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Could Have Ripped Me to Pieces! – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 16 September 2015, these four words were chosen:

  • Reflection
  • Terror
  • Honey
  •  Supernatural

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

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

In that moment of pure terror, Honey paused for a moment of reflection. How on earth had she ended up in this supernatural nightmare? Things like this did not happen to normal people. Why did she have to be so…..abnormal?

The moment was shattered by the claw of the creature trying to rip out her heart. For obvious reasons, she had a problem with this.

“Benji!!” she hollered as loud as she could. “Now would be a great time to show yourself!”

The creature trying to kill her was startled for the briefest fraction of a second by her yell, but that was not enough to deter it. The dragon’s roar was. Benji appeared above them, hundred-foot wingspan blocking most of the moonlight. He roared again, the sound tearing at the ears.

Honey crouched down, putting her hands over her ears in order to not go deaf. Benji swooped down and snatched the werewolf up in one of his great claws, snapping the wolf’s spine and tossing it away like a piece of lint. He grinned at Honey with razor sharp teeth and gave a little yip, seeking her approval with a puppy-like wriggle. Honey stood up, and rubbed the scaly snout of the fearsome dragon.

“Where were you?” she said. “He could have ripped me to pieces!”

Benji didn’t say anything, but his reptilian eyes glinted.

“If this is how this is going to go,” Honey said, “I won’t be so quick to volunteer as bait again! Then we get no jobs. Then we don’t get paid. Then they take you back, chain you in a ridiculous circus wagon and put you on display…”

Benji let out a piteous moan and shook his head.

“Good,” Honey said. “I’m glad we understand each other. Now, let’s go and…”

A low growl from Benji cut her off a second before she noticed the glowing eyes surrounding them.

“Crap,” she said.

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LISA BARRY:

Noll stared at his reflection in the small pool. His stomach lurched in terror. It was the third time he’d glanced in the water since his visit with the witch and each time the result was the same. He would have liked to say that his stomach was upset from the strangely tasting potion but that really wasn’t it. It had tasted weird, true, but sort of in a good way and it had slid down his throat like honey water on a cool day. Smooth and sweet.

It was more that he really hadn’t believed any of it. No witches were real, no supernatural creatures ran through the night. Well, he hadn’t really thought about them running during the day but if he had, he would have laughed in disbelief at that thought too.

But here he sat. He pock scarred face, now smooth. His stringy dark hair, now black as night and smooth, hanging just to his shoulders. His shirt had ripped where his shoulders had strained the thin fabric and his pants were tight and short. He looked just like he knew all women loved and it sickened him.

Yes, he asked for it. Yes, he drank the potion. Yes, he’d thought it was all poppy-cock. Yes, he was wrong. Very, very permanently wrong.

“Goodness, what has happened to you, sir?” a sweet and light voice said from behind him. Noll turned abruptly and found his eyes on a beautiful young lady in a long robe. She stepped back.

“Vampire,” she whispered and ran.

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ALANNA CORMIER

I sat at my desk mindlessly stirring the honey in my tea, lost in thought.  “How did this happen? “ I said aloud holding my head in my hand.  The spell seemed so simple, so easy, a baby could do it.  Once again, I proved that being supernatural wasn’t the fun adventure that movies often depicted.  No, upon reflection, all I’ve succeeded in creating was terror.  The screams outside at least seemed to have subsided.  How could I have known?  All I wanted to do was make the leaves of the trees turn color.  I missed the fall so much.  But instead, the trees took on a life of their own and they were not happy.  All day they’ve been chasing my neighbors up and down the street.  The worst part, my parents were going to be home from their trip to the monthly coven meeting, and boy are they going to be pissed.

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ERIKA LANCE:

It was in the reflection of the window that he saw the terror creep into Jacob’s face. He thought they would have more time to prepare. He thought that they might live to see morning. Now Aiden wasn’t so sure.

He backed away from the window dragging the frozen Jacob with him. “What do you see?”

Aiden knew Jacob could see those things others couldn’t or wouldn’t see. He could see those things that haunted people’s nightmares. The monsters in the closet that your parents swore weren’t real; After the last couple of months Aiden new better.

These things, whatever they were, are supernatural creatures. Some look mostly human; he had even noticed one of the hottest girls in his class was one. She hid behind her bright blue eyes and long honey hair. She had small freckles on her nose and apparently the ability to disengage her jaw to eat off the top half of a person’s head in one bite.

She was out there somewhere. She was looking for them. It’s name was Kelley and it was going to eat them if she could.

“There are three.” Jacob finally said.

“Shit” was all Aiden said.

He grabbed the container of salt and started walking the perimeter again. He had to make sure every entrance was covered.

“You coming?” he asked Jacob.

Jacob shook his head no and pointed behind where Aiden was standing.

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Brings Out Blemishes – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 16 September 2015, these four words were chosen:

  • Ruby
  • Sleep
  • Cream
  • Irritated

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

ALANNA CORMIER

Ruby woke up rubbing the sleep out of her eyes although it felt like she just got to bed.  “Morning already?” she asked out loud irritated.  Most of the night she spent tossing and turning.   She remembered feeling like her face was on fire, what a weird dream she had she thought.  Grudgingly, she slid out of bed and made her way to the bathroom to splash some water on her face.  She felt around the sink for the towel she knew was there, patted her face dry, looked in the mirror and let out a blood curdling scream.  Her face was covered with warts with hair sprouting out from their centers.  Desperately, she reached for the cream she purchased a couple of days ago.  The salesman promised that it would bring out her amazing complexion.  She picked up the bottle and read the fine print, “Warning. Not to be used by witches. Brings out blemishes”.

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LISA BARRY:

Sarla rubbed the magically enhanced cream on her arms while she gazed at the ruby on the coffee table. Ronil had left it out in his rush to get to work and she hesitated to put it away. It was as large as a soccer ball and three times as heavy. The sun barely making its way through the curtains created a kaleidoscope of red hues across the table. It was mesmerizing. She started to rub the cream into her legs.

