Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Waiting Game

This week for the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) the theme is Autumn.

The quote I chose is by George Eliot:

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot.

There is something truly magnificent about autumn, and though we Brits don’t celebrate the holiday, it is a time for thanksgiving. For the glorious colours that explode to life, even in death. For the rich and pleasant smells, the wind on your cheeks, the fire in the hearth, and the warm drinks shared with friends.

I found myself inspired by the theme, so I created a few images to (hopefully) entertain you.

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My inspiration for the piece of flash fiction has its roots in my current project. Eventually I will get back to my other works but, as you probably know, I have lived and breathed the Collective for the last six months. I went in a different direction, and used a goddess (of autumn), a completely new character who is surprisingly vocal considering she’s only been in my head for a day!

I’m considering a new series for the blog, and have been itching to find an opportunity to break the fourth wall – this might be it!

Waiting Game

There was a time when committing an act of hubris meant great suffering, and death. Not anymore. In Nearyon, arrogance and pride are applauded, and coercion will probably earn you a pat on the back.

Given the sorry state of affairs, I should not have been surprised that a bunch of upstarts who call themselves mercenaries for hire took me from my home. The kind who, if gathering brain cells was as easy as reaping a harvest, they should be filling their boots. And the worst part – aside from the fact they’re idiots – they take cues from a damn playbook. I mean, seriously, they should get it over with and set up their own club – HubrisRUs.

Okay, so maybe I’m a tad bitter because I haven’t figured out a way to escape, but still, my jailers don’t even have powers to speak of. No. What they have is powerful friends with the ability to dampen a god’s power. I should be flattered that they took extra precautions with me (I’m Thera by the way – in case you were wondering), and put me in a cell that is guarded against earth magic. Which kind of sucks, since my power links to the elements.

Still, I’m not completely defenceless. It took me three days to recover from the dampening spell, but it was worth the hours I spent plotting my revenge. The instant I came back online, I discovered a weakness (did I mention my jailers are idiots?) and, though I couldn’t pinpoint my location, I did manage to escape for a short time using astral projection.

I’m not going to lie, it didn’t exactly go according to plan. My sisters have the same ability, and give that they had been searching for me, the moment our connection snapped back into place they projected too. We sort of passed on the astral plane like ships in the night. It’s one way to find entertainment, I suppose. When you’re stuck inside a box it’s hard to find things to laugh at.

So, now it’s a waiting game. I can’t get out, but my sisters will find a way to get in, and together we will wreak havoc. As an added bonus, I will free all the other prisoners and we might even create our own playbook – 101 Ways to Exact Revenge. Not particularly inventive, but let’s just say I have a one track mind.


 

It didn’t really go anywhere, except as an introduction of sorts. It’s my first attempt at finding the right tone for the story and I wanted to keep it under 500 words. It’s a work in progress shall we say 😉

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Thanks also to Colleen and Ronovan for inspiring us each week.

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Mind Games: Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

It’s been a while since I took part in Colleen and Ronovan’s Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. I tried to follow the theme, I had every intention of writing a mystery. But sometimes you have to go where the story takes you, and I got a kick out of the voice in my head so I went with it.

Because we’re encouraged to use quotes, and I miss sharing them, I’ll lead with that – a quote from Albert Einstein –

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

Mind Games

The moment I woke I knew something was wrong. Well, okay, there were clear indicators, for one I couldn’t feel my arms or legs. My mind helped me out with that, and gave me a helpful image of being strapped to a table, or perhaps I should say a horrifying image.

Things got worse from there. When I opened my eyes it hit me all at once; the blurred vision, disorientation and an odd metallic taste in my mouth. I’d been given drugs. All those lectures from my parents, the times I’d earned my brownie points and just said no, and someone had shot me up.

I took a moment to freak out, time in which I would have thrashed against my restraints – if I’d felt them, that is. But then the voices distracted me. They were quiet, mere whispers, and not being able to make out the words was somehow worse than hearing them at all. It could have been worse, it could have been, god forbid, a club tune; the devil’s music as my dear old gran used to say. She was a bit of a kook, I’ll admit, but at that moment, a pounding beat would have tipped me right over the edge.

The strangest thing was, though I knew I had an eccentric god-fearing woman in my ancestry, and random memories hit me like a slap upside the head, I had no other points of reference.

In that kind of situation, the mind can be extremely helpful, or unhelpful depending on how you choose to look at it. To distract me, my considerate brain offered up a series of dizzying scenarios for me to consider. I was a soldier, special forces, naturally, and I had been separated from my unit. I was an undercover agent and I had come too close to discovering a deadly secret. I was a genius savant and my gigantic brain had tipped me over the edge into crazy town.

