Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fitting In

It's Slamming Time... two genres, slammed together to make one story.  Chuck gave us two lists and we had to pick out what we thought would make some great work.  I chose:  Sword & Sorcery and Alternate History.  Enjoy!

I spotted him sitting alone at lunch time picking at his lunch as the other kids played, screamed and ran around the school yard around him.  Richard was in his own world, as he watched the butterfly flit and flutter on the wind’s current, blind to everything around, and yet, it knew where to go – well, kinda.

He was entranced by its beauty.

I turned my attention away for a moment to pull apart two girls who had gotten into a hair-pulling fight, sending them off to the Principal’s office.  When I turned back, it was in time to see him raise his hand, open-palmed at the butterfly, while watching it with a small smiled on his face.  Then, he suddenly pulled it into a fist!  As he did, the insect was mutilated!

My breath caught and he looked straight at me. 

My mouth turned dry as I saw in his eyes nothing… a mocking kind of expression, a look of emptiness you can’t really describe – but feel.
The bell for the next class snapped me out of my trance and he packed up his lunchbox and walked towards the buildings, stepping on the dead butterfly, walking past me.

I could feel his chilliness as he ignored my attempt to say hello to him.

But I knew at that moment… right then.

I had found him.

I had found Merlin.

A few days passed by and I saw him again sitting in the library looking through books in the study area.  Some of the boys from his class were throwing balls of paper at his head, snorting as some of them got caught in his hair, calling him ‘a poofta’ and ‘whatcha gonna do, cry… go on, cry.’
The whole time, he ignored them, brushing the paper off his work, out of his hair and kept on reading the books – or so it looked like it.  I was flipping through some books to see which ones to use for the next few class reading list, writing down some titles as I found one or two I needed for my class in my notebook, when he looked over at me over his reading glasses.
The boys noticed and snickered amongst themselves little snortings and pickings about ‘a class romance’ and ‘isn’t he a little old for you?’.  He ignored them again as he turned the page of the book, but as he did, I noticed his hand wasn’t exactly touching the page.  His fingers lifted off the page around an inch or so and the page seemed to follow as though by magic.
I almost wished I had my phone or camera handy, but I didn’t.
Blinking a few times, turned back to the book of ‘Old Man and the Sea’ in my hands, decided against it, put it back on the shelf, and picked up the next book from the reading list we were offered.  When I turned back to where Richard had been sitting, I found he had gone.

His classmates had followed him outside.

This was when I heard the scream cut the air!

Dropping the book, I grabbed my notebook and raced outside where I found Richard standing his ground, while one of the students who had been picking on him in the library was in a crumpled heap in the port racks, and appeared to be not moving.
I turned to him, “Richard, what happened?”
One of the boys snapped, “He threw our friend through the air, but he didn’t touch him… it was weird, Sir.”
I looked at the boy they were glaring at and hesitantly touched his shoulder, “Richard, you can tell me.”
He looked up at me, tears in his eyes, “I wanted to tell him to leave me alone, to go away.  When I turned around, he was like that.  I didn’t touch him.”
“Sir, he clearly doesn’t fit in here…”
“It’s not about fitting in when you go to school,” I snapped, “It’s about  getting an education.  Now, I did notice he didn’t do anything to provoke you, so what happened?” I looked back at Richard and he had zoned out, looking at his feet.  He didn’t like being the centre of attention, and I knew he was going to be suspended by the Principal.
I had to call him on this.
“What he said happened… well, it happened, but we did pick on him.” One of the boys said, “But he’s a weirdo… what did you expect?”
“Okay, no name-calling, you’ll only make things worse.” I ordered, “Now, get your friend to the office, along with the rest of you lot and, Richard, you’ll have to come with me there too.  I have to report you.”
His eyes snapped up to me, “Do you have to?”
This was when I knew I was working with a powerful being.  I heard a voice in my mind, ‘You don’t need to report me to the Principal.’
I smiled and said quietly, “I am not the droid you’re looking for.” A panicked expression crossed his face as I let him go first along with the rest of the boys to the Administration.
Man, Richard had it all … all inside him… how did he sleep at night?

His mind power worked on the Principal… and his parents – who had no clue what they had under their roof – and he was let go of. 
I stayed behind and told the Principal what happened.
He didn’t believe me and told me to take some time off – that I was stressed out.
He gave me three weeks off.

This meant I was suspended with pay. 

But I was sent here to find Richard and let him know of his destiny.  Being a substitute teacher wasn’t exactly the right way to do this, but observing him was great outside school.
I could really watch him in his element, which was in public.
Being a sorcerer myself, I could disguise myself and place myself at just the right places and know where he was going to be.  But there was one problem, he knew it was me every time.
He spotted me at a restaurant, at a skate park and at a busy shopping mall… and each time, I had used different disguises.  Richard would turn around and just look at me through the crowd and give me a little smile; knowing I wasn’t allowed anywhere near him, because I was just his teacher most times, most days.

Anyway, I thought to back off and let well enough alone.  I was halfway through my suspension and didn’t want to lose my job at the school; I liked teaching English, Music and Art.  I was good at them.  So, I played my piano, painted a few canvas’ and read a couple of books in the time I had left to myself.

That was until I heard on the radio of the car accident not far from my house.  I turned on the news network on the television and found it was Richard’s family who had been involved in the accident; and all of them but him had been fatally injured in it.
I packed up my bag and took off to the hospital, leaving the tv on and my canvas half-finished and all the lights on in the house.

They wouldn’t let me see him, not unless I was family.
He wasn’t in ICU, but he was being kept in for observation, and that’s all they told me.  I sat in the waiting room in the ER knowing he’d change people’s minds; and he did.
The doctor came out, searched the room for me, “He wishes to see you.”
I stood and followed the doctor into the tiny cubicle where they had him hooked up to a few things, “Hello, Richard.”
He looked at me, “Hi, Mr Harrigon.” He waited for the doctor to leave and the duty nurse to finish what she was doing and pull the curtain for us to have privacy, “You can stop calling me Richard.  I know what- who I am.” He smiled, “And you’re another Sorcerer as well.”
“What is your name, Sorcerer?”
He smiled, “Merlin.  And you are Taliesin, my father.”
“I am so pleased we have found each other… but we have much work to do, for there is a war afoot and not much time to find the Arthur of this time.”
He frowned, “That could be anyone.”
“I know, but we must find The Tor, the Sword and all the Knights as well to make the ending we wish for right.” I grinned, “Are you with me, my son?”
“You know I am, Father!” 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Love Triangle

This week, we were given 3 tables to pick a word from each table... then to write a story from it of 1,000 words.  I chose library, a Vampire, a forbidden tryst.


It’s normally just on closing when I spot him from the front counter.  He walks in with his head down, with his sunglasses on, with that long, black leather jacket on, his hair spiky and weird and all the jewelled colours of green, purple and royal blue. 
It makes my meatsuit go all dewey... and I have to take a deep breath to make sure I keep myself under control.

He often glances over to me.

A smile pulls the corner of his mouth up, but just a little and my knees go all wobbly behind the counter as I pick up the microphone for the P.A system and press the button down: “It’s three minutes to closing.  Please choose your reading material and come to front counter to check it out.  Thank you for coming to the Logan North Library and have a nice day.” I put the microphone down as I switch it off and begin the walk around to check the aisles – just in case we have a few people with their ear buds plugged in and they didn’t hear the announcement.

I find four teenagers huddling in the far corner of the reference section tweeting and texting each other... I mean, what’s the use of socialising if they’re doing that?  Well, I gently tap them on the shoulders and advise them that it’s closing time with a kind smile on my face.

They grunt and pack up.

Yep, teenagers today... I could just rip their faces off.  But the human in me won’t allow it.

...won’t allow it... shit, I think I’m becoming too much of a human.

I keep up the search and look through all the meeting rooms, the childrens’ section and the toilets.  Yes, everyone’s gone, and I’m the last one here... well, me and my mystery guest who has been showing up on closing.

