Control – 100 Word Story

Control

By Mary Wright

Invisible tendrils of magic grabbed him, and his feet were suddenly unable to touch the ground. He was floating, but not of his own will.

“Weird, isn’t it.” She said, giving a smile, “How it feels to not be in control.”

“Let. Me. Go.” He said, looking rather silly trying to point his finger at her.

“No. You have controlled me for so long,” She said, “You can last a while.”

“I’m sorry.” He said.

“You don’t mean it, father. You’re just trying to get the control back.”

“You’re my daughter.”

“And you’re manipulative.”

The door slammed closed.

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Win Her Over – 100 Word Story

This post is inspired in part by Chuck Wendig’s 100-word drabble dare. So, woo!  

====

Win Her Over

By Mary Wright

She brightened the screen of her phone. Biting her lip, she looked around, hoping she wouldn’t get caught.  Hiding behind the bush in front of the building, she called him.

“Did you evaluate?”

“Yes, quite thoroughly, master.”

“And they are mortal?”

“Very much so, queen.”

“And to think I hoped I would win her over.”

“Your charm is high, master.”

“Sure. But magic is what I wanted.”

She hung up on him, slipping her phone into her bag. She would have to go through this job interview on her own.

You just had to be mortal, she thought, going inside.

====

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The Orange Elephant, The Green Elephant, and the Blue Elephant – Flash Fiction Story #17

THE ORANGE ELEPHANT, THE GREEN ELEPHANT, AND THE BLUE ELEPHANT

By Mary Wright (me)

The orange elephant was thin, and the green one was not. The green one so desperately wanted to be orange, and thin, and the orange wanted to be not thin, and green like the other one. They desperately wanted to be each other, and could not, because that’s not how being an individual works.

For the purposes of what happened next, let’s call them O and G for short.

For years, O made fun of G for being not thin, and G made fun of O for being orange instead of green. It was a nonstop torment that went back and forth within different pockets of time in their lives.

Then one day, a blue elephant came along, and they laughed to themselves. How funny it was to be the color of the sky! O reasoned with themselves that at least they were the color of the setting sun, and G reasoned with themselves that at least they were the color of the trees.

Slowly but surely, O and G decided they would feel better about themselves if they were to make fun of the blue elephant together. They hated themselves after a while for doing so, but it was better than hating themselves for their original reasons.

One night, after the blue elephant had run away into hiding to cry, O and G realized what they were doing.

“We are bad elephants,” said O.

“We were bad to each other, and now to B.” G agreed.

“We need to be ourselves,” said O.

“Nice to ourselves, and nice to the blue elephant.” G agreed again.

“Let us go talk to B.” O said, and they marched off to the cave where B had sought refuge.

“Go away,” said B.

“You are blue like the sky,” said O.

“I know I am,” B replied, sniffling, “You have told it to me harshly many times.”

“We were jealous that we could not be something else than what we actually are,” G continued.

“We were bad to each other before you arrived in this plain,” O explained, “but now we must work through that.”

“We are all elephants,” G said, “But we are all different.”

“All of us have mighty trunks, and stomp the earth with great power,” B said, smiling a little.

“That cannot be debated,” O said, raising their trunk.

“Let us all walk to find water…..together.” B said.

“That is what you are like too!” G exclaimed, “The beautiful reflection of sky upon water.”

B blushed, “Let us all raise our trunks, because we are elephants, and be on our way!”

G and B and O all raised their trunks, and still saw their differences but accepted them now. Not immediately, not that day, but eventually, after they had become friends, and realized that not liking themselves – or being jealous of other elephants – was ridiculous, because all of them needed to find water to drink, anyway.

Blank White Cylinder – Flash Fiction Story #16

BLANK WHITE CYLINDER

By Mary Wright (me)

It was three hours before, that Frank Diaz woke up to have his preparation of the day.

The blank white cylinder rose up from its hiding place in his bedroom’s dark wood floor, with a sound of buzzing bees, and a ding as it reached the height of his neck as he sat on his bed, feet dangling off the side.

“Frank. Diaz. Confirmation?”

“Yes,” replied Frank, scratching his ear, and yawning, knowing that the next thing would allow him to have time to do so.

“You are to go over what you will say today. You must be informed that every word you say now will be all the words, and there will be no extras allowed, except for the usual speaking fillers of uh and um…..”

“I am aware,” Frank said, sighing.

“So you are going to now be informed of all the people you will run into today, and you will plan on what you will say to them, one by one.”

“Of course,” Frank replied. Often in his dreams, and in his thoughts, he remembered vaguely a time when he was able to be surprised at what he said to someone, or surprised that he would run into someone he wasn’t expecting. With time being planned out for him beforehand, there was no more of that.

“You will first run into your boss, who will tell you that you are fired.” the cylinder intoned. Like rising water, the cylinder suddenly changed from white to black, charting its progress in its preparation, much like a loading bar on a computer, only vertical.

Frank groaned, and felt a spectacular pull in his heart to just hide under the covers and go back to sleep. But there was none of that. The cylinder would just wake up again. He had learned this the hard way about a year or so ago, when the technology had first been installed in his home.

“I would reply,” began Frank, “with ‘This must be a joke’.”

“Your boss will say,” the cylinder replied, in his boss’s voice now, “This is no joke, Diaz. Pack up your things before I kick you out of the building.”

That was the most creepy part, Frank reasoned. That the cylinder, while predicting the future, could also pick up the voice tones of everyone he’ll meet as well.

“Then, I would say, ‘Okay’,” Frank said, “and pack up my things and leave, and go to the elevator to bring me to the ground floor.”

“Good.” the cylinder said, “and then you will meet a guy in the elevator, who will ask you out for a drink at the local bar, Bart’s Watering Hole.”

Hm, Frank thought, maybe this knowing-the-future thing is a positive sometimes.

“I’ll say,” Frank said, ” ‘ That sounds nice. I’d love to.’ ”

The cylinder’s level of black rose a bit. “Then he will say, ‘My name is Luis.’ ”

“Then I’ll say,” Frank took a deep breath, ” ‘Frank.’ ”

“Then you both will go down to the ground floor, and he will grab your hand.” The cylinder continued, “And an armed gunman will shoot him and he will fall to the ground, taking you with him.”

“Damn it,” Frank whispered.

“He will have a serious head injury, which, eventually will result in his death.” the cylinder said, then paused.

“How long is eventually?” Frank asked.

“Thinking…..thinking…….a few hours.” the cylinder finished.

“Is there anything good today?” Frank asked, knowing that this was an override to the system, that it could make the 3-hour process turn into a half-hour long one.

“Thinking……thinking……based on your past results of what you think of as ‘good’, I can report that everything will not be……good…..today.” the cylinder intoned.

“Damn it,” Frank yelled.

“I do not recognize that command -”

Frank reached under his pillow and pulled out a rifle.

“Cyl?” Frank asked, “Give me a speed round of what will happen today.”

“You will get fired, your potential date will get shot in the head, the vending machine will eat your last dollar, and while you are sitting on a bench, a child will come up and kick you in the shin and laugh because it’s funny.” the cylinder said, in a chipmunk voice, “And to end the day, you will go up to the roof of a building, and jump off of it because you can’t take it anymore.”

Frank sighed, “Well, if that’s how today ends, I guess I can last the day.”

“Glad to hear,” the cylinder said, transitioning back into a normal speed voice, “it.”

What the tech guy didn’t tell Frank when the cylinder was installed, was that sometimes, not everything turned out as predicted, no matter how bad it all sounded.

He learned this when, six hours later, getting out of the elevator with his potential boyfriend, he got shot in the shoulder instead of his date, and he was the one in the hospital.

So, it was the hospital vending machine that actually gave him a little bit too much change, and the hospital child in the next bed that laughed at a joke he made.

And it was the hospital roof, that in fact, he saved someone else from jumping off of.

When he finally got out of the hospital, he took out his rifle, and shot the cylinder, and it screamed and sparked, and seized for digitized breath, and finally went silent.

Frank slept through the whole next day, with his new boyfriend, Luis, next to him in bed, holding his hand.

(Fin)

BOOK REVIEW: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman – 4.5 stars :)

Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars.

“Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep – about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting….and a lot more dangerous.”

With the summary on the back, you’d think this would be an okay story – maybe. If you didn’t know Neil Gaiman’s brilliance before starting to read this, you might doubt the quality of this tale. I even doubted the quality – I don’t even know why.

You’re wrong. I was wrong. This was a great story.

If you want a book that will literally have you on the edge of your seat – and I am using literally correctly here – waiting to see what will happen and how things going wrong will be fixed – this might be for you.

So much went wrong, and Neil Gaiman beautifully moves the characters into different situations like chess pieces, making a seemingly simple situation into a tangled ball of yarn that eventually finds itself untangled – and when finally everything is calm, you’re almost shocked that everyone is okay, that nothing, in all reality, has gone majorly awry.

Characters have changed and grown, and have been put through the ringer, but there’s this strange feeling you get at the end – that despite all of that, everything will be fine.

You almost convince yourself that if any of these things happened to you, that you might have a chance of getting through them. Or you’re able to compare problems in your life with the problems of Charlie Nancy, and Spider, and all the other characters that are sprinkled throughout the plot, and say to yourself, “Well, this problem isn’t as bad as that. How can I fix it? How can I get through this?”

You worry for Charlie Nancy, and Spider, and even the villain that you’re supposed to hate for putting Charlie through so much trouble.

All of the characters are humans, or are human-like, and therefore you cheer for them every step of the way.

If you’ve read Neil Gaiman before, this is almost as good, if not as good, as Neverwhere, and Good Omens. If you haven’t read Neil Gaiman before, I recommend you do. Whether it’s with this book or any other book he’s written.

