting with the cute boy on the right side of the bar, but hello cutie! The bartending shift change gave me a real treat. The new bartender — way cuter. A thrill passed through me. I decided I wanted to feed on him instead.

I turned toward the bartender, “Hey, cuteness. What’s your name?” I smiled right at him, with my best flirty twinkle eye. My killer move.

“Jonathan.” He looked me dead in the eye, unimpressed. “Did you give up on Dave?”

“Who’s Dave?” I asked.

He gestured to his left, my right, and Dave waved a hand before picking up his drink again.

“Nope, just saving him for later. You…” I pointed, and Dave snuffled weakly, possibly indignated, possibly nervous, but I sensed he’d picked up on some predator/prey instinct telling him about the true meaning of my words. Sometimes that happens, it’s unpredictable. I’d deal with that later.

“You, Jonathan, you’re coming home with me tonight,” I said, doing my best compel. I was looking forward to this one. to keeping him around a good long time…

“Um, no I’m not.” He slapped a rag down onto the counter in front of me, forcing me to pick up my drink, before turning his attention to the other end of the bar to take an order.

Oh shit. Uncompellable. Couldn’t have predicted that. I might actually have to step up my game.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

“Looking back on it,” Alanna commented, staring down at the small dragon perched on Lisa’s dining room table, “we probably should have seen this coming.”

Erika reached out to move her mug out of the way of the dragon’s little tail, took a slow sip, and sniffed. “Well, yeah, but I don’t think this actual event was perfectly predictable.”

“She always said she would do it,” Lisa added, voice carrying to the dining room from the kitchen where she was making more tea.

“So now what do we do?” Jen asked, watching as the tiny creature with the twinkling eyes and glittering scales took a few small steps back and forth across the table. “I mean, do we try to change her back?”

“Can we change her back?” Desi sat down hard in her chair, pulling out her e-cigarette and speaking from within the puffing haze. “I mean, do you know how?”

“Maybe she left instructions,” Alanna guessed, reaching around the dragon to tug Nicole’s abandoned computer closer to her. The dragon was twisting this way and that, small wing fluttering madly. She was gaining ground as she practiced, small body lifting a few inches off the table every few seconds. “Maybe she left a note.”

“I bet it’s a cliffhanger,” Erika commented.

Just then Brandon walked in, face surprisingly impassive as he settled himself in his chair, settling his laptop on the edge of the table just beyond the reach of the hovering dragon’s tail. “So, I see we already got started,” he said. “What did I miss?”

“Girl stuff,” everyone at the table chorused, and the dragon blew a tiny lick of flame in agreement.

Like JM on Facebook!

ALANNA J. RUBIN

He stared down the barrel of the gun that was pointed at him and realized that this could be it. That this was the end of his life, but took comfort that it had been unpredictable and spontaneous. He had lived to the fullest. Ren took a deep breath and made sure to show no fear to the leering silent demon, when he felt something pushed him to the ground. He hit the floor hard, knocking the air of out him. It took Ren a moment to realize that it wasn’t a something that hit him, but a someone. Down her cheek, was an emerald colored dragon tattoo, its scales twinkled in the moonlight. He was about to thank her for her impeccable timing when she unceremoniously knocked Ren unconscious.

Like Alanna on Facebook!

BRANDON SCOTT

With a predictable feeling of panic, he pulled back his gun into his holster and glanced at the door. “Uh, I am sorry, I did not mean—”

“Did you…forget?” the bartender said, not walking around the counter, but instead through it. His form flowing over it like liquid gas and forming on the other side. “I have only one rule here.”

He gestured at the single, old and rotting wood sign hung on the wall over a cow skull. It simply read: “Don’t attack the help.”

“It’s the only rule. The only rule.”

The man, now understanding how big of a catastrophe he was in, took another step back and wondered if he could manage to make an arcane barrier out of the chairs and the sugar packets nearby.

“Could you forgive me this time?”

“I would,” he said, and his eyes twinkled. A happy little light. That then sparked into a roaring flame. Shadows around him flowing up and around like massive wings, and the roar of a dragon undercutting the ambient sound. “But I can’t let the others think it’s okay. They are so impressionable.”

The other bar-goers looked over, nodded in agreement, tried to look as innocent and untainted as possible—cherubic even. This was about as convincing as one could expect with them all being grizzled sons-of-whores and murders.

“Uh…” the man said, “I could pay for all of the drinks or something?”

The demon bartender considered this, placing his hand on his chin. “I could let you do that. Or, perhaps you could instead…give me your soul.”

“Uh…” the man said, glancing at the door. “I could do that…but I’m not sure you would want it.”

The bartender pondered it, moved forward rather suddenly as a wisp of darkness, and placed his hand on his chest. He closed his eyes for a second.

“Hmm, you’re right. Instead, you must work for the next one trillion years.”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Nope,” the god said.

Like Brandon on Facebook!

 

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Featured Author: Brandon Scott

FEATURED AUTHOR

Brandon Scott

 

Brandon’s Website

Brandon’s Facebook

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________

Catastrophe, revolver, brandy

It was, and would always be a catastrophe. From that moment on, every day he would look back on it, it would be the worst day. And, like most with their own worsts days, it began with a drink. He knew this, understood this, that drinking got him in shit, but the brandy somehow tasted good to him, and the tremors came if he didn’t indulge.

The moment crept up on him too, like a creature in a brush. Slinking, sliding, moving, waiting. Then pounce. Jerimiah, the bastard, had said one too many things insulting about his mother—his dead mother—and out came the pistol. Out came his father’s old revolver, shining silver and thin like an accusing finger.

“Whoa there,” said the bartender. He did not move from his spot, but ceased cleaning the mug he had. “That’s extreme.”

“Yeah, no shooting,” Jerimiah said, standing up slowly, the revolver following his upward motion.

The man glowered, but still held his aim, only a slight whispering thought of “no, not okay. This is not right” keeping him from knocking the main backward with kinetic lead.

“Take it back,” he growled.

“What?” Jeremiah said, unaware of his own stupid actions.

“Take what you said back,” he repeated.

The bartender chuckled, with reservation. “Best do what he said. I wouldn’t want to clean up afterward.”

Jerimiah cast a look back of utter concern. “How could you not help?” his eyes said.

“Take it back…” the man said. And his finger tightened.

 

Spectacle, spark, nude

“What,” Jerimiah said, his voice, unfortunately for him, naturally rising with his words. Nasal and grating. “Was it what I said about Agatha? It was a joke, you—”

A spark, gunpowder exploding within a barrel, forcing itself out at a speed too fast to see. Jerimiah’s mouth was mid-motion when the entire upper part of his head cracked opened and his body hit the ground with an immediate drop.

“Well,” the bartender said, picking back up the mug and wiping at it, “That was quite the spectacle. Did he really deserve to die there?”

The man, placing the revolver back away, with the black specter of guilt lingering on his mind, adjusted his askew hat. “Yes. It did need to happen. I am not standing for that, not now, not ever.”

“Oh, fine,” the bartender said, “But you do know that the implications of your mother being nude with some man are not all lies, right? You are a prostitute’s son.”

The man, this time with no time to consider, the switch of violence already thrown by this point, pulled and fired twice at the bartender. The bullets did not hit, however, both going right through his forehead with a parting of skin that reformed back afterward.

“Oh, now, that’s not alright,” the bartender said, “I can forgive a customer dying here or there, but gods do not appreciate such idiocy.”

 

Predictable, twinkle, dragon

With a predictable feeling of panic, he pulled back his gun into his holster and glanced at the door. “Uh, I am sorry, I did not mean—”

“Did you…forget?” the bartender said, not walking around the counter, but instead through it. His form flowing over it like liquid gas and forming on the other side. “I have only one rule here.”

He gestured at the single, old and rotting wood sign hung on the wall over a cow skull. It simply read: “Don’t attack the help.”

“It’s the only rule. The only rule.”

The man, now understanding how big of a catastrophe he was in, took another step back and wondered if he could manage to make an arcane barrier out of the chairs and the sugar packets nearby.

“Could you forgive me this time?”

“I would,” he said, and his eyes twinkled. A happy little light. That then sparked into a roaring flame. Shadows around him flowing up and around like massive wings, and the roar of a dragon undercutting the ambient sound. “But I can’t let the others think it’s okay. They are so impressionable.”

The other bar-goers looked over, nodded in agreement, tried to look as innocent and untainted as possible—cherubic even. This was about as convincing as one could expect with them all being grizzled sons-of-whores and murders.

“Uh…” the man said, “I could pay for all of the drinks or something?”

The demon bartender considered this, placing his hand on his chin. “I could let you do that. Or, perhaps you could instead…give me your soul.”

“Uh…” the man said, glancing at the door. “I could do that…but I’m not sure you would want it.”

The bartender pondered it, moved forward rather suddenly as a wisp of darkness, and placed his hand on his chest. He closed his eyes for a second.

“Hmm, you’re right. Instead, you must work for the next one trillion years.”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Nope,” the god said.

 

About Brandon Scott

Hey, my name is Brandon Scott (though I often go by the name coolerbs). In 2014 I became a professional writer and it has been the ride of my life. I’ve met so many incredible people, and created more than I thought I ever could. And I am so excited for the future.

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Utter Spectacles – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 3 May 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Spectacle
  • Spark
  • Nude

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

DESIREE MATLOCK:

Prin and Danny were making utter spectacles of themselves, skinny dipping and splashing one another like love sick teenagers. Sure, I was used to them being nude, but not while we were on the run, with police dogs on our trail. Our particular nest of oddballs included more than a few who simply couldn’t be bothered with rules and laws. Murder, mayhem and the ocassional robbery chased us all around the world. Now, it was absolutely time to leave, we hadn’t a moment to lose, and I couldn’t get these two to take it seriously.

“James, I’m utterly unwilling to spark another fire up at yet another police station to cover up yet another police man we’ve had to kill because of these two.” I pointed, indignant, certain the much older vampire could rein them in.

James finished his meditation, and without moving from full lotus, looked over at me, “Quit worrying, Clarice, I’ve already compelled the policemen to search to our north instead. Relax, it’s a beautiful day.” He took a deep breath.

It’s true, I have never been very good at relaxing when others would. I tried, though, by laying back against the shore, trying to calm myself.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

LISA BARRY:

The last time I had seen Shawna she had this spark of life that made me jealous. No one should have such a zest and love for life. It’s a farce, a dream that’s never been achieved. Or so I thought. Then I met Shawna. She gave me hope that the raw and horror story I called life could be something different. At school she won everything, the trophies, the opportunities, the boys. I always watched and wondered. Then she became the star of the local theatre and was found by someone from Hollywood and her spark had left town and been brought to the world on the big screen. I knew such things were just lies now as I looked at her nude body in the middle of a crusty motel room on the cities outer strip, a spectacle that would hit the papers and media and no one but me would likely remember the lively girl who once was.

Like Lisa on Facebook!

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Nevin was glad he at least knew what a horse was – he was not a proud man, but a complete lack of dignity did not appeal to him. He rode easily beside the woman called Brandy, trying to wrap his mind around this new world, feeling like a nude babe, before the midwife had even wrapped him in swaddling, so little did he know. Knowing he was most likely going to be put under the lashing of her sharp tongue, but also knowing he had little other choice, he urged his horse up beside her.

“Lady Brandy,” he began.

“It’s just Brandy, Lancelot,” she said.

“Very well, Brandy Lancelot, may I…”

“No, just Brandy, no…never mind. Where are you from?”