Now... where is he hiding?

I can almost smell him.

Turning toward the staff room, I’m confronted by his tall form as his hand is about to touch my shoulder.  His eyes connect with mine and he smiles at me.
“Hi.” I smile back.
“Hello, demon.” He grins.
“You’re the only one here who can spot that I’m not human.”
“Just like you’re the only one around here who can spot I’m a vampire.” He said dropping his hand to his side.
“But what are you doing here?”
“It’s not you I’m here for.” He said, “It’s your meatsuit.  She’s attracted to me; and I know it.” Stepping forwards, he whispered, “Deep down, I think you know it too.”
Looking at him as he steps back, I figure it couldn’t hurt to ask Alison (the human I’m possessing) if she’d like to be with this vampire.  Staggering a little, she burst forward, as though a child let out into the sun after a few days of rain, “Hi!  I’m Alison!  And you’re so ... well, um... hi.”
“Allison, huh?” he grins looking her up and down, “Pretty name.  I’m Ryan.” He put out his hand to be shaken.  As soon as she takes it, he pulls her close, wrapping his other arm around her, holding her close to his body as she takes in a deep, shaking breath of shock.
This always happens to Humans – they’re so weak when it comes to hypnotising them.
Taking in a deep breath through his nostrils, he takes in everything about her... her scent, her perfume, the smell of her conditioner, her fear of him right now.

He’s going to change that.

Yes... he can change that, right now.  His teeth elongates as his opens his mouth to allows room for them to grow – and his hunger badgers him to feed it; screams at him to fulfill it! – and he lowers his mouth to her neck as she tilts her head at just the right angle...
Alison’s body jerks and the scent changes completely!
“Dammit!” He shoves her away, “Why are you doing this?”
I smile, “You don’t get it.”
He turns and walks way, “I’m not staying unless I get Alison.”

Three days later, just on closing he’s back. He skulks around the library just before closing and he hides again – as usual – and waits for me.
Sitting at the collection of computers near the check-out desk, he watches me close down the main computer system for the night, “I don’t get what?” he asks.
Smiling I turn off the screen I have been working on, “Never mind.”
He stand and walk to the desk, “No… I’ve been around for over two centuries and women still use this crap on me.  What don’t I get?  And don’t say ‘Never mind’.  That’s crap.”
I walk around the counter, switching off the lights as I grab my bag on the way through, “Okay.  She likes you – a lot – but I love you.  I have seen you throughout the centuries go about your business and we have never been allowed to be together; not until now.  The apocalypse hit and they threw out the book, burned up all the pages… and now anything goes!”
He stood there looking me up and down, “You demons smell disgusting.”
“Oh… I didn’t know.”
“It’s your bodily scent.”
“I went to Hell… I came back like this.”
“I know. But I want Alison, please, let her go.” He stood there looking at me.  I knew he wasn’t going to leave me alone until he got who he wanted – and it wasn’t me.
“Okay.” Stepping back, I left her body, watching him catch her as she collapsed.

He truly did love her… want her… need her.

I was just in the way…

This is the one time I’ve hated being a Demon.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Jennifer's Fate

Okay, this week, it's X meets Y!  This means two big movie titles merge together and to make one story.  Chuck made two lists and I picked out two great movies and mixed them together the best way I could.... 'Terminator' and 'Back to the Future'.  Enjoy!

"Come with me if you want to live." his massive gloved hand moved toward me, open palmed as his huge frame stood over me.  Holy crap, just who was this guy?  Did he just kill the arsehole who tried to shoot me as I walked home from the police station and... is that Delorian he's drove up in?
"Okay." I grabbed his hand and he pulled me to my feet as though I was a feather.
"Come on." he had an Austrian accent, but was demanding enough that I didn't notice anything much about him, except, well, he filled out those biker jeans really... really well.
Jumping in to the car, the whole thing groaned under his weight and he pulled down the door as I did, encasing us inside the cramped quarters of what looked like...

No, hang on!  

It was!

It was Doc Brown's actual Delorian!

"Shit!  This fuckin' thing really works!" I blurted looking at the date-marker as the large man punched in today's date, then another date in twenty years' time and then started the car.  The car growled to life as the Flux Capacitor over my left shoulder glowed into action, "Jesus Christ in a side-car." I pulled on my seat belt as the central locking made sure I didn't jump out and my driver - who I thought was saving me - shoved the car into gear and planted the pedal to the metal.




Bright daylight invaded my sight and I quickly shaded my face as my driver handed me a pair of sunglasses, "Here, you'll need these."

Fumbling for them, I shoved them onto my face and looked through the windscreen, "Where are we?" clearing my throat, I corrected myself, "Better still, when are we?"
He didn't say anything for a few moments as the car moved amongst the clouds and early morning sunlight, then he looked at the dash and steered to the left and the car suddenly jerked and bumped!  The tyres screeched as they found purchase on the ground and he applied the brakes. 
We sat there amongst the cloud.
"It's fog." he said.
"When are we?"
"Come on." he turned off the car, pulled the keys out and got out.
I followed him outside and found it was cold.  From somewhere inside the car's tiny quarters, he had grabbed a jacket and gave it to me.  Pulling it on, I looked around and could only just make out a house, "Where are we?"
"This is your place."
"Why do I live in such a secluded place?"
"You don't." he said, "This mountain is filled with people.  It's early morning and nobody is awake yet." he checked his watch and pressed a button and the watch began to countdown, "We have three hours to be here, then I take you back." holding his hand up, he pressed a button on the keys and car vanished.
"Hey!" I yelled, "Where'd it go?"
"Relax, it's still there... but it's just cloaked." he made an attempt at smiling and failed, then walked past me as the door of the house nearby opened, "Doc, I brought her here.  Now can I do my usual updates?"
"Yes, yes, of course.  Jennifer... it's so good to see you." Doc Brown's wild hair appeared to glow in the early morning sun as the fog lifted, "Come inside, Marty's been looking forward to seeing you again."
"Again?" I asked, "But I saw him up at the lake just last night."
He touched my arm as his eyes widened, remembering where I had come from, "Of course, it was 1985 last night, now, it's ... oh never mind, you don't need to know." he hurried towards the house in his usual, wide gate before turning toward me, "Come on, Jennifer, there's so much to do."
"But why am I here?"
Rushing up to me, he touched my shoulder, "There's so much that goes wrong in your future... and it's not you and Marty, it's your kids.  They're losers... they pick up insecurities from your past and apply it to their lives."
"That can happen?"
"It's in their DNA... it was supposed to.  But we can change that!" he pulled me on the arm and dragged me toward the house, "You have only three hours to do this."

Marty pushed himself out of the recliner.  He made that weird, old-man sound my Dad makes each time he gets up.  He's lost a lot of his gorgeous brown hair I loved running my fingers through and he had gotten kinda, wide and podgy in the middle; something he said he'd never get.  Then, Marty looked at me and smiled.  He had the same sparkle in those beautiful eyes he used to when we were... last night.