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Now She Could Breathe – Flash Fiction Story #15

NOW SHE CAN BREATHE

By Mary Wright (me)

She expects that when she pinches her arm, it will tell her that she is awake. That is what all the movies tell her, and so she believes it to be so.

She grows up learning that fire is hot, and can burn, and that water is cold and is supposed to make you feel refreshed. Exercise is good, and she knows that adults think that veggies are very important to eat.

She feels the fabric on her skin, because she is told that the fabric is supposed to feel a certain way, and her skin is supposed to react to certain outside temperatures and actions in very certain and distinct ways as well. She feels itchy once in a while, because that’s what bodies do sometimes: they make you scratch your arm or your leg or your nose.

She’s a girl, a woman when she is alive long enough. She is supposed to like pink, and like skirts, and while they’re not her favorite, who is she is question the status quo of everything?

One day, she wakes up, and realizes that she’s been sleeping all along. The fabric of her walls of her bedroom are disrupted lakes, circular splash points going farther and farther away from their original center.

The ceiling is red, but she knows that she is not in danger – has a strange calm about her, how she’s home, how everything’s going to be okay. She feels her brain wiggle inside her head, and walk along the floor – which is actually the red ceiling, here.

At home, she is.

There has been so many constructions of ideas put together to make her think that her life, her reality was just that. But it wasn’t. It was her brain making sense of things – it was other people telling her how her life should be going. Her brain gave her those people, to make this whole canvas and wrap herself within a thick heavy curtain of illusions. She was home. It was calm.

She closed her eyes, tried to imagine those people. But they were just a dream. So much time she spent with her imagination, but now she could breathe.

FIN

BOOK REVIEW: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – 2 stars!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you aren’t sure what the differences between an introvert and extrovert are, well, you may find highly-generalized answers here if you’re able to wade through the various experiences and studies and “facts” that the author drowns you with.

I thought this would be more of a story about her, and her experience, and while that was the case once you got through two-thirds of the book, well, too little, too late for me.

It seemed to drag on and on despite it only being less than 300 pages long.

I’m sure if I could go back and re “read” this book again, I could point out to you some good points, and some good things being said, like, for example, that babies with a high sensitivity to stimuli will more likely grow up to be introverts(apparently). Other than that, I don’t think there’s much to remember about what was said.

Oh. And she’s racist towards Asians. So that’s a thing that happens.

And she seems to want us to hate extroverts. (I hate how extroverted society is as a whole, but to literally make generalizations about both groups to make us battle each other? Huh. Doesn’t seem productive to me.)

See also this review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

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Ever-Turning Wheel: Flash Fiction Story #14

This is a really dark and morbid story. It came out of nowhere, or somewhere. Enjoy.

EVER-TURNING WHEEL

By Mary Wright (me)

Her mind twists, and her thoughts turn to rain, with gray storm clouds waiting to grab her off the ground. She is the hamster and the wheel, her thoughts slapping their feet against the pavement of her brain. There is nothing good. About her. About her life. Never anything good. Never happy.

Somewhere, there’s a small mouse, with a low voice, trying to shout the best they can over the sound of the squeaking ever-turning wheel. “You felt happy when this happened, remember?” “You’re being negative. There’s another way to look at the world and your life.”

She doesn’t hear it. She thinks she’s hearing things, but does not think, “Oh, I should investigate,” but more of, “What’s the point. I don’t care. Everything is wrong with me.”

The thoughts seem to control every other part of her body – her arms and legs move like stilts, and her head and body try to stay balanced despite those movements.

She is very inside her mind, thinking of the world, and herself, and what place she has in it. Other people could be running in this wheel, much better and faster than I am, she thinks.

She hears the mouse, finally – barely. She slows down a little. She feels a little bit better. A little more connected. Her head aches, but she is so connected with reality.

Reality sucks.

She runs fast until she cannot breathe. She is doing something. She is accomplishing life, succeeding.

She looks over to the mouse, grateful, before tripping over her feet. She is no longer connected, and her thoughts start rushing again.

Thunder. Lightning.

The mouse looks at her as she takes her last breath, and criticizes themselves for not being louder.

(fin)

BOOK REVIEW: And Another Thing…. by Eoin Colfer – 3.5 stars

And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6)And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To those thinking this is written by Douglas Adams, it isn’t. I still think you should give it a chance.

3.5 stars.

So. I do see a lot of 1 star reviews here, and while that is completely understandable, it takes a lot for me to give a book a bad rating.

This book made me laugh, and it was complex, and although it didn’t quite have the same feeling as Hitchhiker’s Guide – which of course, was written by Douglas Adams, and not Eoin Colfer like this one is – it did pretty well in my mind.

And although I could re-read the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ten times over (because, I think we can all agree, it was brilliant), I kind of found it interesting to see a footnote on the whole series, despite it being written by someone else.

This doesn’t hold up when you measure it against the books written by Douglas Adams; of course it wouldn’t!

But as far as inspired-by stories could’ve gone, it actually was very well-written, and the characters came alive in my head. And that’s all that really matters when you’re reading, right? At least, mainly.

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Elderly for Eternity – Flash Fiction Story #13

Elderly for Eternity

by Mary Wright (me)

“And how would you like to rate your treatment? At Immortal Advantage, Inc., we take your comments seriously,” said an echoing voice that seemed to fill the room.

Ms. Sidney Wellington, now 112, pulled the hospital bed blanket over her face, willing herself to be convincing enough to fool the tech that she was in fact, still asleep. She felt absolutely claustrophobic, but to have to answer the question seemed to be more of a grueling venture.

“We detect that your heartbeat is speeding up, Ms. Wellington. Would you like us to do some tests? Can never be too careful.”

If the voice lost its echo, maybe it’d feel less threatening. Too bad that’ll never happen. 

“We detect that your hearing -“

“I hate it!” Sidney exclaimed.

“It is uncertain to what you are referring to -“

“Oh really?” Sidney asked, looking around the virtual setting that was supposed to make her feel “right at home” and was in fact doing the exact opposite, “Do you lack the intelligence that they claimed on the brochure?”

“Here at Immortal Advantage, Inc, we assure you that you will have a restful and enjoyable time while treatments are being done. If you have any questions -“

“Hey, now don’t do that!” Sidney complained, as an actual doctor came into the virtual setting, disrupting the illusion for a second before reforming.

“Ms. Wellington, I have heard you were having some trouble?”

“Don’t patronize me.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“It wants me to rate it.”

“You mean the EternityTech?”

“Yes, that.”

“Well the tech can only improve once you’ve told it how well it’s doing.”

“I hate it,” Sidney said, “I hate all of this.”

“Are you regretting your treatment?” asked Dr. F.

 “I might be,” Sidney replied, “I just wish it were available when I was younger. The treatment. Before I turned old. Such a late time to be wanting to live forever. What age was I when I came in here, Doctor?”

“Oh, two or three decades ago, I think,” Dr. F. said, consulting his hologram hand screen, “Oh, yes, here it is. You were admitted at age 85.”

“Eighty five,” she said with a sigh. “Such a long time ago. A lifetime ago.”

“Less than half of a normal lifetime, actually,” Dr. F chimed in.

Thanks for that helpful commentary, Dr. F. That really helped me out. Maybe I should be able to rate your treatment of me as well. 

“Anyway,” Dr. F. continued, “Is there anything else I can do to make you more comfortable?”

“How long does this latest treatment extend me for?”

Dr. F. consulted his hologram hand screen again. “Oh. You’ll be happy to know that this one extends for 25 years! We are very proud of that achievement.”

If Sidney could have, she would’ve clenched her fists. “I am sick of it all!” She exclaimed. “I hate the treatment. I hate the tech. I hate having to rate it.”

She gulped. “Go on, Ms. Wellington.”

“I, I hate living.” she finished. “And living in a virtual room doesn’t help that.”

“So you want to die, then?” asked Dr. F., quickly typing a code onto his hand.

“Not by your hand,” said Sidney. “By the way, I know all about testing this new treatment on elderly people like me. Thinking you can make another quick buck by convincing children of aging parents that they have a happy solution!”

“But that wasn’t your case,” Dr. F. said.

“No. It was my brother. But the sentiment stays the same. And now he’s dead because he couldn’t afford to have the treatment,” Sidney continued, “You must be so delighted.”

“Not all of us can have good fortune,” Dr. F. told her.

“Yeah,” Sidney snapped, “Only the ones who take other’s fortune can have the good fortune to spend it themselves.”

And then, to Dr. F’s amazement, Sidney stopped breathing, right then and there. She had said what she needed to.

Well, he wasn’t amazed. He was getting annoyed with her, actually.

He looked down at the cup with her treatment in it, lots of nutrients and vitamins and poison all mixed into one.

Maybe she was onto something about the good fortune thing.

But then he realized that she had only had to replace four organs in her time at Immortal Advantage, Inc., and looked up what she had paid over the years, and well, maybe it was better she was dead. He wouldn’t have been getting rich just having her as a patient.

 FIN

#WordWars Blogfest 2015 – January 1st to January 3rd

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I’m doing a different thing to start off 2015. I’m going to liveblog my writing ups and downs for the next 3 days. So. It’ll be a test and a challenge for me to be consistent, and it’ll be fun for you to come back to this post every few hours to see what my progress (or lack of progress) is. I’m in EST, if that helps you.

Great? Good. And…..GO!

January 1st. Day One. 

(Stayed up way too late. Like until 3 am maybe. 2 am? Either way, super exhausted.)

10:30 am – I’m awake, I think.

10:37 am – I need tea.

10:38 am – And some Fruit Loops.

10:46 am: Just the Fruit Loops. Installing Spotify on my newish laptop. Until that’s done, Pandora and music from Youtube, and hopefully, some writing.

10:48 am: Forgot my Spotify log-in info. Forget it. Writing starts……now?