It irritated her that Ronil always left the stone hidden away in the closet. It was so beautiful it should be out for all to see. It was hers after all. He was so paranoid. She finally moved to her face, gently rubbing the cream into her perfect skin. Sarla stood and looked into the mirror near the front door. Her skin was dark now, slightly dull and cruelly wrinkled. She smiled. Her teeth were perfect, shells of razor sharp ivory.

The cream would last only an hour. Not much time to find and capture dinner but enough. The thought of a fresh catch made drool pool under her tongue.

She couldn’t have been luckier to have met such a wonderful man and she was thrilled that he worked the night shift. He would never have to know about her eating habits. She’d be back in bed getting her beauty sleep before he ever came home.

The door knob shook and she ran to look out the peep hole. Sarla shrieked and ran to hide. Ronil was at the door.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Ben was trying desperately to sleep. Tomorrow was a very big day, and he could not afford to mess it up. The ruby, however, had other ideas. It flashed randomly, throwing beams of sparkling light throughout Ben’s bedroom. He grew increasingly more irritated, to the point where he was seriously considering throwing a pillow at the obnoxious thing.

Sighing, he put the pillow over his own head and fell asleep. When he awoke, the ruby was dormant, no inner sparkle or magic glow calling attention to itself. After a cup of strong coffee with a lot of cream and a couple of eggs over easy, he felt ready for the task at hand.

Taking the ruby, he put in in the little velvet sack, and put it in his pocket. The trip to the old man’s house did not take very long, but the wait outside the door was almost a lifetime. When the door opened and the wrinkled face showed through, the ruby began to heat up.

“Do you have it?” the old man asked.

“Of course,” Ben said.

“Give it here,” the man instructed, thrusting a scrawny arm through the crack in the door.

“Can I come inside first?” Ben asked.

“No. Not now,” the man snapped. “Give it.”

Warning bells went off in Ben’s head and he took a step back. The man disappeared and a new face appeared, this one vaguely wolfish, though it appeared to be rotting in places. Ben was also fairly sure wolves did not have forked tongues or three eyes like the creature in front of him did. A scaly claw reached out for him and Ben stumbled back.

The Firefiends had found him again. At this rate he was never going to get home. At that moment, the ruby chose to become obnoxious again, the red light shining from his pocket like a laser pointer, and like a giant cat, the Firefiend pounced.

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DALIA LANCE:

Shelia was irritated. She pursed her ruby red lips and bit down on the inside of them. If she opened her mouth she knew she would start screaming.

This was supposed to be a romantic evening. Corey and her were supposed to have a night of yummy food and unbridled passion.

Instead he had come home from work, went immediately into the shower without even finding her for a peck on the cheek to say hello.

Had he actually looked for her, he would have found her lying naked on the dining room table with sushi on various parts of her body. She hadn’t placed a lot of pieces, but the ones she had were sticky and cold.

She took a deep breath in that caused a precariously placed piece of spicy tuna roll to fall off her left breast.

Finally she had enough.

She heard the shower shut off, she heard his voice begin to call out for her and as he walked into the dining room wearing only a towel she glared up at him. The shock in his eyes told her that he hadn’t remembered this night and he was trying to figure a way out of it.

Instead of lobbing the sushi at him, she simple stood up letting all the pieces of spicy cream fall to the floor and walked passed him turning only once to say “You can clean that up, I’m going to sleep”.

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Word Exercise 15 Jan 2014 Part II

This week we did the one sentence round robin.  One of our members tossed out a line:

“Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks.”

Each ISG member wrote down that sentence, added a sentence of their own and then passed the paper to the writer next to them. Each of us added our sentence to the story until it reached it’s original “owner” who read the whole thing to the group. We had a lot of laughs, a super good time and ended up with some crazy paragraphs to share with you all.

Enjoy! ISG

WARNING: Contains the F&^% word. And Jimmy usually dies.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. The train was too far away for him to catch and the demons were less than a block behind him. He was out of time, out of ideas and out of magic – except for that one thing he’d rather not admit was in his back pocket, simmering quietly. He turned to run, wishing he had practiced that more, the running part. The creeping cold feeling that the demons sent up and down his spine dissipated, so he risked a glance backward, knowing that would slow him down. the demons had slowed forming a loose circle around him, claws raking the air and fangs glistening in the moonlight. Out of breath and out of options he pulled out a short dagger that glowed blue. And went for the simmering ammo tucked in his back pocket but that move turned out to be his last as the  lid popped off in his hand and blew them all into hell.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. Apparently they would bring him to the next town. The problem was that he had no idea if the next town had any survivors either. He had been looking for weeks now and was getting desperate – desperate enough to risk travelling at night. He took a breath, trying to decide what was next when he heard the twig snap behind him. He turned swiftly, raising his arms defensively, only to see a small gray bunny looking up at him. “Oh, aren’t you a cute, little, fuzzy thing?” he crooned and then the arm latched around his shoulder. And a set of teeth sunk into his neck. “Stupid fucking zombies,” Jimmy thought as a hot tingle spread through his body.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. The sounds around were of a peaceful summer night. He’d have to be quiet and move slowly to not be discovered. If he’d read Google maps correctly, these tracks should lead him right into the girls backyard. “Damn, stupid, fucking google maps,” Jimmy muttered as he looked up to find he was at the wrong house. He had to find and deliver the right girl or there would be hell to pay. He searched his many pockets and found out that he even lost the photo of the girl! This was the quintessential rock and a hard place – no way he’d be able to collect the girl, no way he could go back to Igor’s lair empty handed, no with what the hell spawn would do to him as punishment for failing so Jimmy did the only thing he could – stuck the revolver in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. As soon as his foot landed on the cold metal rail, Sarah’s voice came from the mist, “I didn’t think you’d show.” Jimmy held out the letter he’d received that morning, “It’s not like you gave me much choice.” Sarah took the envelope and immediately frowned. “Where’s the money?” she asked. You said my death would be painful if I didn’t arrive not that it would be painful if I didn’t bring cash. I came because you bade me and I HAVE no money so you’ll have to kill me or get over it. “At the moment I’d take the former,” Sarah said, “But this is no longer just between you and me anymore, Jimmy my love.” And with the a crossbow bolt sailed through the air into Jimmy’s throat, “Meet Pedro.”

