Sunday, December 27, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday December 27, 2015

Here are 8 from my HAG story -
The assistant professor stood on a table with a pint in his hand. "Listen, people, listen! She and all the Mademoiselle Aphrodite's are behind the attack on our University." He pointed to Heather. David stood behind her with his arms crossed in front of him and scowled at the assistant who continued."The hags are angry about having a Man of Mechanics as head of the University and are angry at the world of steam powered devices taking over their beloved nature. They fear the loss of their power over us normal people. She knows how the College of Mechanic’s building was damaged and knows..."

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway has ended - ebook on sale for one more week at $1.99


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Miss Winsome and the Scientific Society by Alice E. Keyes

Miss Winsome and the Scientific Society

by Alice E. Keyes

Giveaway ends January 03, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Full Moon at Moonshine Ranch

I say this quote as I walk to the place where I will transform;
“Something has spoken to me in the night...and told me that I shall die, I know not where. Saying: "[Death is] to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.” I always wondered if he was a werewolf too but with the name Thomas Wolfe, it would be too conspicuous.
My transformation is the death of my human form and the rebirth into a werewolf who is of the land. I move through the forest to a patch of snow. Ice to cool the fire. The fire signifies the beginning of the change the full moon calls forth. The transformation starts deep within every bone, radiates outward along every nerve and in every molecule.
 I convulse as the fire of pain passes from my soul to my skin; I die. I writhe in the snow and its coolness is another kind of fire, indiscernible from the burning tearing through me in a flash. My bones crack and knit. I stand on four paws; I die. I shake my burning flesh and skin falls away like the shedding of a fiery encasement. I died and I am reborn. A howl from my primal core says I am a greater being than my human self through the fiery flesh and the bone wrenching change. Transformation. The snow has melted beneath me. I smell spring grass.
    My senses are greater, my desires are greater, my love of the land and its rugged wilderness is fierce. The full moon rose and called me to my werewolf form.  I smell a faint whiff of a spring grizzly bear who emerged too early from his winter den. I listen and hope to hear my Yellowstone wolf pack beckon me to run with them. Every sense is awake. I start a silent run through the forest. My paws a tattoo against the earth in time with my heartbeat. Perked ears are sensitive to every sound. I listen for the howl of the alpha male.
    Running across an open field, there are patches of snow and the hint of bright green grass emerging from winter. As a predator, I do not hide along the edges. I dare the night to see me. I am at full speed when I hear him calling me, telling me his location and the location of the pack. Within minutes, I am greeted by my family. They lick my muzzle, checking my scent for change, welcoming me and acknowledging my rank as an alpha female.
    A month has passed since I have seen them. I expect a little play, some rough-housing, the typical greeting of old friends amongst my pack, but our alpha is overly alert and tense. He growls at our play, nips at our heels, and offers a reproachful bark. We stop. He listens, his head cocked at an angle. He has our attention and I tune into my senses, alert for the strange or unusual disturbances in the night. The night keeps its secrets from me.
Without warning, the alpha takes off running at full speed toward Yellowstone National Park. The pack and I follow.
I enjoy the run, bounding over fallen logs, veering around large boulders, and climbing steep hills with ease. I am in sync with the pack. Our hearts beat out the ancient song of the land’s connection to our wildness. Our motions are in harmony with the trees, the wind, the hills, and the mountains beyond. The Earth is beautiful, and I am a part of its rhythm. More a part of the land than I am a part of anything in my human form. I am home and I am free.

    The Alpha stops at a stream well within the borders of Yellowstone. He paces along the stream smelling the river’s edge. We watch his movements. He quickly crosses the river to the bank on the other side and smells that edge of the river. He lays down and the pack crosses the river.
    The river is barely less than ice, cools my paws. I prance through quickly and turn at the edge and lap up the water. Nothing tastes as good as this. I look up and see the two lesser males play-fight with the river slowly flowing downstream. The females have lain down with their backs to a stone. I circle around the Alpha. He huffs at my presence but then puts down his head and closes his eyes. I lay next to him. Resting in wolf form has never been easy. The fire of transformation is always close and still burns within every molecule.
          I am not the only one not resting at ease. The alpha opens his eyes and though his head remains down on his extended front paws, his ears are twitching, alert and aware. His eyes watchful, and I wish he could tell me what I have missed this past month. The wind blows the clouds overhead, and the moonlight glints silver off the tips of the fur on his back. We watch the pack our surroundings together. Two sentinels. Ready.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

