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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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. 

Win Her Over – 100 Word Story

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

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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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