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. Funny he thought I didn’t didn’t even remember that tonight was the full moon. There was a mighty howl from nearby and then the sound of a door as it slammed shut. A chill zipped down his arms as a twig snapped nearby. Jimmy was paralyzed between the urge to run and the thought that if he held his breath and stood motionless in the shade of the tree he’d be safe. He opted for holding his breath, ears straining for sinister sounds. It was the smell that overtook his senses before his mouth could catch up with what was happening. “What the -” he looked, slowly down his body – which was disintegrating in flames.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. He waited for the moon to reach its peak, the bespelled jar clutched tight in his hand. He realized the instructions for the use of this mystical salve were probably important and he should have paid better attention when the witch was speaking. If it didn’t work, though, that would buy him more time to figure out what he was going to do with an animated corpse anyway. He knew that Julie had made the zombie follower sound really cool, but now he was thinking that what had persuaded him was his intense desire t keep her interested in him. Even if she was a zombie herself she was still the most beautiful girl, maybe just a little too pale for his mom’s liking. He leaned over the body with the jar open and dug in. Unfortunately, because he hadn’t listened to the directions and had a penchant for “winging it” the love of his life turned into a toad.

<<<>>>

Jimmy stepped out onto the moonlit tracks. A bottle at his lips and a stagger in his gait. He could still smell her perfume on his shirt and it made him take a deep drink. How could he have let her go to meet her old boyfriend. George – gorgeous George of the Irish accent and charming smile, a smile that his a black heart and a blacker soul. Although she said he was a terrible kisser. Jimmy laughed at himself and decided to go all the way in the idiot department, he was going to ‘rescue’ her.  He took another swig for good measure, tilting the bottle high in the air and when he lost his balance, falling hard onto the tracks, he didn’t even feel the metal tracks that crushed his skull.

<<<>>>

Our contributors:

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

ERIKA LANCE

LISA BARRY

RHIANNON MATLOCK

JM PAQUETTE

LAURA PRICE

D.J. KEMP

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Word Exercise 15 Jan 2014

Hi, everyone!

At last weeks meeting we decided to try something different. One of our members tossed out a line:

“The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken.”

Each ISG member wrote down that sentence, added a sentence of their own and then passed the paper to the writer next to them. Each of us added our sentence to the story until it reached it’s original “owner” who read the whole thing to the group. We had a lot of laughs, a super good time and ended up with some crazy paragraphs to share with you all.

Enjoy! ISG

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. Flesh tore with it’s razor sharp talons but still it held on tight. Mira flew nearby marveling at the grace of the bird but scrunching her nose at its meal. After the co-mingled screams of the eagle and the chicken faded into the distance the yard was quiet again. It was only when the eagle landed in the uppermost form of a giant tree to eat his kill that Mira noticed something very odd about the chicken. It was glowing slightly with small specks of glitter falling from its wings. Upon closer inspection, she noticed it also wore a pink leather collar with a tiny silver charm dangling from it. As she stood there, the eagle picked up the collar with a talon that had suddenly turned dainty, “Oh bother,” the bird said, “She’s really going to be angry this time.”

<<<>>>

“The Eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken,” Dan reported into his radio. There was neat of silence from the other end and ten the crackle of static signaled the response. “Which one did he take?” Sally asked in the flippant tone all dumb girl do. “George,” Dan answered. He could hear her sobs over the radio and rolled his eyes. “It was just a chicken,” Dan said, “get a grip.” The sudden quiet on the other side make him think for a moment he had been callous ad he searched for an appropriate platitude to cheer her up. “I’ll buy you another fluffy bunny,” he said in his sweetest tone making the mushy googoo noises that were usually foolproof. After a couple of second, he heard the tiny sniffling noises that meant he had better head down to the pet store; he changed lanes to make the u-turn.

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. Jessica decided that couldn’t have just happened, she was in a mall parking lot after all. Frantically she tried to get the camera open on her phone before it was too far away. The phone was halfway out of her pocket when she heard the voice from far too close behind her, “is this spot taken?” It was Dan, the blond haired blue eyed guy from her science class who oddly enough looked like a chicken himself. Jessica raised a brow s she spoke, “yes, actually it is taken.” Dan was stumped because he never expected her to answer at all so his “cool” had dissipated. As Jessica watched him walk away she  finally put the chicken, the mall parking lot and the fact that a guy from school had just asked if he could sit next to her with not a chair in sight and it dawned on her that something was very wrong here.

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. I nodded. This was exactly as the prophecy had foretold.  For the chicken was the symbol of the mighty crown and the chicken the enemy. Jade buckled her bullet proof vest prepared to go to war against the mighty crown that had shackled her family for over a century. She grabbed her sword and her helmut, motioned to her horse and mounted in one cool move. “Wait my lady!” A voice called from behind her. “Are you not forgetting something?”Jake ran up handing her the flag with the crest of her home, a big red rooster wearing  kilt.

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. The chicken gave an indignant squawk, struggled for a fraction of a moment then turned back into the sprite form he usually wore. Marcus landed, reverting back to his normal state. This used to to be easier he thought. Sometimes he’d fly for so long he’d almost forget himself. He really hoped he wasn’t in the form of a chicken when that happened…well, maybe  rooster. Now he was just getting old; creaky knees, bad back. Everything just wasn’t functioning properly. When Lana, his beautiful daughter entered the field from the dark forest in chicken form, Marcus yelled at her. He wanted to warn her but knew it was too late as she was impaled by an eagle’s claw.

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. Raj lounged in his chair and ignored the screams of his sister as she ran across the field after the birds. From across the yard, Raj was able to grab a rock and hurl it at the eagle. It missed but Raj was quick and his next projectile hit it’s mark. The eagle dropped his prey and turned his focus on Raj. Dinar didn’t notice this fact as she hurried to the rescue of the fallen chicken. She did look up from the crumpled bird, however, when she heard Raj begin to scream. She turned and laughed her ass off as the beast of a bird pecked away at her older brother.