8 Sentences from HAG story - 8-sentence-sunday-on-dieselpunks

"There are plenty of deer in this woods,” said David as he hung the carcass form a tree and started to dress it. “When I traveled over the area in an airship, I experienced the vastness of the forest. It expands to the uncivilized area and reaches far into it before you even see a village."

"There are airships now?" she asked.

"Not many and not for general travel. My brother, an inventor, built one of the first ones. We went traveling for a year on his airship."

“They are pretty common in my time for traveling, though I find the height is unsettling and prefer to travel by train or bicycle."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday December 6, 2015

I quickly grabbed these eight sentences from NaNoWriMo project. 8-sentence-sunday-on-dieselpunks

After several drinks, Olive grew tired of keeping Eli from breaking her secret to Henri and Mark. She stood on a chair, “I would like to make an announcement.”

All of the patrons and the owner turned their attention to Olive.

One of the workers said, “You have our attention and once you announce something here, it sets the gears in motion. You must do whatever you say and I’m hoping...”

Eli stood and glared at him because he was sure it was going to be a bawdy suggestion. The man hesitated and then said, “Yes, Miss your announcement.”

“I am going to Boston tomorrow and join the protest against the Academy of male inventors.”

Monday, November 30, 2015

NaNoWriMo - 50,000 Words Completed

And, now back to editing. Miss Winsome's next two novellas and Reigning Curse(a steampunk fairy tale) will be out in 2016. That's the plan.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Kiss in Eight Sentences

From NaNoWriMo work in progress - 8-sentence-sunday-on-dieselpunks

    At the entrance, he took her hand from his elbow and started to bring it to his mouth. Olive, in the spirit of the evening, stepped forward and kissed him gently on the mouth. It was such a quick action of pulling his hand down, stepping closer, and popping up on her toes to reach his mouth that her eyes looked into his and she saw a look of surprise cross his face at this blurry close distance. She liked that she surprised him. He didn’t step back but with the hand that wasn’t holding hers, he caressed the underside of her chin and extended the length of the kiss which Olive meant to have only last a moment. Their lips softly touching the others. He pulled away slowly and she dropped her feet from tiptoe position. 
   He gave her hand a little squeeze and said, “Good night, beautiful inventor.” 
   “Good night, Eli.”
   With her words, his hand left hers and he clutched at his heart, walked backwards two steps before he turned and left.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Won't You Come Out to Play

A terribleminds flash fiction challenge during NaNoWriMo writing - Crazy, Right? This challenge was a 1000-words based on a song picked randomly. My song was Dear Prudence by The Beatles. I wrote this using the characters from my NaNoWriMo project. It might end up or it might not end up in the completed story.  Go here to read others - flash-fiction-challenge-random-song-title-palooza