11:06 am: I actually wrote things. Random things. Things that probably don’t make much sense. But things! Words! Uh….561 of them! Yay!

11:24 am: I’m actually writing a thing. I don’t know where it’s going, or where it will end, or even if I begun it in the right place. But it’s challenging to write, and emotional, and I love that this Blogfest has given me the opportunity to discover it within me. 🙂

11:33 am: Written 1107 words total, and almost 2 pages. Getting a headache from it. I think I need to take a short break. Maybe it’s time for that tea now. (It’s also amazing that I’ve made it this far without listening to music while writing. I usually never write without music playing most of the time.)

11:55 am: Played with my cat. Came back to the laptop and wrote 44 61 words that I needed to get out of my head quickly. Maybe I can actually do this consistently sticking-to-writing thing. Still on break, but apparently not completely. My brain wants me to write while having a headache, it seems. Haven’t had tea yet, and am going to have french toast. Will probably be back to seriously writing at 12:15 maybe.

12:41 pm: Hahaha 12:15. How silly of me. Ate my french toast. Going to continue writing now.

12:51 pm: 1503 words total.Timed, 38 minutes thus far have been spent just writing. 38 minutes out of 2 hours? Not bad. Not good either, but an okay start.

1:25 pm: 53 minutes total. Just writing. This is amazing. I’m writing things down that I’ve thought about for years. This is really difficult, but interesting.

1:36 pm: Just made it to my first full hour of time spent just-writing! Going to color in the box in my chart. I’ve been keeping track of time on Excel. 🙂

1:53 pm: Swept the kitchen floor. Back to writing now.

2:11 pm: I have a lot of words in my head, it seems.

2:22 pm: Need to find my chapstick.

2:27 pm. Found it! Great.

2:30 pm: Okay. I need to keep writing, but I need tea more.

4:06 pm: Long time talking to my mom and my sister. Trying to get my head to calm down – even a little bit – enough to get back to writing.

4:15 pm: Wrote some more. Think I’m almost finishing this section of thought. After that, I’m rewarding myself with listening to a new episode of a podcast. 🙂

5:18 pm: Had a root beer float. Mmmmmm. Done with the section of thought, coming in at 3,288 words, and 1 hr and 34 minutes spent just writing. 🙂 Now to listen to the podcast episode. I might write more later, but it will be on a *different* section of thought. Also, I should read for a hour, maybe.

7:20 pm: Listened to the podcast and did other things. Now it’s time to read for a while.

(I ended the day not-reading because I had a huge headache and was really dizzy. I also ate pasta.)

January 2nd. Day Two. 

12:20 am: Going to sleep now. I really want to feel better so I’m up to writing 3,000+ words like I did in Day One.

9:52 am: Tried to feel awake.

10:18 am: Ate Fruit Loops.

10:27 am: Turn on my laptop and update this post.

10:31 am: If possible, I feel even more exhausted than yesterday. That’s weird.

10:46 am: Gotta shake out of this daze somehow.

11:11 am: I have a feeling this day is going to be slowgoing.

11:29 am: Simplifying my Goodreads shelves. I have too many, and I don’t have the concentration yet to write anything that makes sense.

11:48 am: Okay. Enough of that. I gotta get started writing.

11:55 am: Writing a really detailed to-do list.

12:01 pm: Separating what I need to accomplish into monthly sections. After that, I’ll do weekly ones. Planning out my year, basically, as best as I can.

12:05 pm: This is actually an important thing that I should be doing anyway, but I’m glad that the Blogfest has given me a good reason to get this done.

 12:25 pm: Got all the way to monthly planning for May. Going to take a break now, but my year’s starting to come together. 🙂

12:58 pm: Okay. Back to writing the ‘Planning My Year’ thing.

1:08 pm: This is really fun. And important for my mental state in the future. Win win.

1:15 pm: Head hurts again. Another break.

1:22 pm: Continuing on despite the headache. When I’m finished with this, I’ll feel better, I think.

1:32 pm: I’ve decided I’m going to read at least 40 books this year. Have some recommendations for me? 

1:40 pm: Finished planning until August. 🙂

1:47 pm: Onto October!

1:53 pm: Having anxiety about the future, but hey, better now than later, right?

2:00 pm: Still on October. Really thinking it through. More thinking now hopefully will equal less thinking about what I have to do later.

2:10 pm: Went downstairs for ten minutes to pet the cats. Now back to writing/planning.

2:14 pm: Colored in the box for an hour completed. I now have 3 boxes colored in for 2015! 3 hours of writing over 2 days so far. 🙂

2:26 pm: Okay. Rough draft of 2015 planning is done with, by month, anyway. Going to print it out, take a break from looking at it, and clean my room for maybe an hour. Also eat something.

2:39 pm: Forgot I don’t have the printer installed with my newish laptop. So. Doing that now.

2:52 pm: Printed out rough draft of yearly plan of 2015, and connected the printer to the laptop successfully! Yay!

4:46 pm: Went to a couple of places. Timed myself and wrote down stuff for 16 minutes in that time. Not a lot. But important, still. Now I’m back home, eating a M&M McFlurry. After I’m finished with that, back to writing/planning. I have not cleaned yet, but I will do that once I have my ‘second draft’ of my planning done.

4:48 pm: Not that word count matters that much today, but I wrote 1,742 words. If you were wondering.

5:09 pm: Eating (drinking?) the last of my M&M McFlurry.

5:14 pm: Getting out my plan that I printed out. Now to take one thing that I’m doing constantly over the year, and figure out what I’m doing each month to accomplish it. Then I’m going to do it with the ten or eleven other things I have planned that I want to finish. Then separately, I’m going to type up things that don’t happen in all the months, like maybe only happen in just one. After that, I’ll start making plans week by week, but that won’t be for a few hours, I don’t think.

5:35 pm: Making progress fast. This is good. I might get to week by week stuff faster than I thought.

6:03 pm: Still going. Still actually being pretty quick.

6:16 pm: There are actual timelines and deadlines to things. Oh my gosh. This has never happened, never been this detailed in this certain way. But I think I will plan this way more often!

6:38 pm: Got a big chunk of planning done. Going to take a break now. Currently at 2,782 words, if you were wondering.

7:25 pm: Just stood up and my leg is asleep! Ah!

9:04 pm: Okay. Ate dinner, and got some annoying news. Sigh. I should get back to writing now. Yeah. I’ll start again now. Might not finish it all tonight, but hey, there’s tomorrow, too, isn’t there? 🙂

9:15 pm: Eh. I should get it all done with tonight. That’d be much easier. Then I could write something else tomorrow.

9:23 pm: Emotionally exhausted and stressed out. I think I’d be more productive cleaning my room. Let’s try that for an hour and see what happens.

10:41 pm: Okay. A little bit more than an hour, then. Don’t feel much better. But I think I should getting back into writing. So. Let’s see…

11:02 pm: Okay, no. For real now.

11:16 pm: Too. Exhausted. Darn. I wanted to finish this tonight. Ended at 3,106 words, which makes my two day total……hmmmm…..*scrolls up the page*….*adds them together*….6,394 words! 😀 Yay!

January 3rd. Day Three.

1:21 am: I went to sleep.

10:28 am: Started my day by putting a tea bag in an empty cup, and timing it for 3 minutes before I realized I hadn’t poured the hot water in. I’m not awake.

 11:19 am: Had to help my mom find her cellphone.

11;35 pm: Part of the annoying news is solved! Yes!

12:16 pm: Okay. I think I can start writing for a little bit now. Finally.

12:22 pm: Gonna take a break. I haven’t eat anything. I just realized that. Maybe that’s why my brain wasn’t working.

12:46 pm: Mmmm. 2 bowls of Fruit Loops. (In case you’re like, “Mary, you eat a lot of Fruit Loops!” it’s not true. This is the first time in like 5 years that I’ve had them. Also, after eating them for most of my life, I just looked at the box right now and said to myself, “What. It’s “Froot Loops” not Fruit Loops? MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE.” They were still delicious, though.)

12:49 pm: Froot. Loops. How could I have missed that for at least 15 years of knowing what the box looked like? (I’m 20.) Such a fail on my part to just have thought it said “Fruit Loops.” Ugh.

1:00 pm: Yawning. Not a good sign.

1:17 pm: I’m cold. It’s snowing outside. I did a little bit of writing.

2:42 pm: Big break of doing nothing. Put groceries away. Eating a chocolate orange. 

2:53 pm: Today I have spent a total of 14 minutes just writing, compared to 102 the first day, and 180 the second. I gotta get into the mode again, somehow.

4:21 pm. No writing. Listened to podcasts, and was able to unfollow some people that don’t follow me back/I never talk to, to free up my TL a little bit. Made my goal for January to be following under 800 people. So that’s great!

5:33 pm: Read some pages of a book.

5:47 pm: Think I’m going to have dinner and finish reading this book before I start writing/planning again.

7:55 pm: Have read a lot of pages. I think I really have to finish reading this book before I do anything else. Then, I have to find my favorite pen, which I seem to have lost somewhere in the process of cleaning my room yesterday. Sigh. Always happens that way. Every time I clean, I lose something important. Never ending cycle of losing, and then finding, and then losing again.

11:18 pm: Okay. Finished reading. Haven’t found my pen. Going to try at least to get done with the monthly planning of everything. The week by week planning will have to be done tomorrow. But that’s the benefit of this. It doesn’t end. This general productivity doesn’t have to end. And that’s kind of amazing.

11:31 pm: Almost done with the monthly planning! 🙂

11:43 pm: Okay. I’m not done with it. But close enough, really. The whole year of 2015 is forming in my head, and that’s great. I have a plan. Many plans, actually. And I hope to accomplish all of them.

11:45 pm: There is a pounding in the back of my head. Emotionally exhausted from life still, it seems. And I MUST find my favorite pen before I go to sleep.

