Author Archives: InkSlingersGuild

About InkSlingersGuild

This is a group of fiction writers with the dedicated purpose of becoming published, successful authors. We provide support, inspiration and the occasional kick in the arse. We are awesome.

The Task – a Round Robin Writing Snippet

On April 4th, 2018 the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG) had some round-robin writing fun! We each wrote a sentence or two and then passed the paper to the next person who added to it and passed it along to the next person and on down the line. Here is one of several mini-stories created this way.  We hope you are as entertained as we!

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“The Task”

They all stood in the circle, their shadows joined in a point between them by the magical fires burning behind them. The task had called them to this place between worlds, and their sour tethers were barely holding on. Morton tried to break free, the tethers were so loose, but something dark held a lifeline fixed to his core and he panicked. The darkness crept up inside him, threatening to take over and he felt his mind begin to fade into the background. A voice, sinister, whispered into his ear, into his mind. “So, again you forgot – and again you came.”

First line by NICOLE DRAGONBECK

~~~~~~~~~~

ISG Contributors:

ALANNA J. RUBIN

LISA BARRY

BRANDON SCOTT

ERIKA LANCE

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

 

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Taunt Me – a Round Robin Writing Snippet

On April 4th, 2018 the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG) had some round-robin writing fun! We each wrote a sentence or two and then passed the paper to the next person who added to it and passed it along to the next person and on down the line. Here is one of several mini-stories created this way.  We hope you are as entertained as we!

~~~~~~~~~~

“Taunt Me”

The smell coming from the dumpster made her gag slightly as she lifted the lid to the garbage bin. The decaying body one-eyed her and Molly couldn’t suppress her stomach any longer. Molly doubled over and what was left of her meal from hours ago now graced the sidewalk.

“Well great,” she mumbled. “Another one.”

Steeling herself, she peeked in for another look, knowing that somewhere, she would find what came with all the others – a taunting message written in the victim’s blood.

First line by ERIKA LANCE

~~~~~~~~~~

ISG Contributors:

ALANNA J. RUBIN

LISA BARRY

BRANDON SCOTT

ERIKA LANCE

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

 

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Tastes Like Chicken – a Round Robin Writing Snippet

On April 4th, 2018 the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG) had some round-robin writing fun! We each wrote a sentence or two and then passed the paper to the next person who added to it and passed it along to the next person and on down the line. Here is one of several mini-stories created this way.  We hope you are as entertained as we!

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“Tastes Like Chicken”

Because he was a god, and because he figured it would taste good, he went about eating a tornado. He found it quite surprising, given that he was a god, that it did not agree with him, catching in his throat and making him feel deathly ill.

“What are you doing?” his brother asked as he created a tidal-wave with a flick of his wrist.

The god coughed, spat out a bit of cow hide and turned to his brother with a scowl.

His brother continued. “No one in our family can eat tornadoes, they give us indigestion.”

First line by BRANDON SCOTT

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ISG Contributors:

ALANNA J. RUBIN

LISA BARRY

BRANDON SCOTT

ERIKA LANCE

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

 

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The Surprising Meal – a Round Robin Writing Snippet

On April 4th, 2018 the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG) had some round-robin writing fun! We each wrote a sentence or two and then passed the paper to the next person who added to it and passed it along to the next person and on down the line. Here is one of several mini-stories created this way.  We hope you are as entertained as we!

~~~~~~~~~~

“The Surprising Meal”

I couldn’t stand the thought of eating one more hotdog but the way that kid looked at me, I reached for another. My eyes narrowed at the kid in response, showing him I was up to the challenge. The first bite went well enough, it was the second where problems began. Everything in my stomach rolled and heaved, threatening to come up again, but I forced it down again, determined to see it through. And then I felt it, the warp worm; I should have tasted it over the mustard and now I was done for.