Won't You Come Out to Play

After a hearty lunch and bike ride around the entire campus, Olive went back to the inventing lab. When she put her bike in the rack, she reminded herself to set the timekeeper bell to sound an alarm at precisely 6:15, which would give her an hour to tidy up and get to her outing with Eli. He was mysterious about the exact plans but assured her it was nothing that would harm her reputation. She laughed because a female college student in the inventing trade did not stand a chance with any man of means with or without a gleaming reputation. Though, Eli was kind to assure her.
   Up the three sets of stairs, she chanted "alarm, 6:15, alarm, 6:15." 
   She reached the door, put in the key, and turned it until the rather loud click sounded. The noise of the click brought her thoughts to how the gears clicked soothingly on the second part of her current invention. 
   She closed and locked the door behind her and entered the lab. The space sang to her of the countless possibilities. Each completed and half-complete inventions sitting on tables had their own voice and drew her to work on them. 
   Olive’s chant was forgotten. Perhaps it was the click of the lock or the smell of oil, keeping the gears running smoothly, which permeated throughout the room which made her forget. She went straight to the invention, the pile of schematics, and layout drawings. She stared at the drawings and then she pulled from the various drawers and nooks all the parts needed. She marveled at how the drawings spoke to her as if her father stood next to her giving directions.
   After laying out the parts, she proceeding to assemble. The time ticked away while the outside world turned from day to night. The college clock tower chimed each hour. The clanging of bells signified five, six and then seven o’clock, but Olive’s eyes never lifted from her task. 
   A loud banging on the lab door disrupted her concentration. 
   Startled from her trance, she stood, dropped the section of gears, and a small steam motor. She looked at the large clock on the next work table.
   “Shit! I forgot the alarm,” she said looking at her grease covered hands and wondered how many times she had touched her face with them.
    Another knock on the door, “Olive, Miss Randolph. Are you in there?”
    Olive ran to the door almost knocking over a lamp and a stool. She looked again at her hands and at the key in the door, and then at her skirt where she should’ve seen a stained apron. 
    “Olive. Did I hear you?”
    “Yes, one moment, I’m,” she rushed to get a rag and wrapped it around her hand so she wouldn't get grease on the key. She turned the key and opened the door with the wrapped hand.
    Eli Crane walked into the room looking very groomed with slicked black hair and a black velvet jacket. “Are you alright?” He took the rag wrapped hand into his. Olive saw concern in his amber eyes.
    She pulled her hand from his, “My hand is fine. I was greasing the gears and I lost track of time and...” She stopped speaking and wiped her hands in the rag.
    Eli finished her rambling, “and you lost track of time because you are an inventor not some silly maiden preening for the evening.” He took the rag out of her hands and inspected her fingers which were shiny with a layer of grease and her cuticles were stained with ink. “Perfectly lovely,” he said bowing and kissed the top of each one. “Knowing I was taking an inventor to a gathering, I left plenty of time for...” Letting go of her, he went to the coat stand, grabbed the only coat and held it out for her.
    “So you left plenty of time for rudeness. Susan usually keeps me timely to engagements, but she’s not here and I was going to set an,” she sputtered while letting him help her put on the coat.
    “Olive, stop, I’m in no need of an apology.” He held out his elbow. Olive sighed and took his arm even though the quiet whirl of the lab still called her to keep working. 

    When they stepped outside the building, there was two men and a woman who were all holding onto bicycles with headlamp illuminating the ground. This group instantly greeted them.
   “You found Olive, our inventor. And what a delightful sight she is,” said the man in a black velvet vest. 
   “Manners, Jacob. Let Eli introduce her,” said the girl in a black silk poplin split skirt which was perfect for an evening out and riding a bike. Seeing how lovely this girl looked Olive frowned because of the carefully chosen ensemble going to waste just sitting on her bed. With a toss of her head knowing her red curls were springing out of her quickly made bun, she desided her unkempt state was how a genius inventor should look.
   “This is no evening for manners,” replied the same man. “Olive, I’m Jacob. She is Beth. And he is Sean. Take your bike, Eli, for the evening can't start until we arrive.”
   Eli chuckled and took the bike. “Olive, you can ride on the handlebars. I’ve done it before.”
   Prefering to be incontrol, Olive said,“I have my own." She ran to get it.
   The groups energy was catching. Olive knew tonight was not going to be her typical evening.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday - Novemeber 15

Here's my eight for 8-sentence-sunday-on-dieselpunks
“You think it would be beneficial to your invention to take a picture of my painting. The one I did for the slide presentation?”
“Yes, have you thought about my other questions on the practical use for the invention.”
Olive felt excited some answers were at hand if they photographed one of her paintings.

“I’m not practical by nature. My husband gets quite upset about how lackadaisical way I run the household. Would you please come to my office tomorrow during the noon hour and we’ll set up something about having my painting photographed." She swallow the last few sips of tea and grabbed up the remaining three biscuits on her saucer and left

Sunday, November 8, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday November 8

These eight are from the NaNoWriMo novel in progress. It is a darker offshoot of the Miss Winsome tales. Miss Olive Randolph is the main character. Her mother is Maggie Randolph. This eight is an argument between professors about the women inventors being allowed in an inventor's academic Salon.

“Weren’t you listening. They were actually going to let women join a few seminars. And, Huzzah for that. I would have Maggie Randolph a member any day. What a bore to only have men inventors. It would be a simple matter of changing the name and a few words of the doctrine.”
Professor Smith’s face was getting red and he stood with his hands clenched in fists. “Are you daft man? That can never be!” He stepped toward Professor Jones.

8 Sentence Sunday

Sunday, November 1, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks

Here is my 8 sentence sunday on dieselpunks. Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. I'll start to post excerpts of the story I'll be writing the entire month of November, so this will be the last of excerpts from my H.A.G. novel.

Here is a quickly grabbed 8 out of my HAG story. I need to get started on NaNo. Sunday's are busy family days to try to start NaNo. Those first words are the hardest to write even if I know that they will be changed when I edited.
"Marriage a rare thing?"
"Couples who decide to share rooms or have a child will throw a party. A formal ceremony of marriage is usually only between two old families."
"The wedding in the woods?"
"An anomaly. They were not of old families. They wanted the ceremony and she was a mademoiselle aphrodite." David stopped and motioned her to step next to him. Heather drew in a quick breath at the sight of a wolf, such creatures were an extreme rarity in her time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Casanoire - An Odd Zombie Story

This terribleminds Halloween challenge was to randomly pick one thing from column x and one from column y and create a 3000-word story. I ended up with Casablanca and The Walking Dead. I really wanted to write horror, but instead this story is just odd. Three thousand words was hard for me. It seems I either think in under a thousand words or in novel length. I'm sure there are a lot of scary and gruesome Halloween stories that were created for this challenge. Go HERE to find them.

Each night, the people with thoughts and ideas and life file into the abandoned tunnels of Casanoire's subway system. There is a routine to their filing and where they go within the system. Some areas are lively with youth, parents, grandparents, whereas other areas are void of joy with single people finding ways to disconnect from life. Their happiness is lost and is swallowed within the hoards of undead loved ones wondering topside the moment the sun dips below the horizon.
   Bean, one of the single souls, asks the dank air around him, “Why does the sun repel them and where do the go during the day?”
   “You've asked that question every night for the last three months,” says a bearded man sitting and leaning against a wall under a subway light reading a book. “This is a quiet area. Go to where your question will be answered by those who have tried to change these dark times.”
   “I am alone. It is not acceptable for me to go where there is laughter.”
   “Bah, if you are curious, then you have something left. Something in you that seeks human companionship. Go and leave me to my reading and my dark thoughts.”
   Bean wanders further down the darkened tunnel. Many who wander the tunnels hold a light through the darker passages where the subway lights have burned out. Before him, he can see spots and specks of light. He looks down another tunnel after becoming tired of hearing the single people mumbling to themselves about the past or the snores of those who choose to sleep away the twelve dark hours of life below ground. He seeks absolute solitude.
   He chooses to turn down a tunnel which doesn’t have specks of lights and the subway lights are so rare there is barely a glow to guide him. This lack of light and evidence of people reminds him of his life up top. He is always alone living in his parent’s house two blocks from the metro blue line. When the fog that change people into zombies descended on Casanoire, he was sixteen. He still wonders why some people changed and others didn’t. Why was he spared and his entire family changed?
   He stops when he hears a tune floating in the stale air. The music is followed by the sounds of voices. Darkness is before him and looking back all he sees is darkness from where he has entered the tunnel. He walks forward toward the sound. Recognizing the instrument that made the sound, he hesitates again. His mother did play piano every spare moment she had and the distinct sound of a piano being played bounces off the tunnel walls. Every day when he leaves the house to go to the tunnels, he walks by the piano. Bean has never been tempted to sit and tap the keys since the fog took his family away.
   A faint glow beckons him on and when he turns a corner the sound of revelry and a golden warm light is in front of him. He thinks the man with the beard is right about his curiosity and walks toward the noise and glow. Before anyone can see him, he puts his back to the wall and slithers closer. He isn’t quite ready to be seen.
  Before him are dazzling chandeliers hanging off poles, girls in beaded knee-length gowns, and food displayed on a table that he only remembers from his childhood. Since the zombie fog, he eats gray food for his morning and evening meal, which is served at state-run dispensaries.
  Bean watches a girl in a pink and silver dress moves about the room with ease talking to everyone in turn. Off to the side and almost out of the light, a group of musicians plays. Bean can see the piano and a man in a tux who plays it. The other three musicians play saxophone, oboe, and a standing bass.
  The melody draws a girl wearing long black gloves near the musicians, and she begins to sing. Her voice is echoing off the walls. The crowd stops their conversations and listen to her though she doesn’t sing words. She sings vowels sounds that punctuate the melody. People sway and drink out of cut crystal glasses.
  “You should join us,” says a voice. Bean is startled and bangs his head on the wall behind him.
  “I was only watching. I’ll leave now.” He starts to walk back down the dark tunnel.
  The girl catches him in two steps and grabs his elbow. “No, really join us. There’s plenty and the fun has just begun.”
  “I’m a single soul. I don’t have fun.” The laughter around her eyes makes him wish he wasn’t a loner.
  “We were all once alone after the fog. Now, well, join us and see.”
   She is the girl that moved within the crowd with ease. The way she invites him makes him feel it is ok that he isn’t in a tux or feel ashamed that he had been watching them.
   “I’m Snowflake. What’s your name?” she asks as she hooks her arm around his and pulls him into the light.
  “Bean,” he mumbles as his stomach growls when he catches a whiff of the food.
   “Yes, it does smell lovely.” She smiles at him and he relaxes a bit. “Grass, Stick. Come, meet Bean.”
   The girl finishes her song and the musicians begin a new tune. Two boys, who look like twins in their tuxes rush toward them.
   “Bean. Is it?” Bean nods and Snowflake lets go of his arm and is grabbed around the waist at the same moment the boy extends his hand. Bean shakes it. “I’m Grass and this is Stick.”
   Stick extends his hand. “Let’s get you a drink and some grub. You look like you’ve had too much of that gray gruel.”

   Bean drinks whiskey for the first time. He chews every morsel of food slowly enjoying the tastes and texture of food not ground into a paste. Most every one of the crowd takes a moment to say hi to him and their names float by him. He listens to conversations and even cracks a smile at a few jokes. Just when he thinks the evening couldn’t get any better, the girl who had sung walks up to him.
  “Hi, I’m Pineneedle. Snowflake told me you're Bean. I saw you watching me sing. Did you like it?” Bean nods and watches her take off the black gloves. “I wish I could come up with words to sing. A song will call to me and I must sing with it.”
   “It was lovely.” And as much as he was captured by her vocalizations, he is now entranced by her laughing black eyes. He is a full foot taller than her, but her presence seems to fill the entire lit space.
   The moment is broken when Stick stands on a chair and announces,“It’s time!”
   “Time for what?” Bean leans toward Pineneedle and asks.
   “Time to go up top.” She takes his hand and Bean curls his fingers around her hand. It is the first time he has felt the warmth of skin against skin since his mother kissed his cheek to say good night on the evening when the fog rolled over Casanoire. His head blocks out all other sensations and he can almost feel their molecules colliding.
   He snaps out of the sensation when the group starts to ascend the stairs.“The sun is not up.”
   “Hush, Bean,” Snowflakes says as she and Grass pass him. “The musicians are leading. The music will protect us.”
    After the Zombie Fog, those who were infected leave their houses on their morning routines and never return. Bean waited in his house for two weeks not knowing where his parents had gone. During the first two days, he enjoys his freedom of having the house to himself. He plays hooky from school not knowing that it had been shut down. The thrill of playing AfferentBoxY consumes his days. When he finally decides to turn on the TV, he is inundated with warning messages about how to live now that the zombie apocalypse has actually occurred. That night before dusk a van rides through the streets announcing that all citizen of Casanoire should head to the subway tunnels where they will be safe from the zombies.
   While these thoughts about the first days of living without parents and discovery of the horrors of zombies replay through his mind, Bean clasps Pineneedle’s hand tighter and pulls her closer to the musicians. He wants to make sure that he is well within the protection of the music. The group is ascending the last set of stairs before they will be on the street.
  “The first time I adventured out after dark,” says Pineneedle, “I saw my zombie brother, Dirt. He was sitting with a zombie dog. They were eating something so bloody that I couldn’t tell what it was.” She draws in a quick breath.
  Bean brushes away a tear from Pineneedle’s cheek and then keeps pushing forward to get directly behind the band. “Then, why leave the tunnels. Why? And, and, how did they discover that music protected people?”
  “Grass was the first. There were only five of us then and one was the Oboe player, Maize, who followed Grass. Maize was so nervous he couldn’t stop playing. That’s how they discovered that live music repels zombies.”
  “What about recorded music? You probably tried that, right?”
   They stepped out onto the street and Bean saw first hand how music pushes the zombies away from them. “It works! But, Pineneedle, why leave the subway tunnels?”
   “First of all, we did try recorded music and it works but not as well. They don’t go as far away from the sound as with musicians playing. And, Bean, we leave because look up.”
   The group has stopped at a park, which is next to the subway stop. Bean looks up and sees stars like he had never seen before. It was dark all around him. The city lights haven’t been turned on in years.
   “Yeah, It’s cool to see the stars,” said Stick. “But the real reason we leave the tunnels--”
   Grass is now standing next to Bean. "We don’t have a reason, Stick. It’s not to see the stars; it’s not to kill zombies like we did in the first few weeks, it’s not to find a way out of Casanoire, and it’s not to discover where the zombies go during the day.”
  “We leave the tunnels because living in the tunnels is boring,” finishes Snowflake.
   “But,” says Bean feeling confused. “You live in the tunnels? You don’t leave in the daylight?”
   Pineneedle smiles at him. “Why would we? To stand in lines for gray paste? Spend our days doing what? Civilization is dead.”
   “Let’s go, guys. We’re going to find Bean more suitable clothes,” says Snowflake.
  “And a bike shop,” says a boy Bean hadn’t met yet.
  The group organized themselves with an instrument at each corner. Stick pulls out a harmonica and begins to play and leads the group. Bean still curious about the hows and whys marches on thinking there might be answers in wandering the streets.

  Three weeks later, Bean is still with the group and each night they have a new adventure out among the zombies of Casanoire. He hasn’t been back to his house or back down to the tunnel where the old man sits reading. During the second week, when he sees a particularly gruesome sight of five zombies gnawing on bloody bits and recognizes one bit as a human foot, he thinks about telling the old man about his new life. He wants to play the man a song he has learned on the ukulele he found in an alley and explain how each night ended with Pineneedle asleep in his arms.
  Bean learns how the group acquires its food by bargaining with farmers who have started a black market on the edge of town. There is a new world that has developed since the five years he spent going from his house to the tunnels. The world that coexists with the zombies but hidden to the state and its method of dealing with the apocalypse. Tonight, he is particularly struck by how easy he has switched from one way of life to the next and wonders if anywhere in the world there is a ‘back-to-normal’ with schools and industry.
  Pineneedle bounds up to him and kisses him quickly. “We’ve finished it and just in time. It’s so lovely!”
  “Finished what?”
  “The cake, silly.”
  Cornhusk stands on the piano bench. “Tonight, is a momentous occasion,” The crowd hollers and claps. “Tonight we celebrate Snowflake’s birthday. Grass, Stick, please present our gift to the lady of the evening.”
   Grass and Stick walk in balancing a three-tiered cake decorated with pansies made of icing. There are dozens of candles, but they aren’t lit.
   Snowflake squeals and gushes, “It’s so lovely. How did you ever, oh thank you, thank you.”
  Grass and Stick set it on the table.
  “Light the candles and tells us what you want to do tonight,” says Grass.
  Stick lights one end of a foot long piece of thin wood and hands it to her. “Your wish is our command.”
  The band plays a dramatic song as she lights the candles and when she is finished they stop.
  Tears are running down her face. Grass goes to her side and puts his arm around her waist. She wipes away the tears. “I wish to see my house; I wish to see my bedroom.”
  “You know that’s not a good idea, right,” says Stick looking concerned.
   “Yeah, but that’s my wish.”
   “Alright. After we eat cake, we will go to Dooley Street.” Grass hugs and kisses her.

  Snowflake blows out a candle for each piece of cake she cuts which was the custom in Casanoire.
  “Dooley street is the street my house is on. I went there every day after spending the night in the tunnel. Why is it bad to go there?" Bean asks Pineneedle while savoring the first bit of cake.
  “Grass believes and I guess I do too that one should leave the past in the past. Snowflake hasn’t been back since two days after the fog when she met Grass in the tunnel. Didn’t it make you sad every time you entered your house void of a family?”
  “No, I just shut out all thoughts of my parents once I knew that most of the world was zombies. I just existed until I wandered down this tunnel. Now, I’m living.”
  “For five years you thought of nothing.”
  “Yeah, I guess it is how I dealt with it.”
  “Perhaps we shouldn’t go with them tonight.”
  “Why? It isn’t near your neighborhood, is it?” Bean sets down the plate and looks into Pineneedle’s eyes.
   “No.” Before she could explain further, Stick gathers up the group to leave.

  Once they are in the neighborhood, someone yells, “Speech from the birthday girl.” And several others yelled, “Speech, Speech.”
  Grass puts Snowflake up on his shoulders. The band quiets though they continue to play softly and a few zombies gather closer than Bean likes.
  “Thank you for this lovely evening. Behind me is my house. Isn’t it lovely? It has been in my dreams lately and I feel like if I don’t wonder through it one last time.” She sniffled. “I will-- it will haunt me. Thank you again.” Grass pulls her off his shoulders and Snowflake, Grass, and the Oboe player walk toward the house.
  Bean watches one particular Zombie lumber toward him. Staring at the gray face and bulging left eye, there is something familiar he recognizes in the face.
  When Stick says, “Band, a little louder, I think our zombie friends are getting too close,” Bean strums his ukulele and chokes back a cry.  
  “What’s wrong Bean?” asks Pineneedle.
  “That’s my mom,” he says in an almost inaudible whisper.
  His mom moves closer despite the music.
  Bean stops his strumming. “What is it, mom?”
  "It said piano. I swear I heard it say piano,” the boy nearest to his mom says.
  The Bass player moves his standing bass, which has a wheel attached to the bottom, toward it and plucks a riff. Bean watches his mom back away and then she moves toward his house.
  “Bean. She’s going,” says Pineneedle.
   Bean sobs, “Piano, she said piano. She played piano though not when I was home because I was playing it. I was a prodigy. I didn’t even look at it after the fog.”


Sunday, October 25, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks

This snippet is the start of things getting troublesome for Heather.
"Excuse me," said Heather, "any news about the building falling into the crevice?"
Three people replied and spoke at once.
"The hole has increased."
"No classes today."
"I am sorry to say they are starting to blame Mademoiselle Aphrodites," finished the girl by the window.
“There are rumors of other natural phenomenon have happened at other universities. They say if a building is being erected to accommodate mechanical and steam studies, the 
H.A.G.s have targeted these buildings," said the man with the newspaper.
The man in the corner who looked more like a professor than a student said, "Do not worry, Mademoiselle Aphrodite, it will all pass, rumours come and go, and they will find in the end, it is just a sinkhole created by an underwater river."

If you would like to participate or read other 8 sentence Dieselpunk sentences go here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Halloween Tale - Walmart Christmas Ornament Kills

Here's a Halloween tale that I did last year at this time. Next week there will be another Halloween story. By the way, Halloween and Walmart are two of my least favorite things. I have had many tragedies happen to me on Halloween from car trouble to accidents to odd happenings. I hope this Halloween is boring! And, well, I just hate Walmart because it's Walmart.