Round and round the fantasies went, fed by the drugs, my hysteria, and the fact I had no clue what was going on. For all I knew I was a guinea pig – the only uninfected human on the planet and the scientists had gone for a fag break, before they injected me with more of their crazy potions. No. Wait. If I was the only one uninfected, there wouldn’t be any scientists left to carry out the experiments. Anyway.

I settled on zombie apocalypse and was scaring the bejesus out of myself when I heard my name. I focused, squinting to make out the shadowy form, and I was so lost in the illusion, naturally I saw a zombie. He didn’t leap on top of me, or try to eat my brains, so he was either on a steady diet, or he wasn’t really a zombie at all.

“Can you hear me?” Pause. “Jessica. My name is Dr. Jenkins. Can you hear me?” The voice was soft, non-threatening, the kind you might use on a small child or an animal backed into a corner.

I didn’t respond. For some reason I was afraid of this stranger. I heard different words echoing through my head, frightening words about experiments and phases of treatment and I knew I had done this to myself. I had caused the uncontrollable panic wracking my body. The hallucinations came thick and fast then. My eyes cleared and I was in a small room surrounded by personal crap. I blinked and I was in a cell; cold and dark and dingy. Then back to a place that might have been a hospital, and since the whispering voices were familiar, I couldn’t help but latch onto the savant fantasy.

I relaxed a little, that was until the scene changed again and it didn’t change to anything good. Now I was chained to a cold, hard slab and the whispering voices were coming from faceless creatures behind bars. I blinked rapidly, ready to see something else, anything else, but it only made it worse. I was surrounded by large metal constructs, which looked suspiciously like bird cages. I think I might have screamed, but the sound was more like a squawk.

When I heard my name again I turned, cringing back when a light hit me square in the eyes.

“Jessica. My name is Dr Jenkins,” the voice parroted, but this time the sound was accompanied by touch, and I was so relieved to have some feeling back, the fog cleared a little.

I could make out his features this time, and the more I concentrated, the more I could see. Sounds rushed in, more than whispers this time. I heard the steady pulse of machinery, and the beep of a heart monitor.

It was then I saw her, my mother, cradled in my father’s arms as she sobbed into his chest. I had done that too. Memories flooded my brain as quickly as the tears spilling down my cheeks. I had been at a party, my friends’ laughter echoing around, and I accepted a drink from a stranger.

“Mum,” I croaked, as the room began to spin.

She turned her grief stricken face towards me, and it was the last thing I saw before my mind went quiet and all thoughts snapped off.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

 

Squeaky Goodness – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

This is kind of a long introduction, so if you are pushed for time, and you know what the Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge is, you can jump to the good stuff below – the quote and short story!

I mentioned on Saturday that I miss my friends, and it is the absolute truth. I try my best to keep up with posts, and check in. I particularly enjoy Colleen and Ronovan’s challenges, and wish I could take part more often. When I saw that they have an awesome new format (you should check it out), and the theme this week is Romance, it got me thinking about a scene I started earlier but couldn’t quite finish.

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about The Collective, a serialised fiction project. I begin releasing episodes in April, and you would think, at this point, I have things nailed on. You would be right – sort of. Although the first episode is ready, and just needs checking over by my editor, I still feel there is something missing. One of the main characters, a god, who is a great deal of fun to write; sardonic, egotistical, and somewhat complex, opens the episode. At the beginning, his mood is, shall we say, dark, and though readers will discover why, I can’t help wondering if I should show a snippet of the events that led to his current mood.

So, if I may, I’d like you to be my sounding board. This is the scene I wrote as an alternative beginning to the chapter, and though the romance is dark, the love shines through (I hope), so it fits the theme (I also hope!)

First, one of my favourite quotes about love –

 cactus

Here is the scene, which I finished, and titled ‘Squeaky Goodness’ – it needs work, but let me know what you think.

Power shot across the lush, green-carpeted forest, scorching the grass. Orion was oblivious to the discharge of energy, or to the tears, which soaked into the earth and reformed the damaged ground. His Mohana was gone, cut down in her prime and why? Betrayal. The worst kind of injustice, because this betrayal came from a loved one – Mohana’s twin.

Orion could have saved her, had he reached her in time. Now he was impotent, unable to move for fear he would shatter into a thousand pieces. When Adara had struck the killing blow, the impact tore through his own heart and left it numb; a shrivelled, hollow organ he wanted to rip from his chest, if only so he could join Mohana.