First line by LISA BARRY

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ISG Contributors:

ALANNA J. RUBIN

LISA BARRY

BRANDON SCOTT

ERIKA LANCE

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

 

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Darkness Rises – a Round Robin Writing Snippet

On April 4th, 2018 the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG) had some round-robin writing fun! We each wrote a sentence or two and then passed the paper to the next person who added to it and passed it along to the next person and on down the line. Here is one of several mini-stories created this way.  We hope you are as entertained as we!

~~~~~~~~~~

“Darkness Rises”

The sunset cast rays of red upon the hallowed ground. Standing with those rays was a tall, thin figure emanating malice. Jane stood fast, the pendant clutched in her hand repelling the chill and the darkness as she faced the demon from her dreams. A sly smile played across his face as he withdrew the soul gem from his fur-covered stomach. Jane muttered her incantations softly as she held out her pendant with one hand and drew the appropriate symbols with the other, and the demon’s laugh was the last thing she heard.

First line by ALANNA J. RUBIN

~~~~~~~~~~

ISG Contributors:

ALANNA J. RUBIN

LISA BARRY

BRANDON SCOTT

ERIKA LANCE

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

 

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The Great Sugar Plague – 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!

____________________________________

Plague

Sugar

Incongruous

 

She eyed him suspiciously over her modern history book. “I do not think that there was ever a plague caused by sugar, or the lack there of.”

“Of course there was” he replied not daring to raise his head.

“This is what you intend to have our project based on?” her tone was somewhere between annoyed and the ooze of distain.

“Yep” he replied and began to scribble notes.

It was now time for her to assert her superior knowledge “That is incongruous to the subject of pivotal women in history which is the topic we are supposed to focus on.”

There was a brief silence and then from the other side of the book “of course it isn’t. A woman of history caused the great sugar plague of 1983. Her name was Strawberry Shortcake it is on page 384 and will done on the use of the word incongruous.”

She started turning the pages before it hit her what he had actually said.

 

 

Shocked

Fallow

Wordy

She slammed the book closed and stood up “Strawberry Shortcake is not a woman of historical importance!” her voice drawing attention from most of the other students in the library, some giggling.

He responded again without looking up “Did you turn to page 384?” his voice calm as could be.

Her emotions were teetering between shocked and angry. She was shockingly angry in fact. Why in the hell had she been paired with this… this.. she couldn’t even think of the word to mentally call him.

“That’s it” her voice still louder then she intended “I’m done!”

She started to gather her things when he stated “The great sugar fields laid fallow years after the great  sugar plague of 1983. The consumption having been diminished in the effort to remove the continuing threat.”

Now he looked directly at her.

She squinted her eyes and could only say “Your wordy made up story is laughable.”

He turned the book around to page 384 showing a picture of the fields and Strawberry Shortcake in cuffs.

 

Disagreement

Phallic

Board

 

This is not happening she muttered to herself as she opened her book to page 384. She scanned it quickly and only saw a phallic symbol in the middle of the page. She looked closer, it was actually an oil rig and not a …. Never mind she thought.

“Give me your book” she said as she reached for it. His face shifted ever so slightly in disagreement to her request and then he handed it too her.

She looked at the page and sure enough it was about a great sugar plague.

“What the hell….” She said under her breath as she began to flip the pages. There was page after page of history as written by Saturday morning cartoons.

As she looked though several more pages she looked up again to find that her ‘partner’ had pulled out a piece of poster board to begin the project.

“Where did you get this book?” She asked. It, by all appearances seemed as real as hers. “Prof. Dumbledore” he replied smiling as if this answered any further questions she had.

“I give up” she said as she sat back down in defeat.

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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Woo the Assassin – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 21 March 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Disagreement
  • Phallic
  • Board

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

LISA BARRY:

I couldn’t look him in the eye with my body responding in such an unprofessional manner. I was here to take a contract out on someone’s life for God’s sake, not woo the assassin. I glanced around the diner only to have my eyes land on a phallic mask that I knew had something to do with the doctors that treated people with the plague.

I quickly looked away only to hear the last of a disagreement a couple was having behind me, where verbiage about appendage size was loudly announced to the room. The man must have gotten up so quickly that his chair hit the ground. He rushed out the front door, slamming it so hard the board in the bottom half fell out. I giggled. Martin chuckled.

And everything seemed normal again.

“I need my nephew to go on vacation,” I stated. “He’s deserved it with everything he’s done for this family.” Anger boiled under my skin but when I turned back to Martin, his lip curled slightly, and the anger dissolved.

“I’ll do it on one condition,” Martin said and leaned back in his chair.

I raised my brows.

“Let me take you to dinner.”