11:50 pm: Suddenly very tired. Where is that pen?

11:58 pm: Okay. Before Day 3 time runs out, I just want to say two things. One, thanks to Katie Doyle and Sarah Chafin for co-hosting this awesome liveblogging writing process thing (Otherwise known as WordWars Blogfest – January 1st to January 3rd, 2015). These three days have been very productive, and I hope for the rest of them to be just as successful. Two, for those of you who are waiting for a new flash fiction story and were confused why one wasn’t posted on Friday like mostly is usual, one will be posted tomorrow, Sunday. Thanks everybody! I hope you enjoyed this! It was very fun for me! 🙂

From: Your Memories – Flash Fiction Story #12

FROM: YOUR MEMORIES

by Mary Wright (me)

“Tom, this isn’t the right thing to do!” yelled his sister, Alex.

“It is for me. I loved him, I loved Paul. You wouldn’t understand!”

“I do understand that Paul wouldn’t want this -”

“Oh really? How do you know that?”

“He told me, Tom. He said, ‘ Tell him, when I’m dead, I’m dead, and that’s it. No reanimation. No re-calibration. No reboot. No android.’ It’s what he wanted.” Alex said. Tom looked down at the remote in his palm, the one he had been using to ‘wake’ Paul up with. But it wasn’t Paul, not really, and he knew that. The pain wouldn’t let him stop doing it. “That isn’t him. He’s dead.”

“I’d rather have this than nothing at all,” he whispered, full of nerves and collapsing into sobs. He was Tom’s partner, and boyfriend, and now he wasn’t anymore. His sister wrapped her arm around him.

“You loved him,” she said.

“So much.”

“He died.”

“…..yes.”

“Put him to sleep, Tom. Once and for all. Heal,” Alex told him. Once she was out of the room, he looked at his Paul. It wasn’t Paul. It was an android with all of Paul’s memories, but with none of his emotions. It was horribly one-sided. This was pathetic.

“I loved you so much, Paul,” Tom said, “And then you got cancer and died, didn’t you. Even though, they said – they, they said – nobody has cancer these days. You had to prove them wrong. The doctors – you! – you almost gave them a heart attack when they found they couldn’t cure it. And now I’m kissing metal. I know it’s not you. But it’s better than nothing, some days.”

“I love you too, Tom.” said Paul the android.

“That’s from your memories,” Tom said, “And you said it a lot. That’s the only reason you’re saying it now. Good night, Paul.”

His hand was shaking, and the remote with it. Alex came back into the room, just to have his index finger turn off the switch. She gently took it from his hands, and wheeled Paul the android out of the room. She came back empty-handed.

“This is best,” Alex said.

“I know,” Tom replied, defeated completely, curling up into a ball, silently mourning, for real this time.

FIN

No Pain, All Dancing – Flash Fiction Story #11

NO PAIN, ALL DANCING

By Mary Wright (me)

There was one day each year that I would wake up and feel no pain, but the universe thought it would be too easy to have it on the same day.

When I was 18, on my birthday, I fell down a flight of stairs. What a way to celebrate, that was. They took me to the hospital, and I had broken ribs and lots of bruises, and a severe concussion, too. Everybody feared I would die or something, even though I was pretty much fine.

Don’t let me convince you that that first day wasn’t completely horribly exhausting, and that I wasn’t in so much pain, because I was. That’s the truth, I swear. But that next morning was like magic. I woke up, and heard the constant beeping of the heart monitor, but my head was no longer throbbing from the pain, and I could sit up without much effort. For the sake of my family, I didn’t take out my IV, but man, I would’ve probably danced with how great I felt suddenly.

It was short-lived. Two days after the accident, all the pain came back.

This was something I couldn’t really pinpoint, when it happened, why the universe picked this day or that day.  It turned out to be a sort of a curse, as the day of no pain usually came after some horrible illness or injury.

I’ll skip a few years here and there, because you don’t want to hear about every single one, do you? I sure don’t think I remember all of them, anyway. The accidents, I mean. I always will remember all the days where I was pain-free.

So. At 23, it was an avalanche while I was skiing. At 28, it was getting hit by a car. At 35, it was cancer, which I fought for five years before it went away. At 42, I got shot by a cop. At 48, my child died of a rare disease. (I still have that pain, but for that pain-free day I was okay to think only about the good things that he brought to my life.)

At 54, I had to have all my teeth filled from cavities. At 58, I fell from the sky out of a plane with a parachute that decided to stop working at 1,000 feet from the ground. (Yeah, I don’t know how I survived that one.) At 65, I am content when the no pain day arrives, since I have such bad arthritis, and my back and legs ache all the time.

These were all on separate days, like I said before. January 6th. June 20th. February 11th. Not predictable in the slightest. But I always wait for that day. I live for that day.

I hope to live longer, just to have those days, rather than being dead. That probably sounds ridiculous, but that’s how I feel.

Every morning, I sit up, seeing if there’s pain.

When there’s not, I rejoice, and dance until I cannot any longer.

 FIN

Tourists Can Be So Annoying – Flash Fiction Story #10

TOURISTS CAN BE SO ANNOYING

By Mary Wright (me)

Martik walked up to Two-it, rolling his eyes. “Tourists can be so annoying.”

“Tell me about it,” Two-it replied. “Can’t they pick another planet to bring their bratty little kids to?”

“I don’t know,” Martik replied, “I mean, maybe we gotta pity them. Maybe their radar’s ancient, and only picked up on ours.”

“Lucky us.”

“No, I mean it,” Martik said, “Maybe we’re the only ones on their radars.”

“Like I said, lucky us.”

Martik and Two-it went silent as these supposed tourists walked by.

They were wearing clothing that had bright, colorful swirling patterns, paired with coverings that only covered half of their bottom limbs.

Rubber-sounding wrappings covered their feet. They also had things that covered their eyes – pieces of some sort of dark material preventing onlookers from seeing if they were asleep or awake.

“I don’t get it,” Two-it said a little too loudly.

“What did you say?” asked one of the tourists, in a swinging-sounding tone, maybe like one of those cowboys would have.

“You made the tourist angry,” Martik told him telepathically. To the tourist, it only looked like a pointed look between two good friends.

“Enjoy your visit!” Two-it said, a little too cheerily.

“We will!” said a shorter tourist that hadn’t yet spoke. “Your planet is so interesting!”

Martik paused. It seemed genuine. “You think so, little one?”

“I’m not little,” said the shorter tourist in a high-pitched, confident voice. “But yes. It’s great, from what I’ve seen so far.”

“Enjoy your visit,” Martik said, and he meant it.

“If everyone is as nice as you,” said the shorter tourist, “Well, we certainly will.”

“That’s enough, Marie.” said the first tourist. “They could be dangerous.”

The shorter tourist waved one of their top limbs, and Martik did what he could with his non-human anatomy to achieve a similar sentiment. Once they seemed to be out of ear shot, Two-it  spoke up.

“If we’re so dangerous, why’d they come here?” he asked.

“Everywhere’s dangerous when you think about it,” Martik answered.

Two-it sat down heavily, forgetting about tourists for a while. Everything’s dangerous. He hadn’t thought of the universe like that before.

FIN

Corruption and the Bubble – Flash Fiction Story #10

CORRUPTION AND THE BUBBLE

By Mary Wright (me)

It takes a bit of getting used to, to be in a bubble that floats, in which air comes in, but you are not heard.  Where everyone can see you, and judge you, but you cannot respond – only looking like a mime if you try to. To say when I  got in here would mean I would have to do a lot of math, and I’m not even sure I could even count that high, anymore, let alone add to that high of an amount. A year, at least, maybe – since my visitors slowly change over time, and I hear them talking.

It’s all much like a montage to me now, me blinking my eyes, and pushing back my long hair, and listening.

A couple months in here, and they are wearing winter coats, and hats, and scarfs, and gloves. They are talking about how cold it is out, and about their kids having days off for school.

More months. Lighter jackets, sweatpants, sunglasses. Kids counting down the days until summer, parents talking to parents about where they’re going on vacation, how they’re going to get their daughter or son to read their summer reading without much trouble on their part.

A month or two more, and now few visit to see the woman in the bubble, the one that is captured to be shown an example of – this is what happens when you go against what the government says – a year – yes, it has to be about a year by now – of public humiliation and lack of privacy.

It’d be more of a chore if my see-through jail cell was smaller, and that, at least, I keep in mind to keep going – to keep putting on my smile, even though mentally, I’m worn out.

What I’ve done, I still believe in. Just because they’re saying there’s a law against now, doesn’t mean that that law should be a law at all.

Ridiculous.

One day, a young girl comes in and looks at me. I mutter to myself something; I don’t even know what it was, anymore. I am used to no privacy now. When I look at her, a shine of understanding comes upon her face, and I realize that she can read lips. I am not good at it, but a one-sided conversation (on my part, for a change) is good enough for me.

I tell her that she should find out what it will take to get me out of here.

I tell her of all the days I thought that I should give up, but had nothing to ‘end it all’ with, of course.

I tell her that to fight, means that things will change.

I am currently now forty years old, if I remember correctly. I have two kids, I think – Camden and Tyler. A husband? A wife? I do not remember which, and sexuality had been such a far concept for far too long.

I continue ‘talking’ to the young girl. The next day, I find that there’s a bubble next to mine, with the young girl inside it. I am distraught. I am crying. I can’t stop sobbing.

Finally, I look up, and she tells me that she is twelve years old. Her mother told her to fight for what was right. Her mother was going to have testimony, and go on all the news shows. They will get the young girl out.

A few days, or maybe a week, pass. The young girl is treated at the same level as me, and I am outraged. Throughout that time, we talk, and not many people show up to visit us.

I tell her that my crime was owning a gun. That the government wanted to have all of them. They wanted all the power.

She said she stole some money from a police officer. I gave her a very unsuccessful and unsatisfying air high-five.

We must fight against what’s wrong, I tell her. You can do more than I can, I say.

But you are an adult, the young girl, whose name is Caroline, tells me.

I am worn down, I have grown up believing that the government is here to protect us, I tell her.

But they’re not, says Caroline, they’re here to hurt us.

See? I say, smiling at her approvingly, You’re smarter than I am, already.

Caroline gets out after a few months. I know it’s a few months because the visitors change clothes again. The mother, how kind, tells the news that I should get out too.

“No one should suffer, expect those who are corrupt,” The mother said.

Even after I got out of there, even after I found myself with my feet on the ground, and the government off my back as long as I ‘promised’ to not break any more laws for the rest of my life, I knew that that statement would apply for decades to come.

But that young girl, Caroline. How strong she was. She would follow her mother, yes she would. She would help make the world right again.

10 PM – Flash Fiction Story #9

10 PM

By Mary Wright (me)

The curfew was 10:00 pm, and I thought that that was way too early. I wouldn’t even be done doing my homework by then! Let alone, get to sleep by…..what was it my mother said? 10:30? Ridiculous.

When was I going to hang out with my friends? The weekend? No way. That was ‘family time’. I hate family time. My younger brother Matt was in the spectrum of annoying to ridiculously adorable to my parents, and they, well, they decided that I wanted to get a ‘good night’s sleep.’

They never told me why the curfew was at that time, and one time, a cop decided to put me in the police car and rush me home at 9:59, and asked my parents if he could stay over. I rushed up the stairs to my bedroom, and sat in the hallway, listening. Matt was probably already done with his homework and in bed dreaming. Wimp.

“Can I stay over tonight? You know with….all that’s happening,” said the cop.

“It’s no question,” said my father, “We wouldn’t leave you out there, in your car, all night long. Too risky, and we wouldn’t be good people of a vulnerable community if we turned you away.”

“Right,” my mother agreed. “With all that’s out there, well, you can make it to the department office on time tomorrow morning. Greg will understand, of course, Tim.”

There was silence for a moment or two, and I tried to hold my breath.

“Greg, right. He’s home safe, I hope.”

“I’m sure he is,” said my father, “But why don’t you make sure him and Sara – how old is she now? 6? She’s really growing up, isn’t she? – got home well. Call them up, Tim, while Martha and I make ourselves a late dinner.”

“Thomas!” my mother called, and I froze, my heart beating fast. Was I caught? “Come down for dinner!”  I took a deep breath, trying to stop shaking, and desperately held onto the railing as I stumbled down the stairs slowly.

“It was really nice of Officer Tim to bring you home, Thomas,” said my father, “You should thank him.” There was always this air of danger in his voice at this time of night. Something was really, really wrong, and I had no clue what it was, and so I was terrified by default.

“Thanks, Officer Tim.” I said, trying to add weight to my voice I didn’t usually have, to know that I was grateful. What happened after 10 pm?

Tears were in his eyes, and suddenly my throat started to close up. “Thomas, you do know I won’t be able to bring you home like this, every night. I’ve got a husband and daughter to worry about, first.”

“That is very clear,” I told him, because that part of it I got. “Tim and Sara are important to you.”

“Not that the community as a whole isn’t…..” Tim said.

“Nobody’s saying that!” my mother called from the kitchen, “Kevin, get in here and help me!”

“Right,” said my father, “Make yourself at home, Tim.”

And then Officer Tim and I were alone in the living room.

“Officer Tim?” I asked, “What happens if you don’t come home by 10?” He gritted his teeth, and made a motion for me to sit down. He called someone on the phone.

“Greg, you made it home safe? ……Right. Yeah. And Sara? She’s safe? Okay. Well. We all need to cry sometimes, so let her. More crying now means less later. Yes. I love you. Kiss Sara for me. See you tomorrow.”

There was a lump in his throat, and his voice became lower when he hung up the phone and looked over at me. “You’re dead, boy. Dead. There are terrors of the night that you don’t want to know about. It’s much better to see the cartoonish versions of them in TV shows and movies. They are much more vicious when they are breathing down your neck.”

“You lost someone to The Night.” I said, emphasizing the last two words, like everyone who talked about it did, on the rare occasion that anyone even acknowledged it.

“More than one someone, Thomas.” He said, “My son, you know, the one no one likes to remember I had? He was….ripped to pieces. That was a long time ago, of course, before The Night Curfew came into place. Nobody knew that being at home after 10 was the safest place to be, with doors locked, and windows closed, even on the hottest nights of summer. He…..he was only one year older than Sara, she’s six. And he was only five years younger than you are right now, Tom.”

I suddenly felt like crying. “Can I cry?”

“You don’t need my permission to do that, boy. I’ll cry along with you.” I hugged him, more grateful. We both cried, me out of fear of the unknown and now known, and him for lost chances to save his son in the past.

“Oh, now. You’re not going to get this pasta all damp, are you?” My mother said a few minutes later, putting the steaming plates of spaghetti on the kitchen table.

“No, m’am.” Said Tim, laughing.

“Glad to hear it,” Said my father, and we all sat around the table, besides Matt, who must’ve been asleep already. He’s going to miss dinner, I thought to myself, but then again, maybe he had already eaten before I got home.

We all ate, suddenly in silence.

“So,” I said halfway through, “Did Matt eat dinner before? Is that why he’s not here?” It was in a joking tone, and my mother’s face contorted into blankness, and my father cleared his throat.

“It was you or him,” Tim said quietly, “I had time to only bring you back.”

I cried some more. The pasta became damp. I didn’t care.

FIN

Solar Surge – Flash Fiction Story #8

SOLAR SURGE

By Mary Wright (me)

He lay on the asphalt, letting the warmth from the sun soak into his soul, his dark palms and fingers feeling the roughness of the ground.

There were others like him, but he was the only one to gain his powers from it.  It was beating down on him, with no roof or tree or overhand to obstruct his absorption rate.

All around him were stores that ran on solar power; and solar-powered vehicles and solar-powered electronics. Everyone was taking advantage of the sun for its Vitamin D and warmth, looking up at the sky as they got out of their cars as he lay in the far off part of the parking lot of a not-very-busy hologram mall. Most people visited for the experience of walking around and looking at things, while they actually did their shopping online.

Technology was catching up to science fiction. More and more, it predicted the near – 5 to 10 years, instead of 50 or 100 years – future. The authors of such works were known as sort of pseudo-psychics, rather than someone who thought big, or had a vast imagination.

In maybe a decade, he wagered, the world would know about people like him: the ones experimented on, the ones who had “superpowers” pushed upon them, because by then, white people would be included in the scheme.  They – the original round of people tested and implanted with chips – were never going to be the coveted Superman or Batman, no. That would’ve been too simple, too nice. Racism played a factor in his gaining of this thing. That’s one thing that science fiction got wrong: that discrimination would be over.  He took it in stride; he could have been shot as an alternative.  That’s not to say he’s the worst one with the curse, but he doesn’t like it either.

A normal non-experimented-on person gains their power and energy and well-being from sleep.

He doesn’t sleep much, anymore. It’s kind of pointless, and his dreams go nowhere, anyway.

He must gain his energy from the sun. Annoying, it is, when it rains. He hates when it rains. He knows it gives life to the plants, but if he hasn’t reserved some energy from the day before (which he quantifies in his mind by thinking of a holo game’s health bar going up and down), he is drained, and no amount of sleep can change that.

In the winter (thank goodness he doesn’t live in a place with winter anymore) he – quite literally – felt like hibernating, because he could barely move or talk or do much of anything at all. He was very useless in winter.

He thinks of himself, often, as a plant, which undergoes photosynthesis, minus the advantage of making his own food in his body. He still has to buy it. He still has to have a job, and work, and buy food that other people have made.

For a pick-me-up, he used to drink coffee, take in the steam, and the warm feeling down his throat – the poignant disappointment when it was gone. That’s kind of how he thought of his life now. Someone drank the essence of his life, and he didn’t have it anymore. He felt empty, in mind, and in body.

For two hours, every morning, he lays down on the asphalt, shirt off, and dark eyes closed in concentration.

(He has an apartment, but doesn’t use it much. He pays for it every month, just like any other person. It’s more of a backup story to have if people ever care to ask about him.)

Patiently, he waits for the surge of energy to suddenly find itself within him. Then he gets up, brushes himself off, puts his shirt back on (he has found that his heart is the center of the absorption, and isn’t the least bit surprised), and goes off to work.

This is a very public secret to keep, but so far, he hasn’t had to hide it.

It isn’t obvious in the slightest what the deeper meaning of the act is – “Oh, what is he doing there? Is he homeless, ya think?”

They always think he’s sleeping on his back, and with his eyes closed and breathing as calmly and as the best he can, he decides to let them.

Since they never bother really look at his face, or talk to him directly, they don’t recognize him as the same man from the parking lot as the man in the holo jewelry store.

That’s okay.

As much as he thinks about how his circumstances could be better, they also could be much worse.

I have a superpower chip in my head, he wants to say to the world, Where’s my holo comic? Where’s my media interviews? I gain my energy from laying down for 2 hours a day. I have time! I HAVE TIME!

He knows, in reality, that he wouldn’t like the spotlight.

He’s in charge of making sure the holo displays of jewelry in the mall look realistic enough, for 12 hours a day, every day.

As he adjusts the filters and mechanisms, he wonders if he’ll ever be able to change his life as simply as he can with these displays.

He doubts it.

FIN

Tourism In Fairy Tales – Flash Fiction Story #7

TOURISM IN FAIRY TALES

By Mary Wright (me)

[static]

[red recording symbol appears]

“So, uh, somehow I jumped into this world of fairy tales. And, um, it was good I always bring my camera everywhere, ya know? I, um, I’m not really sure I remember any of the stories, but maybe by being here as a tourist, I, can, ya know, learn them.”

[stop recording]

[start recording]

“I ran into this witch of a lady, holding a basket of apples. Like, ya know, I’m not getting any younger, so I applaud her for being able to pick so many of ‘em. She was going to this ghost skinned lady’s cottage with lots of short men, or so she said. Didn’t know if I should ask about how to get back home, but she looked like she was on a mission, so I let her, uh, go to the place I said.”

[stop recording]

[start recording]

“It’s night now, and I’ve been walking through the forest. It’s really funny. I don’t remember walking that far, but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, ya know? I was at this dance party. Well, there wasn’t any disco or anything, it was more slow and boring, oh. They called that something, didn’t they? Uh, oh, a ball. That’s what it was. This lady in a blue dress, way too long in my opinion, was running down these huge steps that led to the place. She had these clear, really uncomfortable-looking heels on her feet, and she lost one of them on the way down. She was really fast, even while limping, but somehow I caught up to her. I helped her get to her horse-and-buggy, wow, surprised I remember the name of that – anyway, I was a gentleman, and then it was riding quickly away. Saw this guy find the other glass heel on the steps. He looked determined. All I was thinking was, dude, you gotta get more exercise to keep up with that lady!”

[stop recording]

[start recording]

“Morning now. Suddenly. My eyes are hurting pretty bad, and my legs, too. Like I said, not getting younger. Did I say that? If I didn’t, you know that now.  Anyway, even with my head throbbing, I remembered to ask the next person I saw how to get back home, ya know. It’s weird. Feels like I’ve been here a long while. Like, slow motion action movie kind of thing. Anyway. I saw this huge tower, and I was like, if any place was gonna be a kind of portal thing, it was in that tower. So there was this long strand of yellow yarn, really long, and I climbed it like rope, and it turns out it was a lady’s hair! Wonder how long it took her to get that length! Anyways, she said, that if I go to sleep, like, I’ll wake up and be back. That seems too easy. Wouldn’t believe it in a movie, even. But if she says so, it’s gotta be right. Did I mention her hair?”

[silence for a few moments]

[stop recording]

[start recording]

“So, uh, I’m in my bed, uh, with my laptop, ya know? And I’m watching myself with what I recorded. This is really weird. I actually went to Fairy Tale Universe. Unless somehow this is an illusion or hallicunation or the Matrix, ya know. If so, that’d be sooooo cool, man. Anyway. If it was real, I think that’s pretty awesome. Not going to be telling anybody cuz they won’t believe me, obviously, but if any opportunity comes up where they want to see stuff that I’ve recorded on my camera, I’ve got the thing that holds the camera around my neck. The canvas strap, ya know? Yeah. That. Anyway. I’ve gotta go to work now. I’ll try not to be thinking about Fairy Tale Universe, or accidently say something out loud, ya know? Okay. Bye. Yeah.”

[stop recording]

FIN

Dear Allison, Jamie, Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante (and Katey): On #citizenradio, #newsfail, and my going-to-the-book-signing experience

Dear Allison, Jamie, Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante (and Katey)

(You gave me a foundation for my mistrust and hate of the mainstream media

Before, I had clenched my fists and there was a tickle in my brain that told me

something was wrong here. Oh my gosh, everything is racist and we live in

a patriarchy and all those history classes that told me of the white, triumphant heroes

who were so brave as they slaughtered and stole and took rights away

were some kind of biased lie, and did you know that history is repeating itself?

Jamie made me know that it was okay to be anxious and sad,

but also to laugh a lot when things seem dark

That within the creative mind there are so many possibilities

From Bane to Sad!Mario to Evil Republican Baby.

From NPR!Jim to Tad Everyman tonight on CNN!

That sometimes life is a 1 in 25 stand-up shows chance to make the world know

who you are and laugh a little until that chance becomes a surefire result

With fans – Maniacs – to support you until and when you get there

Allison made me know that it is okay to be angry and questioning,

but also not to be apathetic where there seems to be no solution

Within the many so-called truths the facts will emerge if you

look for them hard enough

That just because you’re serious doesn’t mean you can’t laugh

And come up with ways to get your point across in a way that’s funny and still

gets the information into the ears that will willingly search for it and listen

From Jan Brewer to Helena to NPR!Pam

To dissuading Jamie from working with

Carl the Styrofoam Man

And telling us Maniacs when to “Nope. Don’t do that.”

You gave me a foundation in which I could relax

And laugh and be anxious about the newest ridiculous

Thing that’s happening rather than my own worries that keep me awake

With this community I know that I am safe,

while trying to make the world better

Thanks Jamie and Allison and

Katey and Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante

For the comedy and reporting and therapeutic advice –

For Dezzy and Penny

For writing a book – which is much easier a recommendation to make

to random strangers than a podcast that’s an hour long, 5 days a week –

Something I can have when the power on my phone is zero

The past 11 months you’ve made me happy when I wasn’t

Assured my confidence in what I want to be (a science fiction/fantasy author)

You’ve made me stop eating meat and eat more vegetables

You’ve made me heal and mostly not care what certain people

that have wronged me, think)

After getting on 2 different buses, walking a lot, taking the subway for the first time (and getting my mom to help me/allow me to go – the most important step) I made it to Powerhouse Arena. I knew, instinctively, that it would go amazingly and it would be the best day of my life. No, seriously.

What I didn’t know was I was absolutely right on both things. I laughed a lot (and tried not having my mom sitting next to me affect that, although she did laugh a couple of times, which surprised me). It was great, my face hurt, and I was exhausted and excited at the same time. The joke I wanted to make, I couldn’t make in front of my mom, but…. isn’t it ironic that we were watching atheists talk while sitting in church-like pews? 🙂 (Thanks for not harping on the atheism, actually. I think that persuaded my God-has-a-plan and pray to St. Whatever mom to kind of warm up to you three.)

Then came the signing part.

Usually, I need to plan out what I’m going to say, because, haha, anxiety, but somehow I managed to tell you all about how Citizen Radio gave my anger direction and that listening to episodes repeatedly helps me from getting too anxious and panicky.

A whole theme of this day for me was confidence. Somehow through all the exhaustion and travel, I was confident that when I got there, everything would be okay. That’s because I know when I listen to the newest episode (or whatever episode) of Citizen Radio, everything will be okay, and I feel safe. (Also, This Part’s The Best, as well, of course.)

You’ve made me see the world for what it is, and it’s a horrible place (uh, for people with less privilege, obviously.) But it’s a less horrible place when there’s Twitter and Fellow Maniacs and comedy and Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante. Speaking of which, he recognized me! All three of you, maybe? But anyway, “Are you Mary Wright?” YES, YES I AM, CITIZEN RADIO’S JOHN FRUSCIANTE!

Thanks for all that you do. I support the show currently without money, but with lots of retweets and re-listens and somehow, overall overprotectiveness. Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante was right when he said that some Maniacs (me) like to keep the podcast to themselves. It feels like a personal thing to me, since in my life right now there’s not many things I can say that I can think about without worrying what my mom with think/say about whatever random not-at-all-bad thing it is. (Haha, that might change now that my mom “knows” *a little* about Citizen Radio).

I’ve been listening for 11 months now (almost), and I can’t tell you how many times listening has helped me relax to get to sleep and stop worrying, or making me laugh when I needed to laugh. (Sometimes both.)

I’m seriously surprised I didn’t cry when I got to the signing table. (Tears were in my eyes when I saw you all standing waiting for Dave Zirin to welcome you to the chairs, but after that, all laughs and confidence).

I know I am, by far, not one of the worse-off listeners, and that my perception of my life is because I’m not where I want to be yet. (Also, anxiety. That helps.) Things could be worse. But they aren’t.

So, as Jamie said last night, “The misery is just part of the story you’re going to tell.” (I may have misquoted you a bit, but that was the general idea of what you said, and it stuck with me.)

Seriously, thank you all so much for everything.

Book signingBook Signing poseMe and Citizen Radio's John Frusciante!

-Mary Wright (@maryiswriting)

P.S. Best Day Ever would have been even more awesome if I got Citizen Radio’s John Frusciante’s autograph, but I didn’t have anything for him to sign.

P.P.S. I wish I met Katey Healy-Wurzburg. (I got excited on the way when I saw streets I remembered you all mentioning, and Duane Reade, and JAY STREET METRO TECH)

P.P.P.S. I live in Northern NJ. The trip wasn’t that far, but it was a big deal for me, because anxiety, and I don’t……um, go to a lot of places that aren’t bookstores, or go places in general. (Case in point, Powerhouse Arena is a bookstore.)

[FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT PART OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MEANT TO READ THIS LETTER, BUY NEWSFAIL. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN I IMAGINED IT, AND I IMAGINED IT AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I’LL EVER READ, BEFORE I EVEN GOT IT. BUY IT. C’MON.]

[If you ever wanted a testimonial for it, mine would be, “If you’d like an accurately documented history of what’s wrong with the U.S. media (and internationally, sometimes), alongside the history of the struggle by a journalist and a comedian to be heard in a world of lies, this book is for you. If you want actual hope, and actual laughs, and not the fake kind that most media tries to make with their offensive punny headlines, and misleading graphs and tables and answers from anonymous sources, then this is the book for you. Also, this might be the podcast for you, too. If you think there are a lot of problems with how the world works, you’d be right – #NEWSFAIL lays it out for you, like a really funny, fantastic-description-filled timeline.”]