They should never have been, and yet their pairing made more sense than his whole sorry existence. She made his immortal life bearable. Now he faced eternity alone. Even with all the power he possessed, Orion didn’t know if he had the strength for that. Mohana understood him. She had been his equal, and it mattered little he was a god. Not when they were together.

Mohana was born nine minutes before Adara, and as the first-born child, this made her the rightful heir to Clan Ignatius. She had been a powerful sorcerer, a gifted leader, and she had somehow found it in her to love Orion. Him, with an ego the size of a dominion, and too many flaws to count. He amused her, genuinely amused her. Mohana had laughed at his antics, told stories of his accomplishments and shown him how it truly felt to be a god. All his life Orion had been feared, envied and worshipped at one ridiculous alter after another. Until he met Mohana, he actually believed it was his duty to put on a show. To become the pompous jerk his followers expected, those who knew of his existence. Mohana’s strength of spirit, her goodness, humbled him and, without her, his world had no meaning.

Orion felt it building in his chest; the bitterness, the self-hatred, and he did nothing to stop it. He was weak. He hadn’t even had the courage to say his final goodbyes, to look upon her face one last time and let her go. No, he had left the veil that covered her body in place, turned away from the water and walked away. He had fallen as the first arrow whizzed through the air, knowing the archer’s aim would be true and he could not watch Mohana burn. All the atrocities he had seen, the wars he had fought – he did not have it in him to witness his love go up in flames.

Orion had no idea how long he lay sprawled in the grass, masked from sight because Adara had tried to keep the ceremony from him. In another life, he would have made her pay for the insult, she deserved to feel his wrath, and she would. Just not today. Not today.

When his tears dried up, Orion became aware of the heat he was channelling. His energy was still leaking out, poisoning the earth, and killing everything around him. He couldn’t stop it. It had built too quickly, accelerated by his turbulent thoughts.

“Forgive me,” he whispered to the ground. Orion knew, immortal or not, he could not survive the impact if his power reached critical and he lost control.

“Orion. No!”

A heavy weight landed on top of him, and a familiar energy closed in tight. Lucas pushed his arms beneath Orion and the ground, attempting to contain the anger, and grief, and despair. The angel was powerful, but he was not powerful enough.

“Work with me, you son of a bitch. Pull it back. Do it now.” Lucas’ voice came out clipped. He was fighting against the pain of their connection.

“Try…ing.” Orion clenched his teeth. “Get off me.” The energy burned him, but he held tight to it, even as the angel ignored his demand and held tight to him. That was friendship for you, and Lucas seemed about ready to follow him into the abyss. Orion suspected, should Lucas have an actual halo, the thing would shine with squeaky goodness.

He could feel the Guardian’s love bearing down on him, and though he wanted to deny the reminder he was still alive, instead he embraced it. He would be no kind of god if he allowed his friend to perish. Mohana would never forgive such weakness, and besides, he kind of loved the angel too.

As Orion sucked back the power, he felt a final tear roll down his cheek and drop to the ground. Mohana had loved the earth, she would not wish for him to harm her forest. He could give her that. If he couldn’t say goodbye, he could mend what he had broken.

His last thought, as he concentrated on Lucas and the arms clamped tight around him, was that it would be a lonely eternity without her.


 

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday: Dickens and Hope

Writer's Quote Wednesday

It’s been a while since I took part in Writer’s Quote Wednesday. This month, to celebrate the festive season, the focus is on Christmas and other religious festivals which occur during December. Over at Silver Threading it’s a Hanukah theme.

My quotes this week relate to the spirit of Christmas, rather than the tradition itself. I love this time of year, because it’s all about a sense of community, of sharing and spreading joy.

Bob Hope.jpg

Charles Dickens.jpg

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

 

 

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Anne Frank

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

My quote this week doesn’t really need an introduction, or an explanation. There’s a reason writing is used in therapy, and why so many of us escape into worlds of our own creation. Anne Frank says it beautifully.

anne frank

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – William Shakespeare

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

My brother and I got to talking about trust this weekend. We always turn to the subject of my fictional team at some point during our catch up sessions, and this time I had a few questions on the subject of trust within the army. Trust is a precious thing; sometimes it is given freely, and other times it has to be earned, but in either case it is so easily broken. One of my characters is struggling with a trust issue and, as as it relates to a high risk situation, I wanted my bro’s take on it.