"Marty." I whispered, "You look..."
"Like crap." he said, "I know.  But we can change this." he looked me up and down, "Did that cyborg kill the mugger?"
"Yes. I did." the Terminator said from his charging unit to my right, "This means you've already changed history in a major way, Jennifer."
I frowned, "No, you did.  I didn't expect you to show up in Doc's time machine; and if I was supposed to die that way, well that's how it was supposed to go."
"Actually it wasn't supposed to go that way." Marty said walking toward me, "Needles destroyed my car last night, remember?  When I didn't take up that race - and he just avoided the Mercedes - he pulled apart the engine in the truck, then beat me up.  You had to walk home from the hospital."
The memory of last night clicked into place, "Yes, that's right.  I had gone to the police and reported him, and that took hours. I was on my way home, because my folks were out of town; and nobody could take me home."
Marty looked to the floor, "I couldn't stop any of it."
"Needles is a horrible person.  But seeing Biff was his Grandfather, well, it's in his genes." I snorted, "So, what happens now?"
Doc looked through the historical records on a thin little screen and a keyboard, "Well, according to Google, Needles just got out of prison and is hoping to get a hold of your family - and soon!"
"And I asked where we are and you didn't tell me." I looked at the Terminator.
"We're still in Hill Valley, California, but it's different." Marty muttered, "Terribly different."
My gut turned cool, "How different?"
Doc sighed as he walked away from the screen, "Jennifer, we have to send you back and - this time - you have to let the guy shoot you."
Marty turned away from me and walked toward the fireplace, leaning on the mantle, "Oh, man, this is heavy."
"Why did you rescue me in the first place?" I asked, my voice shaking as tears blurred my vision, "And what happens if I get away?"
Marty turned to Doc, "Yeah, what happens if she does on her own?"
"Well, this won't be the future we'll be in, it'll be a different one." Doc said, "And if you remember the last time we traveled back in time, Marty, you changed the past with that Sports Almanac and we ended up in a different 1985?"
"Yes!  I do remember that!" Grinning, he walked to me, "Now, you have to fight that mugger, and kill him... can you do that?"
The Terminator unplugged himself from his unit, "If she has never killed before, she will not kill now."
"He's right." I said, "Marty, I'll have to see how I go... if I'm desparate enough, it might happen; you know, the flight or fight response.  But if I can't do it, well, I can't do it."
Doc looked up at the clock on the mantle, "Let's have something to eat and see what we can do."

Lunch in the future was ordinary.  We had sandwiches and coffee, I mean, it all came out of the fridge, was fresh and delicious and and the fruit we ate afterwards was lovely.  

It was as thought nothing had changed between 1985 and 2005.  But I found the bread very, blah. The water was filtered and the coffee wasn't instant; instead it was very exotic and I was told everyone drank it all ground up and in a plunger now.  Wow... how upper-class!
Over lunch, we discussed how to make sure I lived. Marty kept on looking at me with concern on his face. When he thought I wasn't looking, he pulled out a photo of me from his wallet and stared at it, looked at me and back at it, sighed and tried to keep from crying.

I knew it.

I was supposed to die last night.

And this is how his life had turned out... no wife, no kids, no life to speak of.  Marty McFly had turned out to be a failure right through and it was all because I had died last night.

I had to do something about this - and I knew I had to live through that mugging.
"What are you thinking?" The Terminator's voice by my shoulder startled me.
"Oh... hi." I turned to him, "I um, was thinking about what I'm going to do differently when I go back."
"No matter what, you'll be mugged." he said.
"Not necessarily." I smiled, "There's more than one way to skin a cat.  Dad always told me that."
His watch began beeping.  He pressed the buttons on either side of it, "It's time to go back."

The Delorian sped off, down the road.  The Terminator had dropped me outside the police station at the exact time I was scheduled to go inside. Turning I went inside and made my statement - which took me an hour and a half.

Stepping outside, I found it was raining.
"Damn." I whispered looking around and pulling my light jacket around me.  

My house was ten blocks away. 

The hospital was only two blocks away.

It was 2am and my folks were out of town until lunchtime tomorrow morning.

I turned toward the hospital, took one step when the doors opened of the police station, "Hey, Jennifer!"

I turned and there stood the Constable who took my statement, "Do you need a lift anywhere?  It's pretty late and raining."
"Yes.  Could you take me to the hospital, please?  Marty's in there, and I'd like to be there for when he wakes up tomorrow." I walked toward him.
"Okay, come back inside, it's not safe out here." he opened the door again and I walked inside with him.

The Terminator watched from across the road in the darkened interior of the Delorian.  He had stayed in 1985 to make sure Jennifer made the right choices tonight; to his relief, she had.  The policeman was going to be her protector tonight; instead of her being on her own and found dead later the next morning.  

This was going to change the future... but then again, Doc was always right about something:  

the future is never set, not permanently anyway.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

An Eye For Design

I'm back!  Yep, I'm working in with Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Mind's Blog again and doing Flash Fiction Fridays... and this is the first one off the blocks. Here's the prompt:  'You think your character is cool? My character is a fucking adventurous half-orc ranger from a bustling city who studied interior dungeon design'

"Get in there you filth!"

The guard shoved me into the disgusting, vomit-inducing room they called a dungeon and slammed the door behind me as I tripped over an overlapping flagstone and fell flat on my face!

"Yuck." I muttered trying not to let my hands touch the almost-black slime covering the floor, "I can't believe they leave people here."
Rising to my knees, I looked around.  This place was most certainly nothing to look at.  I mean, I've been in dungeons - and I've been in dungeons - and this one was, well, crap on a tortilla.  Sighing, I pushed myself to stand without touching the floor and found this room wasn't tiny. 
Smiling I nodded: 'I can do something with this place.'

Being a half-Orc, I have the best of both worlds; that is I enjoy belting the living shit out of the bad guys (whoever they may be at the time of battle) and then I also have a flair with how I dress off the field.  My home is a cave in Myeena Mountains in Mideilena-West; yes that's across the huge swamp and over the land bridge near the elven quarter.  However, how I came to be able to live there - and not be sent away by the elves - has a lot to do with my half-breed upbringing.  You see, my Mother is Elven and my Father was an Orc... okay, you're wondering exactly what they saw in each other.  Well, it was a wartime love.

Elves go through a time of being in ... um... well they're like cats, okay?  They in heat four times a year and will have it off with anyone or anything.  Yes, my Mother saw my father and ... um... well, being an Orc, he's up for anything - especially Elves.
Okay, now you know how I came to be a half-breed. 

Ick... I know!  

But you wanted to know; I know you wanted to know.

I enjoyed the heat of battle and loved coming home to my little piece of paradise.  I often visited my Mother when I did return and she loved it when I did.

But not everyone liked me.

It's not everyday you see an Orc-like creature walking into an Elven village and nobody will go running and screaming to grab weapons and attack them.  

I'm friendly - really - unless I'm fighting against your army in battle; like I said.

And it wasn't until Mother passed away that the village of Elves started to push me out.  It seemed they were only putting up with my presence all these years.  But when they needed a stronger being to help them with uprooting trees or thatching their roofs in Autumn, I was the one they called upon.  If they needed somebody scare away anyone from the village - besides the dogs we already had - I was the one put on guard duty all night.  I was also the one who helped decorate the gardens, the paths, the houses and make their village win The Village To Live in; according to 'Mid-Mountain Monthly Living Scrolls'.  

Yes.  Not long after Mother died, and after we buried her, the Elves of The Committee waited until I was away in battle to fight for our lands to stay as peaceful as they always have been, before building a wall across the road from my home to their village. This road was one they said they'd always keep paved for me - they had promised to keep the way open for the rest of my life to my mother!

To my mother, they had promised this!
And then, when I started taking the wall down, after I returned home with riches of the battle to share with my 'people', they called on their allies:  The Humans.

Oh!  How I hate The Humans.  They pick and destroy without question.  If they see something different or unusual or 'not right', they'll kill it, then realise it was wrong later on.

So, I fought back - as you do when things aren't right when you're attacked for no right reason.  I used my weapons and acted like my Father... 

I acted like an Orc... dammit... I should have kept my head about me and remembered what my Mother instilled in me:  'Always talk things through.  Nothing comes of violence, Patrick.' 

But it seems my name was no longer Patrick.  They called me 'filth' because I still stunk of the war and battle I been to, because I hadn't had a chance to bath before they ambushed me at the road.

Yes, my capture had been planned.  

I looked around at my dungeon, smiling at my hard work.  The filthy water wasn't going to be drunk by me - no way! Instead I had found the rags of the last person who they had left here and scrubbed the floors, walls and ceiling of thie place.  And oh, how they glistened!

Now, did you know this dungeon was made of marble?  

All it needs is a fountain over in the corner to capture the morning light and fresh hay to take away that icky smell.