(Sexist, Racist) Officer Dave and Jack the (Homophobic) High School Quarterback – Flash Fiction Story #6

(SEXIST, RACIST) OFFICER DAVE AND JACK THE (HOMOPHOBIC) HIGH SCHOOL QUARTERBACK

By Mary Wright (me)

(DISCLAIMER: There are no slurs in this. The -isms and -phobic stuff is more implied than anything else. Enjoy this ridiculous portrayal of the real world, turned into fiction. With it being #NationalComingOutDay, and also that the stuff in #Ferguson is ongoing, this idea was formed.)

He stared hard at the table as he tried to recall his attackers. The cold metal table reflected the light shining from the ceiling. His arm shook as he tried to look cool while pushing the blond hair out of his eyes. First though, he felt he had to set the scene so the police department would understand where he was coming from.

“He, he was with another guy, you know, I thought they were bros, officer –“ he began, his pale face contorted into a shape of worry and fear, “But they weren’t bros. They were, were….” Jack looked up finally, putting his hands up with a shrug.

“Gay?” asked the cop.

“I mean, yeah. They were holding hands. Like. They looked…..happy.”

“Jack. Were they actually attacking you?” the cop asked, crossing his arms, “’cause it seems to me like you just felt overwhelmed with the whole situation. You were walking down the sidewalk you told me. And they were just walking too, is that right?”

Jack’s bottom lip quivered. “It’s not fair. That they get to be happy and not me. And besides, they’re scary.”

“They didn’t hurt you.”

“Debra broke up with me and told me I was an idiot last night!” Jack sobbed, his blue eyes watery.

“Get it together, man.” The cop demanded, “It’s enough that women come in here crying after a man had stated his intentions too clearly.”

“You’re right, Dave. I’m sorry.” Jack said quickly. “It’s just. They want to ruin my life. You know they do.”

“How’s that? All I’m hearing is genuine jealousy,” said Dave.

“I’m not jealous. It’s just. Before I called the station, they, they, were kissing. Right there! In front of me! And I thought of Debra. Oh, they are SO going to hell.”

“Jack, you aren’t thinking right. You still playing football?”

“’Course I am, Dave.”

“Wonderful. Atta boy. You still gotta know that they really did nothing to hurt you.”

“Maybe they were going to, though!”

“Now you’re paranoid, Jack. End this madness.” Said Dave. “As much as I like seeing how the best high school football quarterback is doing, this has been a waste of my time.”

“I didn’t….”

“Speak up, c’mon.”

“I didn’t tell you the worst part.”

“What?” asked Dave, putting his hand near his gun on his hip in anticipation.

“One of the bros….uh, not-bros, was…..a thug. He was black.”

Rage suddenly filled Dave’s previously Caucasian face. “And you didn’t SHOOT him? Why didn’t you SHOOT him? He is a danger to everyone! All thugs are!”

“I panicked, officer. I just, ran. For my safety.”

“You have jeopardized ALL of us. I gave you that gun license and handgun for a REASON.” said Dave. “You’ve just made my job more complicated.” He sighed in disgust.  “Jack, if you wanna be a cop like me, you gotta know who to shoot.”

There was a knock on the door, and Dave grabbed his gun. “Who’s there?”

“Megan.”

“We don’t need any woman’s thoughts right now, dear. Go back to your filing of your nails, or whatever.”

A key turned the lock, and the door swung open.

“YOU!” she said pointing at him. “YOU are a sexist! It is almost comically ridiculous if it weren’t so hurtful.”

“Aw, Jack, her little feelings are hurt.”

“Evidence right there,” she muttered with a sigh. “And you, Jack.”

“What?”

“You should be happy. I know about Debra. But guess what? That doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of gay people all of a sudden.”

“They’re scary, though.”

“No, Jack, you’re just jealous. And religious. That’s a bad combo.”

“Oooh, you’re in trouble now. Wouldn’t want to be on her bad side.”

“You’ve never BEEN on my GOOD side, Dave. You’re just too privileged to see that. Speaking of privilege, we heard you talking about black people.”

“Yeah? So? Thugs, am I right?”

“Actually, stupid, you are completely wrong,” Megan said, “And racist.”

“Do you like Megan yelling at you? Cuz I don’t.” Dave said to Jack.

“You aren’t LISTENING! But I guess that’s just how you are. I’m going to quit…..”

“Aw, such a beautiful piece of woman as yourself should….”

“….but before I do, things are going to change around here.”

Megan gave her two weeks’ notice, and in that time, justice was served. Dave was no longer Officer Dave, as his badge and gun was taken away from him after hearing him talk about ‘thugs’.

Jack got back together with Debra, while learning that actually, he WAS jealous, and although he was brought up to believe gay people were scary, most of it in fact WAS that he was jealous. It was the next month that he learned his best friend was gay, and so after an initial freak out, he got better at thinking that hey, gay people should be all happy and kissing too.

(In real life, justice is not always served, and acceptance is not always granted. Actually, most of the time, it isn’t. There is a reason why they call it fiction.)

FIN

There Was A Lot He Didn’t Remember – Flash Fiction Story #5

THERE WAS A LOT HE DIDN’T REMEMBER

BY Mary Wright (me)

There was a lot he didn’t remember.

His parents’ names, his parents’ faces, where he lived before 16 years old.

There were no elementary school or high school stories to tell before sophomore year, or there was, and his brain decided to completely forget.

Amnesia High.

Yes, the administration sure liked to be blunt.

He wasn’t the only one here who forgot things.

There were those worse off than him; there were those who were better. He was glad to know how to tie his shoelaces, but he was envious of those who remembered their Before-Life, even a little bit of it.

It was hard to tell when something would come up that would frustrate him. He was happy to find out that some things he did automatically without trouble – relieving himself in the bathroom, putting on his clothes, and speaking well enough to be understood by most doctors.

Oh, right, they needed to be called “teachers”.

He hoped he would remember that, and if he didn’t, that they would forgive him and chalk it up to who he was now. The memory loss wasn’t a static thing – sometimes it improved, sometimes new things came up that made it worse.

Like today for example. He might forget this whole day existed.

It really makes him feel sad and hopeless every day, if he’s honest with himself, knowing that he should seize the day, but also deciding not to care at all. Why put in all that effort if you’re going to forget about all of it tomorrow?

He was 16. His name was John. He knew enough, and retained enough memory to maybe be classified as a 4th grader in terms of function.

Sometimes he wondered about his Before-Life.

There was a lot he didn’t remember.

 FIN

A Harsh Misunderstanding – Flash Fiction Story #4

A HARSH MISUNDERSTANDING

BY Mary Wright (me)

ATTENTION HUMANS: YOU ARE NOT WORTH THE SUGAR SUPPLY

(Transmitted letter from 100 light years away from Earth, 2190, Earth time,

Translated into English by Head Committee Leader of Planet Surellog before sending)

We did not come to your planet to destroy it. Your leaders – ignorant of who we truly were! – decided what our intentions were before we could even step out of our ships. They forced their way in, hitting their limbs against the doors, and making holes in the walls inside our ships from weapons they used out of irrational fear.

We could not communicate well with your leaders – we understood how to tune our way of communication into one your leaders would understand, but even then, they wouldn’t let us explain ourselves.

We stopped on Earth because our ships needed supplies of sugar. The last time we had been there, your planet had been much different, and there were not a lot of humans. This time there were many, and your leaders were the most stupid of them all.

Of course, I do not judge the whole humankind on this – what can only be called a harsh misunderstanding – but it can be hard not to show anger toward your leaders. Our neighbors, out on the edge of our galaxy, had visited Earth before us, destroyed things, took things, and made you humans think that all invaders had the worst intentions.

While I understand that reasoning, we cannot forgive what you have wrought on our planet. So much is burning, and so many of our little ones are crying without their parents to soothe them with comfort. You have left us savages, on the edge of survival. We have no choice, but to be like our neighbors.

Next time, we will not come only for sugar.

FIN

You’re Really Good At Monologues – Flash Fiction Story #3

YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT MONOLOGUES

By Mary Wright (me)

“I don’t care what you say. Okay? I’m going to do this!” Her voice echoed through the whole room. Well, it wasn’t a room actually – it was more like an auditorium. Her purple nails showed themselves in the spotlight. Her converse shoes stood firmly on the stage, and if you didn’t notice how her arms were shaking, you’d think her to be unafraid. She put her arm out, pointing towards the one who she was speaking to.

“I forbid it,” said a small voice, one you wouldn’t think would have such anger within it. The voice belonged to Katherine’s older sister. Grace crossed her arms. “This isn’t going to be something successful, Kay. Don’t you want a life where you don’t struggle to survive?”

“I want a life,” Katherine said slowly, “Where I can have fun. Where I don’t have to struggle for your approval. I want one where I don’t care what you think.”

In her eyes, something changed, and Grace noticed.

“Don’t say it,” Grace begged.

“I want a life where mom would be alive, and you know, Grace, she would approve of this.”

“I’m just trying to keep the family together. Think of your children. Think of mine. An actress? What will people say about that? Why can’t you just be a secretary or something?”

“You’re one to talk,” Katherine snapped, “You’re a lawyer. Yay for you. Has there ever been one day where you haven’t called me and complained about something? I can’t think of one. What about you?”

Grace sighed, but said nothing.

Katherine continued, “I want to be an actress. Yes. I do. And that’s okay. Because for me, that means a lot of struggling to survive and making ends meet……and if you are so worried about my children, give them the Christmas presents you think they’d deserve. But do not tell me how to take care of them, and do not tell me that they would be better off with you.”

“And why not?” Grace countered.

“Because you…all you will teach them is how to follow the successful path, the one where sure you’re guaranteed to be able to pay the bills, but you know what, Grace? Whether or not you think you are, I know you are miserable, and hate yourself.”

Halfway through, tears started to stream down Grace’s face. She was now the one starting to shake, and converse sneakers found themselves over to her side. Katherine hugged her tightly.

“I miss her,” Grace muttered. “I’m sorry about what I said. And you’re right, I do.”