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

The huge stones were arranged in a series of circles around the largest one, sitting in the center of the formation, casting a vaguely phallic shape against the darkening sky. “So, what do we have to do?” Lily asked, a nervous tremor in her voice. “We have to wait until the first star appears, and then it will lead us through the stones, into another realm,” Maria answered with infinite patience. The place had been boarded up and signs warning of imminent death or fines tried to scare would-be trespassers away. Maria ducked under one such, but Lily remained outside, shifting her weight from one foot to the next. Maria sighed. She couldn’t believe they were still having this disagreement, and when they were so close. “Look, do you want to find out what happened to Billy and the others or not?” she called out, all patience gone from her tone. “Yes, but,” Lily faltered. “Look, we don’t have time for this,” Maria called back as she stood and looked up at the sky. “I’m going to look for them. You can come if you want, or not.” She found the first faint glimmer of a star, and followed it into the dark, disappearing from view. “Maria?” Lily called, more agitated than ever. “Maria?” When Lily ducked under the forbidding sign, she looked up to find a million stars glittering in the sky and no trace of her friend.

h under her chin.

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ERIKA LANCE:

This is not happening she muttered to herself as she opened her book to page 384. She scanned it quickly and only saw a phallic symbol in the middle of the page. She looked closer, it was actually an oil rig and not a …. Never mind she thought.

“Give me your book” she said as she reached for it. His face shifted ever so slightly in disagreement to her request and then he handed it too her.

She looked at the page and sure enough it was about a great sugar plague.

“What the hell….” She said under her breath as she began to flip the pages. There was page after page of history as written by Saturday morning cartoons.

As she looked though several more pages she looked up again to find that her ‘partner’ had pulled out a piece of poster board to begin the project.

“Where did you get this book?” She asked. It, by all appearances seemed as real as hers. “Prof. Dumbledore” he replied smiling as if this answered any further questions she had.

“I give up” she said as she sat back down in defeat.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

Jack and I were out here in front of the college trying to collect signatures to save the endangered southern warbler from encroachment, and there was a small gang of coeds surrounding him waggling fingers. It looked like the disagreement was getting out of hand.

I could see I needed to intervene.

“What’s going on here, Jack?” The man was clutching his clip board close, looking like he was trying to turn beige and sink into the bricks behind him.

“This MAN was trying to coerce us into signing a petition and waved his phallic symbol in front of our faces yelling about what we needed to do,” said one of the ladies.

“Do you mean… his pen?” I asked, surprised. I spotted the same T-shirt on all the women. It said “GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS”.

“So typical of the patriarchy to just order us to do things. We don’t need your commands, MAN,” another one of the girls said, and everyone nodded. They obviously meant “man” as an insult.

“Well, here’s mine. Want to look?” Apparently my phallus, I mean pen, was okay, and the ladies signed and left.

“Sorry Jack, tomorrow we’ll go back to standing in front of the Target store.”

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

Jeremy followed behind her, unable to break her hold on his hand, glancing behind at the girl with a look of woe that would have torn her heart if she hadn’t spent more than half of her life listening to him whine and complain. No, not complain, she corrected herself. She recalled the lengthy diatribe she’d received when she told him that–apparently, to complain meant to write love poetry back in the Middle Ages, a fact that Sara found hilarious, but Jeremy was definitely not writing love poetry in her honor. He’d worn himself out over the centuries writing love ballads about his beloved anchoress, trapped behind her walls of stone, wrongly persecuted for a crime she was of course completely innocent of, a minor disagreement with the Church that ended with her judged to die in solitude for some no doubt phallic-inspired sin that Sara didn’t even recognize or care about.

She was really tired of listening to Jeremy’s lectures, of the way he bemoaned his past, the way he judged her every move. She paused. What was she doing? She could let him go back inside, leave him to the teenage witch, and be done with him.

Maybe this was what she was supposed to do all along. Maybe her trial was over, her long journey to the end reached, her score on the tally board of destiny even. She looked down at their linked hands, then back up at the wistful expression on the old ghost’s face.