The Walmart plastic bag containing red hair chalk her thirteen-year-old daughter begged for crinkled while it settled into the passenger seat. She slid into the seat and remembered the conversation which brought her to Walmart echoed in her head while putting the key in the ignition.

“Mom, please. I need it for my Halloween costume.”
“I haven’t been in Walmart in two years and I don’t want to break that streak.”
“I’d have ordered it if you had decided what you needed a week ago.”
“It’s not my fault we live..”
“I’m on my way.” She grabbed her purse, keys, and forgot her reusable canvas bag she rarely left behind on a shopping trip.

What I won't lower myself into doing for that kid, she thought. Waiting for the car to warm up in hopes of it not stalling for the hundredth time since the temperature dropped below freezing, she pops out one cd to replaced it with a hastily picked up Queen cd she spotted while waiting in line at check out. Queen was her favorite driving music. She couldn't believe she had purchased her third copy of the Greatest Hits. Queen CDs always seemed to go missing and at three dollars, she couldn’t pass it up. The last copy, she suspected, had been stolen by one of her daughter’s friends she had dropped off at camp this summer.

The radio automatically filled the silence when the cd was ejected. It blared out a hiss and two tones beeped indicating the emergency broadcast system warning announcement. She reached for the volume control to turn it down, but the announcement started. She expected to hear the same old this-is-a-test spiel but instead heard:

Warning all Walmart stores are being closed immediately. Do not enter Walmart under any circumstances.

The beep, beep signal started again and then the same warning repeated.

She shut off the radio and grabbed her phone. Clicking on the Huffington Post app, the 64 point font headline said; Christmas Ornament Kills. Her mind flashed to the quick stroll through the fully stocked Christmas section of Walmart. Previously, it had been a guilty pleasure of hers when she shopped regularly in Walmart. She liked the magical feeling of being surrounded by Christmas stuff even months before December. Since it would likely be another two years before she might have to enter the cursed store again, she indulged.

Clicking on the headline, she scanned the article. The words that stood out were - Christmas Ornament…off gassing…disease…instant...plague…

Looking up from her phone, she watched a large crowd exit the store. To her right was a blue truck, hair was smooshed against the window and droplets of red trickled down the inside of the window.

Her hand went to her head, and she combed through her hair with her fingers.

She coughed...and again… and again into her elbow. Moisture in her elbow started to move along the crook. She gasped at the sight of blood dripping from her elbow to her pants.

The car across from her started up and she recognized the face of a neighbor. Instead of a wave of recognition crossing the friends face, she saw terror.

She coughed and saw her friend cough.

Another coughed.

Sirens blared.

Her body slumped against the window and blood trickled out of her ears.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

8 Sentence Sunday - October 4

I didn't post an eight sentence Sunday from last weeks 8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks. First is last weeks and then this weeks. Both are from a story about H.A.Gs (Hermetic Aphrodite Guild). The story doesn't have a title yet.

"There is a small gap between the western mountains, but it would only take the train to the uncivilized world," said Rudiger.
"A train track that just ends and goes nowhere else seems a bit unnatural," said Daisy.
Flint appeared suddenly and announced his arrival by saying, "There’s nothing natural or unnatural about a train. It is a mechanical marvel."
"A bicycle is a natural way to move," said Daisy.
Rudiger smiled."Steam is natural and steal is made from materials from the ground."
"Steam, steel, and metal are not alive," said Flint shaking his head.
Daisy stared at Flint not sure how to put her feelings about natural and unnatural and how her ideas had nothing to do with alive nor mechanical.

This weeks 8 sentences -

Daisy and Rudiger left the coffee shop and were walking to their bikes when the ground shook beneath them. Rudiger caught Daisy when she stumbled. People stream out of the buildings, looking up and down the street.

A boy came running from the train station and said to the townspeople, "The train is in a hole."

Daisy, Rudiger and the people around them started to run toward the train station.

"Please stay here," Rudiger asked Daisy when they reached the station. Two railroad workers walked the tracks trail towards them. Rudiger approached them.

"A boy said the train is in a hole!?" said Rudiger to the men.

To read more Eight Sentence Sunday excerpts here is the link - 8-sentence-sunday-on-dieselpunks