<<<>>>

The eagle swooped down and picked up a chicken. The chicken struggled and tried to extricate itself but it was fulled impaled. Jon hoped his majestic pet wouldn’t dawdle, because the spell would only work with the freshest blood and that meant before it expired. He let out a long breath and spun on his heel to get everything together the instant he saw it’s shape in the sky. As he gathered the materials before him on the table – a hair from a lion’s mane, a tear from a young girl, the first leaf of autumn – he decided that he really needed to find a new hobby. Because if he did this one wrong he’d blow himself and his cranky witch neighbor into the next plane and he really didn’t want to spend eternity with her. The chicken arrived mostly in tact so Jon was able to quickly get the three drops of chicken saliva and add it to his concoction. As the color turned orange, he smiled with success.

<<<>>>

Our contributors:

NICOLE DRAGONBECK

ERIKA LANCE

LISA BARRY

RHIANNON MATLOCK

JM PAQUETTE

LAURA PRICE

D.J. KEMP

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Word Exercise 19 June 2013

 

The Ink Slingers meet every two weeks and one of the fun things we do is an exercise where  three or four members each pick one word. Those words are shared with the group and a timer is set for five – eight minutes. Laying pen to paper or tapping with fervor on their keyboards each person writes as much as they can in that time, but it must include those words. The best part is the sharing of these compositions, often hilarious and always inspiring!

 

And we decided to share.

On 19 June 2013, these three words were chosen:

  • Frigid
  • Cat
  • Halloween

And these blurbs were written….Enjoy!

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Everyone knew that Halloween was the most magical night of the whole year. Boundaries between worlds opened up and let magic in and out of places that some said it should not go, but Valera did not mind. In the twilight, the air had already gone frigid, making her nose tingle and her breath mist. Valera pulled her coat closer to her but it did little good. Her cat stalked beside her, unconcerned with the temperature or anything else. “Are you sure you remember where to go?” it asked her suddenly. “Of course,” Valera said. “Past the Pond, Under the Bridge, Over the field and four paces to the old willow tree.” The cat growled. “What you’re dealing with is very old. The willow is probably gone and those words may not help you.” “Don’t worry,” Valera said. “Hurry up. The moon’s starting to rise.” The pair walked past the pond, under the old wooden bridge, and across the field where the grass crunched under her feet, though the cat moved with silence. “One, two, three, four,” Valera counted the steps. “A wizards legs would be longer than yours,” the cat pointed out. “You should take another step.” “Okay,” Valera said and stepped forward once more. As her foot touched down, the ground under her began to shake and heave with hair-raising groans. The cat yowled and sped off, leaving Valera to face whatever it was coming out of the ground alone.

ERIKA LANCE:

She looked down at the Tinker Bell costume in dismay.

This had been her most well thought out Halloween ever.

She had a party to go to, a hot date and thanks to 6 grueling months of hot yoga, the body to wear these glitter green scraps of fabric that costume maker was calling “Sexy Tink”.

But as her tabby cat Simon curled up near the window, her attention was drawn to the light snow falling outside.

“It was only October” she said for the billionth time before falling into her chair. She was debating if there was any possible way to protect herself from the frigid air when the doorbell rang.

He’s early! OMG! Looking at her cell phone she realized he is way early.

She looked through the peephole to see no one standing outside.

Opening the door she was puzzled. Must be the kids, she thought as she closed the door and turned around to be staring in the face of Death.

LISA BARRY:

Mauri sat curled on the couch near the fire. Charlie, her cat, was sprawled oddly across her lap, his tongue exposed and eyes just slits. She smiled at him.

“Tough night last night, hm?” she asked him. He didn’t budge from his position though a bit drool leaked from the corner of his mouth. She leaned onto her hand and gazed into the fire. Halloween had been over a day ago but they were still bushed. Sore and spent from their spree but happy to be out of the frigid weather and warm from both the lovely fire and the freezer full of some of the finest wealthy children she’d had in years. They would dine well this summer.

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Word Exercise 22 May 2013

On 22 May 2013, these three words were chosen:

  • Flight
  • Mental
  • Cleft

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

RHIANNON MATLOCK
There was a river of sweat that seemed to pool annoyingly in the cleft of her chest. God, why is this happening to me she thought for the umpteenth time. The plane was mid-flight when the alarm sounded. Moments later there was a horrible screeching sound as one of the wings was ripped clean off. From there pandemonium struck. Nearly everyone had gotten up in such a state of mental shock that they clobbered each other as they rushed for the pilot. For what purpose Casey didn’t know. It wouldn’t help. It never seemed to help. No matter how many times she went through the scene, they always died in the end.

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:
Veah dug his sword out of the table, the splintered cleft a testament to the power of his arm though his intended target was no where in sight. A jangling sound behind him caused him to duck, and it was a good thing he did, for the teapot’s flight would have ended where his head began. The Shade stood beside the fire, glaring at him.

“Go away,” it said.

“But I live here,” Veah protested, hefting the mighty broadsword in one hand. Though it’s face was invisible, Veah knew the scowl deepened.

“But I have lived here longer!” it said. “It was mine before you were even born!”

This argument had been going on for the better part of an hour and the repetitive logic was making Veah slightly mental.

“But you’re dead!” he shouted. “You don’t even need a house!”

“The dead have rights,” the Shade said ominously

“Not in my house,” Veah countered, advancing around the ruined table, the words of a particularly potent spell whispered under his breath making the blade glow and the Shade backed away nervously.

“Now, just wait a minute. Can’t we talk about this?”

ERIKA LANCE:
She slid further into the cleft between the wall and her bed.

They hopefully wouldn’t look that closely before they sounded the alarm.

She waited, time seemed to just stand still. It always did when you were watching it.

Finally she saw the shadow pass in front of the window. It passed by and her heart began to sink. So many things had to play out just right for this to work. Then the shadow came back, a small sigh of relief passed over her as she looked down at her arms. She figured she only had a few more moments.

The door swung open to two orderlies and a spew of harsh words regarding being “mental”. One ran to the hall alarm and pressed it and the other flipped on the light as she judged her flight from the room was assumed.

As the orderlies headed out in search of her, she looked down again to discover they had left at the right time.

The blood pooling beneath her could now be seen creeping from under the bed.

ALDEN SCOTT:
The plan formulated in Jason’s head before he realized he was even making a plan, or before he realized he even needed a plan.

Nearly flightful birds, he chuckled to himself. We’ll see about that.

The categorization of chickens being ‘nearly flightful’ always amused him. Did partially or even fully flightful birds ever make fun of the nearly flightful?

There was no time for that now. It was time to concentrate and to focus his mental power. Farmer John had annoyed him for the last time. Clean out the pig stye my ass.

Jason had been honing his telekinesis for just this occasion. The next time Farmer John tucked his fat hands into his overalls and commanded ‘pigs ain’t gonna clean that shit themselves’ he would launch a chicken beak-first into his cleft chin. Bullseye.

Instead of Farmer John, Becky came out of the house carrying a decapitated head dripping with goo. “Relax” she said, “You’re not the only one that has been practicing.”

LISA BARRY:

Mirin’s mental capacity could not take any more of his bullshit. She stopped listened and started imaging ways to further split the cleft in his forehead, the remnant of a childhood accident. Her flight would be leaving in hours and Mirin could not wait to get away from this obnoxious man. He had been telling her what she could and couldn’t do for six long years and now it was time. When the flight landed she already had arranged for a secret drop, new name, new papers. She would simply disappear and her husband would never be the wiser.

DESIREE MATLOCK
I had spent the last seven hours trying to overcome the difficulty of having yet another terrible row with the man I loved. Seven hours at the piano, until my fingers bled, trying to perfect “The Flight of the Bumblebee” for lack of being able to perfect our love. I needed to distract myself from my own thoughts.

Eric had walked out last night, straight into her arms, and I had started with rum and  Rachmaninoff, worked my way all the way to Dvorak and Vodka.

I’d calmed down a bit, and I’d settled into something a little calmer, trying to simply kill the pain.

The mental distraction provided by playing was quickly becoming a new problem, as my fingers hurt more than I really ought to allow, but since the practice could do nothing but improve the only thing I could possibly improve in life right now, I kept right on playing, allowing the cleft in my mind between the lovely sounds I made and the bile of my thoughts to widen, increasing until I slammed the piano lid down and screamed. I walked away to nurse my wounds, run hot water over my hands, and soak them in Epsom salts. I needed to find another release. Perhaps I’d listen to some Billie Holliday with my Bourbon. Or just finally go ahead and call Jerry up.

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Word Exercise 8 May 2013

On 8 May 2013, these three words were chosen:

  • Smudge
  • Mesh
  • Sting

And these blurbs were written….Enjoy!

ANNE CARGILE:
She looked through the mesh of the screen door and sighed. The smudge on the outside was of a hand-print and from the smell came from the pigpen next to the house. Janet wrinkled her nose. Pig shit was one of her least favorite smells. The smell of any kind of shit she amended to herself.

She opened the door carefully avoiding touching the hand-print  Walking into the house, she found herself in the kitchen. A pot was in the stove, boiling over. God Janet thought the smell of shit was bad, but whatever was cooking made her eyes sting. Blinking rapidly she quickly turned the flame off. The froth immediately settled down and admitting a complete lack of courage she couldn’t lift the lid. Instead she told herself she had to check the rest of the house first.

“Hello? Is anyone home?” she called out. The only sounds were the grunting of pigs and the inevitable flies that buzzed. They seemed to be coming from the living room. Janet sighed again and walked over to see what had happened to Sam.

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:
Daisy glared at the sheet of instructions. the old paper, smelling of salt and gunpowder, blood and gold had led her this far only to betray her at the end. A smudge covered the last part of the last sentence and even holding the paper as close to the candle as she dared, she could not make out what the original words had been. She looked around at the odd place she had wound up in, after a dive into the bottomless lake, washed up on an underground shore, a trek through some kind of prehistoric forest to a ancient city crumbling away in a forgotten memory. She had followed the instructions to the center of the city, and the strange contraption sitting on some kind of shrine. The contraption was made of silver mesh and string so fine it looked like spiders had spun it. Daisy had the feeling the last part of the instructions would have told her how to turn it on, or what to do with it, but now she would never know. She balled up the paper in disgust and threw it at the contraption. A blue glow began to travel down one wire…

ERIKA LANCE:
Looking through the mesh of webs that was the cage he was in Sam thought he caught sight of a shadow walking just outside the light.

They are watching, waiting.

He wiped his hand across his pants. He had assumed his hand had gotten damp from his sweat as the temperature around him was rising. Unfortunately, the smudge that had been left behind was dark.

It was happening.

The sting itself had not hurt, but what it had done to his now blackened and rotting sure had. He almost collapsed. Shaking it off he realized his brain could no longer focus even enough to try to escape…

ALDEN SCOTT:
It was dark, cold and raining. She was pissed. She left her house muttering angry, nonsensical words to no one in particular, and cursed at the device in her hand.

“WORK damn you,” she screamed at it again for good measure. She ambled another 40-50 yards and repeated the threat.

This cycle lasted for nearly 20 minutes, all the while driving her further and further from her home. When she finally relaxed enough to realize the rain was beginning to sting her bare skin, she discovered the area was unfamiliar. Her neighborhood was gone, and instead of the local elementary school she was so used to seeing, a brick, windowless building sat alone.

There were mesh chicken coops with dark, featureless creatures lurking within. Their mere presence sent shivers down her spine. She attempted to wipe the rain off her device one last time, but ended up creating a smudge. It was then that a pair of hands larger than any persons hands should be, grasped her from behind.

They lifted her off her feet and took her around the back of the building. The hulking form that controlled the hands threw her into an empty cage.