She stopped walking in the parking lot. “Jeremy?” she began. “Do you…” She let the words trail off. Was she willing to let him go? She thought of the girl inside, so young, so eager, so…absolutely unequipped to deal with a spirit of Jeremy’s caliber. What was she thinking to cast off her burden to another so clearly unprepared for the job? This was probably why she had been cursed with the ghost in the first place. She was unworthy, unable to follow through to the end. She stared at him, perplexed as always when she wandered down this path. Jeremy knew the reason why, but he would never tell her.

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BRANDON SCOTT:

Some disagreements are sensible, and some are not. However, there is a third category of this that some might not consider or validate as such: and that is the ones that are so odd and out of the realm of normal conversation that they enter perhaps a different phase of human understanding.

This disagreement, held while shopping for a new board, a headboard for a bed specifically, was of that last section.

“I swear to you, on my mother’s grave, that man’s head was so phallic is represented the patriarchy.”

“You mean phallic symbols do?”

“No.” He shook his head. “No. His head, his head of all heads, specifically, represents men’s hold on this world.”

She stared at him for a moment, pondering this: considering this. Wondering as to what might have been going on for this baffling man. Then, with a deep sigh beforehand, she asked the only question that seemed obvious to her to ask. “Are you drunk?”

He did a double take and even looked a tad offended. “Umm, no? I think that man’s head is the avatar of sexism.”

“I want a divorce,” she replied immediately.

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Kalvin

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Strawberry Shortcake in Cuffs – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 21 March 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Shocked
  • Fallow (not in use/utilized, light brown color)
  • Wordy

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

ERIKA LANCE:

She slammed the book closed and stood up “Strawberry Shortcake is not a woman of historical importance!” her voice drawing attention from most of the other students in the library, some giggling.

He responded again without looking up “Did you turn to page 384?” his voice calm as could be.

Her emotions were teetering between shocked and angry. She was shockingly angry in fact. Why in the hell had she been paired with this… this.. she couldn’t even think of the word to mentally call him.

“That’s it” her voice still louder then she intended “I’m done!”

She started to gather her things when he stated “The great sugar fields laid fallow years after the great  sugar plague of 1983. The consumption having been diminished in the effort to remove the continuing threat.”

Now he looked directly at her.

She squinted her eyes and could only say “Your wordy made up story is laughable.”

He turned the book around to page 384 showing a picture of the fields and Strawberry Shortcake in cuffs.

Like Erika on Facebook

LISA BARRY:

I stumbled mentally as our gazes held. My heart thumped heavily and then twisted slightly. My eyes widened, shocked at what my body was telling me. Impossible. An assassin? Really? My usually wordy self failed me.

Martin cleared his throat in an effort to fill the sudden silence. He sipped his coffee and I took a bite of my muffin. I wondered if he knew.

A very short, fallow skinned fellow came through the door. He glanced at Martin, then at me, his eyes lingering for a little too long. I felt Martin tense and it confused me. The little man must have noticed, he turned away and rushed to a seat on the other side of the restaurant.

As I watched the man settle in to the table, a dark and melodic voice spoke.

“What can I help you with?”

My traitorous body swooned. Martin chose that moment to smile at me. I sighed.

“I need someone taken care of,” I whispered.

Martin leaned his head on his hand, elbow on the table and leaned in to me.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

“The sad part of the whole tale was that the finest mind in all the realms was sentenced to lay fallow and go to ruin and waste, locked in a tower until the man died or the world ended,” James finished, only slurring a little, pointing dramatically at the ceiling of the pub. Trema leaned close to Halfard. “Does he always get this wordy when he’s drunk?” Halfard looked shocked. “Lass, he isn’t even close to being drunk.” Trema frowned, doubting the large man’s perception, but then she spied James collecting the coins from the other habitants of the pub with a hand that was steady and eyes that were clear and sharp. He looked up, caught her staring, and winked. She turned away, warmth infusing her cheeks, and didn’t look up until a thump and the protest of the chair announced that James had returned to the table. “Dinner’s on me,” he announced grandly. Halfard grunted, and took another chunk of bread. Trema nodded in thanks. “What was all that?” she asked. “All what?” James replied. “On the stage? Nothing. Remnants of a life best forgotten, my dear. By me, you, and everyone else.” He smiled brightly at her, but it didn’t reach his eyes.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

Uh oh, Josh was up next. After Dee’s dental mishap, we knew the story was in need of some serious beefing up, and nobody but nobody could manage that quite so well as their resident Wordy McWordsmith.

Especially since this was a fantasy story, and not only had the second flash fiction speaker killed off the dragon – their only protagonist – but now we had yellow-toothed zombies running amok, and Jess was worried that they wouldn’t be able to get the story back on track before it got to Alina, their final contributor. She honestly wrote fantasy best, and would make it all end in a cliffhanger of epic proportions, which was great for once it was uploaded. Lotsa twitter followers from that. It would have shocked half the group into stunned silence if she ever ended anything without a cliffhanger. Josh stepped up.

“The zombies turned as one toward the fallow field away from the villagers, which frightened them more than simply attacking would have. As they all congregated on the ashes of where our dragon fell, those ashes rose from the ground and formed back into a mangled broken dragon, Smoke more than fire belched forth. The villagers cowered as a zombie dragon flapped before them, torn wing still working by some unknown magic. Now our noble hero knew that the villagers truly were doomed.”

Boom. Epic save. Over to Alina to wrap it up in a tidy little bow for the blog. They were totally gonna get at least ten new followers from this, Jess thought.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

A gasp from a few feet away made her look up and she caught the shocked expression of a teenage girl standing on the other side of the coffee dispensers. Sara followed the line of the girl’s gaze directly to where Jeremy stood in all of his disapproving, judgemental glory.

She narrowed her eyes at the newcomer. What was this? No one else could see Jeremy. Her was her ghost, dammit, her burden to bear, her problem to solve, her crusade to….whatever. She cursed herself. Sometimes it didn’t pay to get too wordy. She had to do something, and fast.

The ghost was also noticing this new attention, and he lit up like a glowstick, preening in his elegant, ancient costume, preparing to make a leg at the young girl who was clearly looking at him, the first person to acknowledge him in centuries.

“Madam,” he began, and Sara shoved herself between them, breaking their line of sight, and hopefully their connection. His diplomacy skills had lay fallow for a long time–he didn’t need to rekindle them now. Not here. And certainly not with her.

“But–” the girl was saying, mouth open in awe.

“Oh no,” Sara told her, reaching out to grab Jeremy’s hand, knowing that he would respond to her touch as he always did, but to nothing else in the real world. “No freaking way.” There was no way her ghost was going to haunt her for all these years only to run off at the last second with some second-sighted tramp in a convenience store.

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BRANDON SCOTT:

“They left the field fallow, okay?”

“Fallow?”

“Yes, fallow.”

“Look, Kent, I get that you know a lot of words, but I…well, I don’t. English is a lovely language, perhaps use it?”

“I am using it.”

“But you’re being so wordy about it.”

“Okay, fine. My point is this: in my story, there is a tree, and the tree is very tall, and it has a lot of stuff on top of it that is very green.”

“Okay, now you are just being purposely child-like.”

“Yes, I am. It’s called sarcasm, are you shocked by it?”

“A tad—yes.”

“Why?”

“You’re not usually sarcastic.”

“Oh—well, fine, I guess.”

“I’m just saying. But, do tell me, what is the deal with the tree you’re blathering on about?”

“The tree that grew in that fallow earth?”

“Ugh, yes—that one.”

“Oh. I wanted to show you it.”

“So, this is a real tree?”

“Yep. Real tree. Come on, it’s got something on it, I wanted to show it to you.”

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Cupcake Alley – Featured Author: Dalia Lance

FEATURED AUTHOR

Dalia Lance

www.DaliaLance.com

Dalia’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!

____________________________________

Saturate

Cupcake

Alley

 

“What do you mean you are hiding in the alley?” I wasn’t sure if I should be more concerned about the location or the fact that it was humorous that she was not in her apartment, safe and sound as she should be doing the event she had planned for months.

“Yes! I am hiding in the frickin alley around the corner from Steve’s apartment!” Chrissie said this all in a very loud whisper. So loud in fact that it was almost screaming.

“So you need me to come get you?” I wondered why this would be the option she chose. Then I asked the obvious “Can’t you just grab a cab or an Uber?” we live in the technology age, getting out of any situation was a matter of a few clicks in a app.

There was a sort of whine from her and then “I don’t think an Uber would pick me up” she sighed heavily. “Every part of me is saturated in cupcake and I am wrapped in a table cloth from Steve’s apartment. Please just come get me.”

 

Flail

Rushed

Coterie

 

“Send me the address” I said trying not to giggle too hard. I could tell she was distressed and I didn’t want her flailing around spraying the cupcake all over the alley. That could be dangerous. I laughed at that thought as I rushed out the door ordering the Uber on the way.

She wasn’t far it turned out. In less then ten minutes I was able to get to the building and find the alley “Chrissie?” I tentatively asked, hoping she would reply.

She walked out and she was in fact covered head to toe in cupcake matter. “Ummm… What?” I didn’t get my question out before she was sobbing “It was terrible!”

I wasn’t sure what ‘it’ was, but again before I could form the right question to ask she blurted out “It was a coterie of cupcake smashers.” She was pulling frosting full of glittery sprinkles from her hair. I handed her the bag I brought with make-up wipes and towel and asked “Cupcake what?”

 

Hoodie

Green

Sight

 

She flicked more cupcake off of her and although the towel was now covered she was still a sight.

“Explain what happened?” I asked trying to gather up all of the make-up wipes she had cast off. The alley didn’t need cleaning I just needed to do something so I wasn’t staring as she finally dropped the tablecloth to skirt level and pulled on my green hoodie I handed her.

“I wanted to surprise Steve as you know” I nodded as I could tell she was getting worked up now and just let her continue “and it turns out when I asked him what he wanted he said what he had really wanted was for me to meet his ‘book club’ which seemed weird, so instead of the awesome plan I had set-up I went over to his house.” I nodded again realizing she was waiting for encouragement.

“Turns out there isn’t books he meets once a month with a bunch of guys that like to watch girls sit on cakes and smash bakery items on themselves.” I pursed my lips so I wouldn’t laugh. I wanted to ask how she had agreed to such a thing along with about fifty other questions but all I could ask was “So did he have a good birthday?”

____________________________________

About Dalia Lance

I have had a very interesting upbringing starting with growing up in Hollywood, CA. Never shy, I learned that if you are not willing to try something new you may let life simply pass you by. I love meeting people from all walks of life and these experiences inspire me on a daily basis. As a true friend once pointed out “You are never a complete waste, you can always be used as a bad example”. So what’s the worst that can happen?

What happens when you stop looking for Mr. Right and start looking for Mr. Right Now?

Check out the first book in the Randi Michaels series, My Home on Home Island, and prepare for Mr. Right Now!

 

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Among the Humans – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 21 March 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Sugar
  • Incongruous (doesn’t match/fit) not in keeping with the surrounding
  • Plague

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

BRANDON SCOTT:

“All I’m saying is that sort of reaction is entirely incongruous to a normal human reaction.”

Skreet raised his eyebrow in annoyance. “And?”

“And, if we want to go among the humans, we are going to need to not do stupid things like eating someone’s head.”

Skreet was about to say something in his defense, but burped, and looked around for a moment as if being told something from off-stage in a play. “Okay, I can see how that might have been an overreaction, but he was pissing me off.”

“Sugar works better than acid,” Hew said to him. “Human’s are rather egotistical creatures.”

Skeet nodded to the wisdom and bent down to drag away the body that he had made in anger. He winced a bit as his hand touched the skin—disguise suit or not, he did not want to catch a plague from these filthy little meat apes.

“Fine, fine,” Fleet added as he shoved the body into a closet and sprayed a thin stream of acid onto the corpse. He hoped the smell would not be much of an issue, as it could potentially give him away. “But, please, let’s get on with it—I don’t want to spend much time on this freaking planet.”

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LISA BARRY:

Martin put another spoon of sugar in his coffee. He stirred, lifted the cup to his nose, took and long inhale and then put the cup back down. He went for another spoonful of sugar.

I was here, in this odd diner decorated with medieval influences of the plague and hoping to hire an assassin. Martin had come highly recommended. I was impressed with his attire. Sharp, custom suit in a navy blue, bold yellow tie. His green combat boots were an incongruous addition, but it worked somehow. His red hair was cut short and neat. I thought it odd that his eclectic dress would be conducive to being an assassin but since my father had recommended him, and my father pretty much thought everyone was incompetent, I overlooked the appearance.

After two more scoops of sugar Martin seemed happy with his coffee and took a sip. I was thinking that perhaps he was half-fae. I had lost count of the total sugar added but it seemed like it may have been half a cup or so.

Martin’s bright blue eyes met mine.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

She walked into the old shop, assaulted by the smells of dust and mould and time. A bell chimed, but it sounded far away, and she didn’t think the store was that big. “Hello?” she called out, her voice tiny in the dim space. This was the right place, she had stood outside and checked the address written on the scrap of paper a half dozen times before working up the courage to come inside. She didn’t know what she was afraid of. It wasn’t as if she were going to catch the plague or anything horrible like that. “Hello?” she called out again. This time her voice bounced back to her from several different corners, making the hair stand up on her arms. She wished she had brought a jacket. As she kept walking through the shop, her eyes taking in the myriad of objects and furniture on display to the non-existent customers to keep her mind off why she was here, she noticed something that made her stop in her tracks. At first she thought it was the incongruous nature of the object – a shiny and immaculate tea set complete with sugar tongs and silver tray, sitting among such dusty and forgotten objects, but that wasn’t it. She stepped closer, and saw clearly what it was that had caught her attention from the corner of her eye. The pattern along the dishes was a repetition of the same symbol on the paper that had brought her here.

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ERIKA LANCE:

She eyed him suspiciously over her modern history book. “I do not think that there was ever a plague caused by sugar, or the lack there of.”

“Of course there was” he replied not daring to raise his head.

“This is what you intend to have our project based on?” her tone was somewhere between annoyed and the ooze of distain.

“Yep” he replied and began to scribble notes.

It was now time for her to assert her superior knowledge “That is incongruous to the subject of pivotal women in history which is the topic we are supposed to focus on.”

There was a brief silence and then from the other side of the book “of course it isn’t. A woman of history caused the great sugar plague of 1983. Her name was Strawberry Shortcake it is on page 384 and will done on the use of the word incongruous.”

She started turning the pages before it hit her what he had actually said.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

Dee was motioning with her arms ferociously, really getting into telling her piece of tonight’s flash fiction exercise, way too overzealous, but since she’d eaten the entire delivery’s worth of sugar donuts while the rest of them worked on their Moo Goo Gai Pan and General Tzo, it made sense.

“It was then that a plaque of zombies descended on the peaceful villagers, and our noble hero was fending them off with his bat, when-”

“Wait wait – you mean a plague here, right?” Jess interrupted. “A plague can descend. Plaque doesn’t descend, well maybe, but very very slowly from the upper teeth.”

Dee looked confused, answering at a mile a minute. “No, I mean, it’s plaque, right? ”

“Unless your hero is a dentist, no.”

“Argh. Again?” Dee had apparently learned all her words from books, which made for some hilariously incongruous uses and pronunciations.

“We’ll wait while you look up the difference between these two words, love.” Jess said kindly. The rest of the group nodded. It had happened to them all at some point, although perhaps not at quite the same level.

Dee deleted, edited and continued on. She really was quite a good writer, as long as the rest of her friends were there to catch her misnomers. But, that’s what a writing group is for.

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JM PAQUETTE:

Jeremy was watching her as she fixed her coffee. His voice was bland when he spoke, “You want some coffee with that sugar?”

She glared at him, allowing the stream of white grains to trail slowly off before grabbing the stir stick to slowly, deliberately, mix her drink. “I don’t think you’re in a position to judge,” she commented, taking a small sip and closing her eyes in pleasure at the sweetness filling her senses.

“I just think if you’re going to have the pleasure of actual coffee, you should be able to taste it, to appreciate it.”

She took another small sip, the heat nearly taking the skin off the roof of her mouth, but totally worth it for the slice of heaven that exploded against her taste buds.

“I am absolutely appreciating it,” she told him. “More than you ever could.”

“What do you know?” he snapped. “You don’t appreciate anything you have.”

“Look,” she said, turning to face the ghost directly, his faded shape incongruous against the bright lights of the convenient store. She knew no one else could see him. She’d gotten good at having quiet conversations no one else noticed. “Just because you died during the Black Plague does not mean you get to judge me for every modern convenience.”

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Kalvin

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