That was a difficult question to answer, and he really didn’t want to go into the disgraceful spectacle of his past and the exploits thereof. Best to keep that unknown for now. “A land far away from here,” he said waving vaguely. “Which brings me to my next question. What is this place?”

She sighed. “You know, you might as well call it Camelot. That’s a good enough name.”

“Very well,” he said. “And why did you do that to those men back there?”

A strange spark entered her eye, and flickered out again. “You don’t want those kind do be following us, do you?” she said, and as she nudged her horse to a canter to pull ahead of him, he wondered if she didn’t have her own secrets.

Like Nicole on Facebook!

ERIKA LANCE:

“What did you say to Cara?” Came Cherie’s shrill voice again. Was her voice always this shrill or did their break-up cause him to finally here it?

“WHAT… DID… YOU… SAY… TO… HER?” She was yelling now.

However, this did spark the name of the girl he was talking to at the bar: Cara.

“Yes. Cara.” He heard himself say.

She slapped him across the face with so much intensity she almost knocked him over.

“What the hell was that for?” He asked. This was of course a mistake.

Cherie began yelling and waving the gun around.  She was also pointing a lot. She was speaking so fast he couldn’t really follow along with what she was saying. He was memorized by the spectacle of it all.

“and showing her your nude….” She was turning from red to purple.

Like Erika on Facebook!

JM PAQUETTE:

“Come on, dude. Don’t do this to me. Not now. Please don’t make this a spectacle.” She stared at her phone, flinching just a little when it vibrated, the incoming message clear on her screen. It was James again: I’m serious.

She should have known when he texted her earlier that day. A text out of the blue. A blast from the past. A delightful little how-ya-doin and it’s-been-such-a-long-time chitchat. And that was nice. It was always nice to see how her old friends were doing. She should have seen this coming a mile away.

He had ruined the digital reunion with that message: a declaration of love, a decade old love that could only be the delusional creation of his lonely brain. Of course. There wasn’t even a spark between them back in the old days when they would grab a late dinner after class ended, not that she could recall–and she wasn’t being falsely modest. They had been friends. Solid buddies. Clearly delineated friend zoned. She had already been married back then!

This just had to be a reaction to his new city–all those strangers, the new faces everywhere–of course he would text an old friend, reconnect, and then blow it all to hell with a declaration of eternal devotion.

Why couldn’t he just ask her for nude pictures like everyone else?

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

As the blood began to boil, the lights sparked and went out leaving only the moonlight to illuminate the spectacle that was unfolding. The puddle of blood began to take shape, it’s form female and nude in appearance, the flesh the color of crimson. She smiled, her white teeth creating a startling contrast to the darkness surrounding her. She knelt and wrapped her fingers around the silver revolver, then aimed it at Ren.

Like Alanna on Facebook!

BRANDON SCOTT

“What,” Jerimiah said, his voice, unfortunately for him, naturally rising with his words. Nasal and grating. “Was it what I said about Agatha? It was a joke, you—”

A spark, gunpowder exploding within a barrel, forcing itself out at a speed too fast to see. Jerimiah’s mouth was mid-motion when the entire upper part of his head cracked opened and his body hit the ground with an immediate drop.

“Well,” the bartender said, picking back up the mug and wiping at it, “That was quite the spectacle. Did he really deserve to die there?”

The man, placing the revolver back away, with the black specter of guilt lingering on his mind, adjusted his askew hat. “Yes. It did need to happen. I am not standing for that, not now, not ever.”

“Oh, fine,” the bartender said, “But you do know that the implications of your mother being nude with some man are not all lies, right? You are a prostitute’s son.”

The man, this time with no time to consider, the switch of violence already thrown by this point, pulled and fired twice at the bartender. The bullets did not hit, however, both going right through his forehead with a parting of skin that reformed back afterward.

“Oh, now, that’s not alright,” the bartender said, “I can forgive a customer dying here or there, but gods do not appreciate such idiocy.”

Like Brandon on Facebook!

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