Her new cage-neighbor –  she later found out his name was Tim – said, “Let me guess, you tried to find a cell phone signal, eh? Yeah, that’s how they get ya.”

LISA BARRY:
The smudge of blood across the mesh wire was obviously understated to the crime. The scraps of skin that lay on the ground beneath told the real story. But it was the smudge that had brought in the emergency call. It was the smudge that brought Vic’s past hurtling to the present. The sting of realization almost brought her to her knees but she had to be strong so they wouldn’t take her off the case. It had been so long ago when her husband had been murdered when she was stationed at another squad in another town. And now the brutal truth that he had not been avenged as she had once thought.

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Word Exercise 24 April 2013

On 24 April 2013, these four words were chosen:

  • Reflection
  • Sharp
  • Tea
  • Young

And these blurbs were written….Enjoy!

ANNE CARGILE:
The day was young Danni thought as she gazed at her reflection in the pool of water. She stood in the rain, her umbrella keeping her dry enough and was grateful for the galoshes her mother had bought her just the week before. She looked again at her image wavering in the water and thought the effect softened her sharp features. Sighing, knowing she was heading quite past the age of being marriageable she began to trudge home. It was hopeless to think she’d ever be able to draw the eye of a prospective husband, there were far more pretty girls than she, more willing to flirt and dance and be cute. Going in through the back door she saw that it was nearly time for tea. With another forlorn sigh she divested herself of her raincoat and pretty galoshes and made her way to the sitting room. Her mother was already there, along with a man Danni didn’t recognize.

Hello dear, come in, her mother said, waving her over to the sit next to her on the couch. Danni did as she was bid and looked at the man politely. He was not a good-looking man, and but he had nice eyes she thought.

Thank you, he said to her, returning her gaze frankly.

Danni gasped, wondering if she’d accidentally spoken her thoughts aloud again.

No, he said reassuringly. He cleared his throat and continued, I’ve been discussing a proposal with your mother. I think you would be perfectly suited to the tasks I need done. Would you like to know more?

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

The old man sat close to the fire, his hands cradling the cup of tea like a precious jewel. His eyes no longer saw the physical world, but Kay knew that they saw many other things that people who did not consider themselves blind would not be able to see. “So…what about this thing then?” Kay prompted gently. Stirring the man turned to face him and smiled. “Impatient, but then the young often are. Very well. Give it here.” Kay handed over the object he had found buried and forgotten in his backyard, a small statuette with sharp edges and vague features that suggested either cunning or wrath, Kay had not been able to decide which. The refection of the fire in the dark stone made the statue come alive, and Kay shivered though it was the middle of summer and the heat of the sun still remained in the earth and air around him. The man began to speak, his voice slow and mellow. “In the first age, many great kings and queens ruled the land, but they all paled next to Helexor of Delvain, the Warrior King that slew the Leader of the Dark Hordes and banished evil for a hundred years after his death.” Kay shifted restlessly, forgetting that the blind man had ears like an owl. “Sorry,” he said when the old man turned his white eyes on the young man. “Please, continue.” The old man sighed. “In order for you to truly understand what it is you have here, young Kay, you must hear my whole story. Or else I am very afraid you will end up just like all those who came before you.”

ERIKA LANCE:
Her mother was looking down at her, cup of tea in hand. “Sweetheart run along” she said as her attention returned to her ladies group.

Mila smiled fondly remembering how proper her mother was. Her attention shifted back to the now stark yard where the tea was once served.

She had heard “you are only young once”, it was true but only for a little while for her.

The day of her memory was when she was six. Yes young, but that would all change.

She and her brother had found the mirror under a cloth in the attic. She remembers her parents saying they should never play up there.

As she gazed at her reflection, twirling her hair with her hand, she remembered the exact moment of her innocence lost.

The creature came up from behind. She could see it over her her shoulder slowly moving up to her. She couldn’t move, she remembered her breath caught in her lungs and the feeling of warm wetness taint her tights she wore that day.

She was jarred back to the porch she was standing on, her fingernails were sharper then she realized as she looked at her palms now displaying small cuts where blood was beginning to well.

LISA BARRY:
Dr. Shawn Youngtea did not look like the picture I had in my mind. He was young with smooth skin and high cheekbones. A shock of curly dark hair made his baby blues stand out despite the glasses sitting on his nose. He didn’t smile as he came thru the door, which wasn’t really expected in the hospital. But he certainly wasn’t the old geezer with sharp eyes that I expected. I frowned in his direction. He was probably wondering why the look when really I was wishing I had checked my reflection before he’d come through the door. It was stupid really. I had a boyfriend and shouldn’t have even thought about it but he was in another state and I was here and this guy was a doctor and…hm. I suddenly wondered how my uncle was doing. That was what brought me here in the first place.

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Word Exercise 10 April 2013

On 10 April 2013, these three words were chosen:

  • Taser
  • Glasses
  • Shiny

And these blurbs were written….Enjoy!

ANNE CARGILE:
A noise outside woke us up. It was late, probably around 1am. My husband peeked out the front window and quickly called me to look. Summertime is hot enough and we always slept with the windows open but that night we were in for quite the show. A man was at the end of our driveway yelling and gesturing angrily at two policemen. We could see the streetlight reflect of the glasses of the older one. Without warning we heard a zap and saw a long, shiny cable fly out, like the tongue of some evil frog from the younger cop’s hand. The man who had been yelling suddenly went stiff and fell over, like a maple tree hit by lighting. “They just used a Taser on him!” my husband said, his voice horrified and gleeful. I couldn’t take my eyes from the scene. I didn’t know the man who was now writhing on the ground next to my mailbox, I hadn’t seen him do anything other than yell and wave his arms. He must have done something threatening though, right? I thought to myself. The cops wouldn’t just do that for no reason. I had no idea how wrong I was.

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Doria found Robert sitting outside on the random boulder in the middle of the yard. “What are you doing out here?” she called out from the doorway. “It’s one o’clock in the morning!”

“Waiting,” was Roberts reply. Doria looked up at the sky. It looked like it was going to storm.

“Come back inside!” She told Robert. “You know we’re not supposed to be outside when it’s dark!”

Robert turned to look at her and grinned, his teeth gleaming in the shadows. “Why not?” he asked. “It’s not like anything is going to happen.” Doria sighed, debated for a moment, and then ran across the lawn to where he sat. She grabbed his arm, and it was reassuringly warm in the cold night. A streak of lightning split the sky and in the distance a low rumble sounded.

“The lightning is so pretty,” Doria said. “I heard it was god tasering bad people and monsters,” Robert said, pushing his glasses up his little snub nose. Doria snorted.

“That’s stupid. there’s no such thing as monsters.” The next flash of lighting reflected in Robert’s shiny glasses, and in the glass Doria saw a dark shape materialize out of the darkness.

ERIKA LANCE:
She was soaked and her hand was coated in some sort of sticky goo that she refused to even contemplate.

How she had wound up here was clear. Telling a Biologist about a new species was like dangling a shiny object in front of any small child. You grab for it without thinking.

She knelt down trying to catch her breath. She heard a snap and looked down to see a broken pair of glasses beneath her knee. Those were Doug’s. She frowned realizing he wouldn’t need them anymore as his face had been eaten off by whatever those things were that were growing in the pods they were sent down to investigate.She supposed that by donating his body, it could be said he was helping science.

New species my ass, she thought as she checked the the taser in her hand. Feeling less then adequate in the defense department as the skittering noises of them moving closer grew louder. What were there like 20 of them now?

ALDEN SCOTT:
Steven’s legs began to cramp. He had been poised behind the dumpster since 9pm. Normally he gave up and went home after 3 or 4 hours, but tonight was different. Tonight he would confront the menace

He fiddled with his taser, careful not to make any sound. He was on hour 6 and all he needed was to make a foolish mistake, drop the weapon and scare off the plague that had haunted his neighborhood for months. He decided to place the taser back in his pocket and remain still when he heard the shuffling.

It sounded as if tiny sandbags were being drug along the sidewalk. Slow, steady and rhythmic. The sound neared as his heartbeat raced. He would face his nemesis soon.

The shuffling stopped and he could distinctly make out the sound of soft clicking. It was time. He raised himself silently from his hiding spot and approached the end of the alleyway. Near the corner he found his mark. She was small, round and extremely old. She wore tiny oval glasses that case a shiny glare from the street lamp. In her feeble hand she held two knitting needles that birthed an orange and green cozy slowly absorbed the local mailbox.

Without a second’s hesitation, Steve leapt at the woman before realizing his taser was no longer in his hand. Sensing the attack, the woman spun around and issued a terrifying shriek. Leathery ,battered wings sprouted from her back.

J.M. PAQUETTE:
“What is it?” Aubrey asked, holding the black plastic device between two fingers. She thrust it under George’s nose. “What does it smell like to you?”

The younger Halfling carefully took the piece from his sister’s outstretched hand. He held it under his nose, taking a deep sniff. “Fire,” he told her, “but only sort of. Maybe lightning and rainstorms.” He looked up at Aubrey, the tips of his ears tingling. “Where did you get it?”

“Never mind that,” Aubrey snapped, snatching it back from him. “It’s mine now.” She brought it closer to her face, examining the long handle that seemed designed to fit in a human’s bigger hand, the metal tips protruding from both sides.

“Can I have it?” George asked, unable to stop himself. Sometimes if he asked nicely, his sister would share her prizes, especially when she didn’t know what they were.

“No!” she shouted, yanking the device to her chest.

“Why not?” he whined. “You don’t even know what it is!”

“Of course I do,” she told him in the self important tones of an older sister. “She said it was called a taser.”

George looked at her, eyes shiny with excitement. He mouthed the word in amazement, pushing his glasses up his nose with one absent hand. He may have the nose in the family, but his eyes were useless. Still, even he could see that there was a little plastic button on the handle.

He smirked a little at his sister, mouth quirking into a challenge. “Oh yeah? What happens when you press that button?”

LISA BARRY:
After I hit her with the Taser I couldn’t help but look her over. She was just a year or two younger than I and I hadn’t noticed before how cute she was. I mean for an Othersider. Dom had caught her in one of his nets and called me over to help. Handing me the Taser he had laughed with excitement. I felt a little sad now. She lay on the ground, sorta twisted and the glasses she had been carrying were now broken at her feet. I was curious what they had contained when I noticed her shiny blue eyes watching me. How she awakened so fast I have no idea. I brought the Taser up but before I could hit the button she winked at me and closed her eyes leaving me wondering if they had been open at all.

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Word Exercise 20 March 2013

The Ink Slingers meet every two weeks and one of the fun things we do is an exercise where  three or four members each pick one word. Those words are shared with the group and a timer is set for five – eight minutes. Laying pen to paper or tapping with fervor on their keyboards each person writes as much as they can in that time, but it must include those words. The best part is the sharing of these compositions, often hilarious and always inspiring!

And we decided to share.

On 20 March 2013, these four words were chosen:

• Festival
• Candle
• Abyss
• Black

And these blurbs were written….Enjoy!

ANNE CARGILE:
The cat perched on the stone wall and watched with glinting eyes as the abyss opened in the circle. The night was black, blacker than sin, but that didn’t bother the cat much. His sight was just as good if not better in these conditions. He twitched his tail as he waited, fully alert. With only a tic of an ear he acknowledged the she cat as she leapt up to sit next to him. They watched together.

When a single candle rose from the pit, both cats jumped down on silent paws and padded to the edge of the circle. Stopping he looked at his companion and gave her a soft bump, purring. She returned the sentiment. By then the night was brilliantly lit as hundreds of lights floated up and encircled the festival grounds, revealing thousands of cats, come from hundreds of miles to partake in this night. Slowly the cats started to move in a counter clock wise fashion, a giant mass of fur, tails and silent paws. No sound could be heard as these silent hunters made their progression, faster and faster around they went.

The next morning a flattened circle of grass some thirty feet wide was the only evidence that anything unusual had occurred. In a nearby farmhouse a male cat curled around his companion and slept.

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:
Tonight was the Festival of the Moon Days. Jesz worked feverishly in the kitchen, pausing only to wipe the tears that leaked from her eyes at odd times. She was going to be strong, she was not going to hide or find a reason not to participate. When every dish in the whole house was spotless, Jesz dried her hands, lifted her chin and retreated to the back room to get dressed. The closet looked like an abyss to her eyes, dark and grasping and if she ever went in there she would never be able to get out. The candle’s light trembled slightly as her hand shook, and she stepped into the stuffy little room. Racks upon racks of clothes crowded her and made the air feel thick. First were the Angelics, the whites and blues, then the Demonics, the reds and purples. Further back were the Earth colors, yellow and green and brown. But Jesz passed all these by and in the very back, was the color she was looking for. Black, the color of the Unknown. Swallowing past the lump in her throat, Jesz slipped out of her thin cotton dress and pulled the scratchy back fabric over her head. Even as the costume settled into place, she could feel it stealing into her mind, taking over her thoughts, making her eyes see things that she did not want to. The candle fell to the floor, the flames struggling to catch hold of the clothes but somehow couldn’t manage to, and the flame died, leaving Jesz in darkness. She had the briefest of moments to think one last coherent thought of her own, There wasn’t any other choice, there was only me – before the thing took over and something wearing Jesz’s body as she wore a costume, walked out of the closet to find the first victim of the Moon Days.

ERIKA LANCE:
In the abyss it always seemed dark. It had to be or others would not dread being sucked in. She often thought if everyone knew what was waiting for them in the black swirling pit then more would want to come.

As she rode her bicycle around the festival grounds she thought how angry her father would be if she lit the small candle in her pocket.

The fungus that grew underfoot and the bizarre pigments that dotted the fabric of the tents were all the brightness that this world, her world offered.

She finally ditched the bike, and pulled open the black flap of her fathers tent.

“Who is for dinner?” she asked fangs extending as she placed herself at the table tying the napkin around her neck.

Her father met her gaze and flatly stated “You know we don’t name our dinners” as he gestured to the woman strapped to the table.

ALDEN SCOTT:
Bruiser stared into the portal. Nothing but the black abyss stared back at him. Piper handed him a candle, but he pushed his arm away.

“What’s yer plan fer that, to show whatever hides yonder what’s comin’ fer lunch?” Bruiser said disdainfully.

“Shut it, ya lummox,” Piper responded.

It had only been a year since the Christmas elves disbanded the workshop and formed a cross-portal police force. Piper had always been in charge and could not come to terms with Bruiser being captain of the guard.

“Tinsel… Sorry, I mean Scar,” Bruiser shouted amongst the huddle bodies behind them. “What was it ye said to me t’other day?”

“I said ‘what is it I hafta do to get some respect around here’?” Scar’s voice said weakly from the shadows.

“Right ye are, m’ boy. Right ye are. Why don’t you just step on up and give this here portal a looksee.”

Scar stepped up to the last remaining portal they had to map and explore. He gazed into the darkness as Bruiser had, and said “Well there ain’t no festival-“

Bruiser shoved the elf hard through the portal before he could finish. He turned to meet the accusing glare of Piper, who for once tempered his reaction.

Many moments passed before Scar returned through the portal. He stood a little taller and his shoulders appeared broader. His smile had a disquieting disposition.

J.M. PAQUETTE:
“I really wish I could have taken you to the festival,” he said, staring long into her face, the wind whipping his long hair into a halo around his head. “I know you would have had such a great time.”

Sara stared at him, not hearing his words with her ears—the wind was too loud for that now—but through the power of the spell. His lips moved again, and there he was, calm and quiet in her mind. “I can see you at the end of the night,” he continued, his tone almost dreamy now, “standing there with the others, lighting the promise candle, and setting it before me. We would have had such a night, you and I.”

Sara nodded, not entirely sure what he meant, not sure what was happening at all, but she could feel him there, steady before her, his arms hard ribbons of steel and his hands clutching her shoulders. “It would have been…”he trailed off, then some life came back into her face, and the corner of his mouth quirked up. “What was your word again? Epic. Yes, it would have been epic.”

She smiled at that, feeling tears on her face now and not sure if it was the spell or the wind or the noise or his words, but suddenly she was so sad, more sad than ever before in her life, and a small part of her brain that was still working said very quietly, that’s because it is time to go now, and you know it. Say your goodbyes, and mean it.

“It would have been a grand night,” she mouthed to him, not even able to say the ways out loud inside his head. “Definitely epic.”

He was nodding now, and she could feel the spell pulling them apart, the wind at her back now, sucking her pulling not at her body, but at something deeper. Did the magic actually work on her soul somehow? She knew he would knew, if she had bothered to ask before, but now it was too late.

“I’m sorry,” she said then, loud and formal through their link. “I’m sorry I’m not the one you were looking for.”

“But you were,” he insisted. “I didn’t know it until now, but you were the one I needed.”

“Aww,” she let the smirk show on her face, even as she felt his fingers start to slip through her, or was she slipping away from him? “Such a smoothie.”

“You weren’t what they wanted,” he said, “but for me, you were..” he paused, and then his face grew frantic as his words grew distant.

“I know,” she yelled, watching as she was pulled away from him. She felt the abyss at her back, yawning pit of black sucking her back home.

LISA BARRY:
Maudi walked through the grounds light on her feet. The festival was just getting started and she was still lighting the last of the candles. Colorful huts surrounded the courtyard with vendors hawking their wares and bakers taunting the people of Levine with treats, best in the realm. Lighting the last candle, Maudi slunk around the outside of the tents to avoid any recognition as she pulled the small tube from her pockets. She moved enough into the trees to avoid detection but still keep an eye on the festivities. She sparked the match on the closest tree and lit the tube, inhaling its sweet and heady smoke. Sighing, she leaned against the tree and blew the smoke into the air letting it pull her into a bright abyss of clarity. Smiling she turned to check on the festival, bringing her head smack into a wooden club and then there was only scores of black to greet her.

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