“This job isn’t going to be easy,” Katherine said seriously, “No. I’m sorry. I’ll be here for you, if you want to complain some more.”

“I’m no good at anything,” Grace said. There was a long pause, as if she was attempting to find a thing that went against that statement. Then she continued: “Except arguing with people.” She laughed like her life depended on it.

“You’re a good mother,” Katherine pointed out, “That counts.”

Grace sniffled. After a minute, a smile started to form on her face, and she was nodding slowly to herself. “You’re really good at monologues,” she said miserably.

“Thank you,” Katherine said brightly, “It’s my job.”

Then, in that mostly dark auditorium except for the spotlight that was still on, they laughed together, tears of relief along with the echoing laughter.

FIN

A Miracle Cure – Flash Fiction Story #2

A MIRACLE CURE

By Mary Wright (me)

She sniffled. She coughed. Her head hurt.  She heard on a knock on the door. Why couldn’t her body let her be in peace?

No. Wait.

“Go away!” she croaked, pulling the blanket tighter around her on the bed.

“We’re going to the bookstore,” said her mother from the other side of the door. “Alice and I will be back later so-”

“You hate me.” She was going to be a frog forever – at least that’s how it felt like.

Her mother continued on without hearing her, “-Do you want us to bring anything back for you?”

She cleared her throat, and her nose stuffed up even more. With a sigh, she said, now nasally, “A miracle cure.”

“You’re going to be fine.”

“No. You’re going to the bookstore without me,” Maureen stated.

“Get some sleep,” her mother said.

“I’ll be dreaming about books.” She said with a huff, quickly grabbing a tissue from the almost-empty box beside her. “No, mom, wait! I need more tissues.”

“I’ll get more tissues,” her mother said, and she heard her mother’s footsteps walk away from her door.

She sighed, her eyes bleary. She was exhausted, but she knew she wouldn’t get to sleep easily.

And then, after whatever time it takes to accurately fully stare at every aspect of a wall, she found herself on a horse riding through the forest.

“To the bookstore!” a voice said, and then she heard the sound of a trumpet. The horse had done both of those things.

In dreamland, she didn’t question it. “Onward!” she announced, and the horse trotted on.

After a while, they came to a clearing, and ahead, there was a log cabin. 

“Is that the bookstore?” she asked the horse. 

“No. That is the store of e-readers.” the horse said, and Maureen shuddered. 

“Let us leave this place,” she said worriedly, and the horse galloped faster. 

Eventually, they made it to the real bookstore. Maureen sighed in relief. “Go find yourself some water to drink. I will be in there for a while,” she told the horse. She neighed and walked off just as Maureen was swinging open the grand door. 

She smelled cinnamon and lavender, and she smiled. The bookshelves reached the ceiling, and from the air, the formation of the bookshelves themselves probably looked like the holes in a spatula – except there were many more bookshelves than six. More like ten sets of spatula holes.

It took her a minute to realize that she was lost in thought, and not concentrating on looking at the books. There were so many books. Her eyes shined in delight as she read book blurb after book blurb, and put them in the basket on her arm that magically, conveniently, apparently appeared out of nowhere. Muffled, she heard the sniffles of the cashier, and the customer at the counter cough once, then twice. With the sound of the tissue being pulled out of the box on the counter – 

– She woke up. “Still sick,” she croaked, “And still sounding like a frog.”

“Hey Maureen,” said her mother from the other side of the door, “I got you more tissues.”

“Thanks,” she said, trying to keep the sarcasm from her voice, as her mother came in and put them on her night table.

“Have a good sleep?” her mother asked.

“I wasn’t sick in it.” Maureen replied, crossing her arms. “And there was a horse with a trumpet that could talk.”

“So. Better than awake.” her mother stated.

“Much better.”

“Then rest some more,” her  mother suggested.

This time, it didn’t take a lot to go back to sleep. She barely heard her mother close her door, as she entered the land of trumpeting, talking horses, and bookstores with shelves that hit the ceiling. Here, there was peace.

FIN

Granite & Stone – Flash Fiction Story #1

GRANITE & STONE 

by Mary Wright (me)

The wind whistled through the hole in the roof, and although it was still dark out, Granite rose from her bed. The tree branches that hit her window every night reminded her not to be afraid. There was such a thing as an escape – and that escape was outside. Inside, the people who called themselves her parents fought each other, and she knew that the next person they would fight would be her. That couldn’t happen tonight, not tonight. Right now, she had to force her muscles to make her put her mouth into a smile shape. Everything was fine.

She stood ten feet away from her bedroom window, waiting, her nightgown whipping slowly in the cool breeze. The raised voices of the two adults in the house now sounded like hearing some angry rats squeaking at each other – or at least that’s how she liked to imagine them.

“It’s the 15th of July,” said a voice behind the row of dark, shivering bushes.

“Yes.” Granite said. “It is.”

A shorter form of herself arose from her hiding place, standing not straight, but in a sort of uncomfortable slouch.

“Hello, Stone.” Granite greeted her. “How is your half of life doing?”

“You already know,” Stone with a sigh, “The boys in the home are sewing, and the girls fight like cats. And then there’s me, who can’t stop looking out the window.”

“If that’s all you have to complain about,” said Granite, crossing her arms across her chest, “then you shouldn’t complain at all.”

Once every few days, Granite sent mind messages to her twin, Stone. She told her little of what was really happening at the home she slept in, but now, with distance not being part of the equation, she sent all the information and images of the last month’s happenings to her.

“You can’t live like that!” she exclaimed.

“I must.” Granite replied.

“But why?”

“One day, they will fight,” she said, pointing towards the house as she spoke, “and one will kill the other. They do not agree on anything, and have many secrets.”

“But then what?”

“Police will arrive. Whichever of……the parents killed the other one will go to jail, and by that point I will have escaped.” Granite said confidently. A real smile formed on her face.

“You wish to live in my home.” Stone said suddenly.

“You are my twin, and where you live sounds boring and annoying at times, but never dangerous.” Granite said, “I thought you would be okay with this.”

“It is only that my home….well, the people who are in the home are the people who decide who will live there. And there is already eight people including me there to feed.”

“I will feed myself, if that is what it takes to get away from here.” Granite said.

“It takes a lot to be able to feed oneself.” Stone said.

Granite angrily remembered the image of a large family eating together at a table piled high with food. Tears tickled her eyelashes. “I already know how much, sister. You should already know that.”

Stone burst into tears, and after a minute, she took a deep breath and she stood up a little straighter. “I have an idea, Nit. And it will solve all your problems.”

“…..”

“Switch places with me. You deserve to have boredom and annoyance. I shall take my turn with fear,” Stone said confidently.

“I would never ask for you to have my fear, Stone, and I do not think I could accept that choice even for boredom and annoyance if you were in my place.”

Stone sighed, slouching back to her normal dejected-like stance. “Then we must employ my other idea, I fear.” Her voice told Granite that she did not fear, but only thought she would regret doing so afterwards. “We must both kill them ourselves. Steal all of the cash they have kept from your well-being. Have them think it was some random robber. Safer that way.”

“Kill them?” Granite whispered. She did not want to admit that in her twelve years of life, six of them had been consumed with that same idea.

“Do not tell me, sister, that you have not thought about that.”

“Of course, of course,” Granite muttered.

“Well then tonight, your fear shall go away for good.” Stone said.

With a knife from the kitchen, and rope from the garage, the deed was done before the sun came up. Blood was on her hands; blood was on her clothes. Granite smiled, smiled like she had never before this night. In front of both of them, sat both parents…..each tied up like mummies and each with more than a generous amount of stab wounds. 

“Thank you,” she told her twin after the killing was finished, and the fear in Stone’s eyes was clear on her face.

“You’re welcome, Nit,” she said cautiously.

“You are afraid that my killing is not done.” Granite said. 

“I did not know you had the strength to do this, that’s all,” Stone muttered. 

“You fear me?” Granite asked. 

“You are my sister.” 

“Do you?” 

“You are my twin.” 

“ANSWER ME!” 

“Yes, I fear you, okay?” answered Stone, trembling. “I’m afraid.” 

Granite sighed heavily, putting down the knife. She took her sister’s hand in hers. “Don’t be afraid of me. There is no reason to fear anything anymore,” she gulped, “They separated us when we were babies. And here, all of this, has happened. But no more fear, sister.” 

“What then?” Stone asked. 

“Only boredom and annoyance.” Granite said, smiling. They washed their hands, cleaned their hands of rope burns as best they could, took all the money they knew of, and then ran from the crime that was mostly Granite’s doing.

It took a few months, and a few crying testimonies from Granite, but at last, both Granite and Stone sat at the big family table in Stone’s “parent’s” house, along with her six siblings – the siblings that Granite would now be able to talk to. 

“It must be difficult, to remember how your parents were killed,” one of her now-siblings said at the meal. One of the parents rebuked him, glaring at him for bringing up the subject. Granite pretended not to see the exchange. She was glad that no one questioned how she had acquired a savings account with $300 in it – only that it was assumed that her parents had put money aside for her. 

“I was afraid,” Granite said, now just turned 13 years old, just as Stone was, “But now I have my twin, and I am safe.” 

FIN 

 

Control – 100 Word Story

Invisible tendrils of magic grabbed him, and his feet were suddenly unable to touch the ground. He was floating, but not of his own will.

“Weird, isn’t it.” She said, giving a smile, “How it feels to not be in control.”

“Let. Me. Go.” He said, looking rather silly trying to point his finger at her.

“No. You have controlled me for so long,” She said, “You can last a while.”

“I’m sorry.” He said.

“You don’t mean it, father. You’re just trying to get the control back.”

“You’re my daughter.”

“And you’re manipulative.”

The door slammed closed.

You can find me on Twitter.