Of course, there are different levels of trust; complicated layers which depend on a multitude of circumstances. When it comes to professional trust, you don’t necessarily have to like a person to know they won’t let you down in a particular setting. I could write an essay on the subject, but this post is about the wise words of William Shakespeare. So let’s get to the quote.

william shakespeare

It’s a powerful message and one we could probably philosophise about for days! What do you think to the quote? Do you have any particular views on trust?

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

My quote today is by French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and I think it speaks for itself. I actually found the quote in Dean Koontz’s latest novel, Watchers. I love Koontz’s work, and found Watchers both thrilling and terrifying in equal measure! Having said that, the underlying theme, the message I took away from the novel is one of love – in all its guises. The quote fit perfectly, as it encompasses the very heart of the story. It also reflects that which connects us all.

Theilhard de Chardin

Thanks for visiting.

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Jared Padalecki

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks. I haven’t made a secret of it, and I don’t hide my depression, but there are times (even for a writer) when it is difficult to put into words. It alienates me from my family, because they try so hard to understand. I hide behind a smile, as many of us do, and luckily, I have access to so much light; my daughters, my family and friends, this wonderful blogging community. I’m not blind to the gifts in my life, and even when things are bad, I am grateful for them.

I don’t know where the depression comes from. There’s little point in questioning the origins when it is simply a part of who I am. One of the hardest questions I ever had to face, was ‘What do you have to be depressed about?’ Sure I had a good job, wonderful children, a nice home, supportive family and friends. Yet the darkness surfaced at every given opportunity. It hurt because it actually made me feel selfish, or ungrateful, like I would choose to feel this way.

So when I read Jared Padalecki’s words in an interview, they resonated with me. Someone understood, and even though I know I’m not alone, this reinforcement helped me during a difficult time. The work Jared does, using his recognition to reach others, is truly inspirational. For those who don’t know, Jared plays Sam Winchester in Supernatural. He recently set up a campaign to raise money for an organisation called To Write Love on Her Arms – a non-profit supporting people through depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Source: http://variety.com/2015/tv/people-news/jared-padalecki-always-keep-fighting-depression-suicide-twloha-1201451708/
Source: http://variety.com/2015/tv/people-news/jared-padalecki-always-keep-fighting-depression-suicide-twloha-1201451708/

Thanks for stopping by.

In the words of Jared Padalecki ‘Always Keep Fighting.’

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Hope Solo

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

This week I would like to share a quote from Hope Solo. This is taken from Hope’s about page (www.hopesolo.com):

A two-time Olympic medalist and winner of the 2011 FIFA World Cup Gold Glove award, Hope Solo is widely heralded as the best goalkeeper in the world.

One thing I’ve learned through all the ups and downs is that if you’re doing things right, then you have a core group of people. Not just a core group like your homies or your buddies, but a group of people that has a good influence on you, who you respect and admire, and you know that if they’re on your side,  you’re doing something right – Hope Solo

It’s true that I’m an introvert by nature. There are times I need personal space; for reflection, for peace and quiet, to relax – various reasons. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy connecting with people. In fact, I love to collaborate and find strength in the groups I belong to. We all have people we turn to; those who meet a particular need. I’m not going to bore you with theories or start quoting Maslow, I merely wanted to share with you how grateful I am for the writing and blogging community I belong to. This community is one of my core groups; filled with individuals I respect and admire. People I go to for support, to laugh with, and to share a part of myself others rarely see. I can debate, rant, or even gush (as I am want to do) about my various passions. Even when I am at my lowest point I am grateful for that, grateful for you. So, thank you – to all my online friends.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – M. Barker-Simpson

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers hare the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

I’ve been thinking about community a lot recently. Those thoughts came to the forefront yesterday when I remembered what happened on the 7 July 2005 which led to thoughts of 9/11 and the courageous acts around the world when disaster happens and we step in to help our neighbours. The fact is, in times of crisis we band together. We are one, supporting one another; loving one another, and offering the hand of friendship. There have been positive changes in the world recently, like the new Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriages. It fills me with hope that one day we can become the worldwide community we were meant to be; embracing our differences and our similarities. Accepting that each person on this earth is unique and should be valued – treasured even.rainbow flag Then there are our smaller communities, which also hold value. One of those communities, at least for me, is the writing community, and I feel so blessed to be part of such a supportive group. So my quote today, which is actually a poem, is dedicated to my friends within the community, to the friends I have yet to meet, and the larger community we all belong to.


Banded together

we share our hopes, dreams and fears

and we find great strength


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel