Monthly Archives: July 2015


One more workday left
Tension; Anticipation
No! I’m ready now!

Not a What

“What?” they ask,
“Do you want to be?”
“Not a what,” I say with glee.
They look confused.
They frown. They glare.
I smile back, a silent
“So there!”

They try again.
“What’s your career?”
I chortle –
“Now, that’s a better question,
My dear.”

Bloodletting 1

            “She’s waking up.”
            Hands held down the shaking body as she flailed and jerked instinctively. Her head thrashed from side to side as she fought to see. A field of blurry white. Light. Ceiling. Walls. Coats. Words she used to know rushed through her head. A dark head with black strings and a shiny metal circle leaned closer as they rushed by the walls.
            She wrenched back onto the gurney, as far away as she could get, nearly flinging herself off, and screamed wordlessly. The high, thin sound shattered the white with the gentleness of a knife. She couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop the screaming. Couldn’t stop the images. Couldn’t stop anything. Tears ran down her face. She didn’t know.
            “God have mercy.”
            “Code Grey!”
            She continued to scream as strong hands pushed her back into place and thick restraints were fastened.
            “Haloperidol – get a 0.4mg – no, a 0.5mg syringe. Now!”
            It was as if she didn’t need to breath. Only scream. She didn’t stop until the drug replaced the white with utter blackness.

Genre Issues: Bloodletting

            Of the three novels I started here (or novellas, who knows?), one has proved much more challenging to move forward with than the others. The goal was to try out three different genres: science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
            The science fiction and fantasy have been much easier to move forward with (ideas, purpose, overall plot focus, etc). I think the reason is familiarity and complication level. I’m definitely more familiar with science fiction and fantasy, and while some books in those genres have extremely intricate plots, others don’t. It depends on how many twists, turns, and dramatic reveals the author wants the book to have. If that isn’t the emphasis, you can move forward without too much planning.
            I’m not sure it’s possible to have a successful horror book without twists, turns, and dramatic reveals.
            As a result, I’ve been doing a great deal of research into the horror genre (with lots more to go) to help me feel a bit more grounded on reader expectations – especially what not to do. I may break those rules anyway, but I’ll have tried. Anyone who wants to share rules, favorite books/movies, etc, please, feel free. This is a genre I’ve never tried, and it requires a level of intricacy that hasn’t been my usual style so far. While I truly believe that writing challenges are good for a writer’s brain and skills, I also know that listening to other perspectives and techniques is very beneficial (seriously, I will take whatever tips/links you want to give).
            You see, to make matters worse for myself, when I finally came up with a focus I like for the horror story, it turned out to be something that I don’t know much about. So that’s requiring a good amount of research, too. That’s partly because it may require an ensemble cast. Like usual, my brain isn’t taking the easy road when it comes to ideas.
            This may be the one that makes me break the revision rule.
            In any case, I haven’t posted on this story since July 3rd, (and it didn’t even have a working title at that point) so here is a refresher before we move on:

Bloodletting 0

            Cinnamon and blood. The warm spicy aroma once associated with cake and cookies mixed with the metallic wrongness until the once bright room blurred and bile burned its way up the back of her throat.
            Sudden pain in her head broke through the dizziness, and when she reached one shaking hand to her forehead, she realized that somehow she had ended up on the floor. She immediately pushed up to her feet only to stumble backwards, hitting the counter hard with her shoulders before sliding down the smooth cupboards to the cold tile. The shaking made the dizziness worse, and the quivering weakness of her muscles made the fear spread through her like blood.
            The reminder brought the smell back so strongly that she would have whimpered if she’d had the strength. There was something… Her shattered mind didn’t want to remember, so the images came like flashes of light through a murky haze. Unwillingly, she turned her head to the right and the pooling horror lying there. Tears and bile swelled as her small body shuddered. Gasping breaths racked her as she spun back and desperately tried to crawl away from the desecration of her childhood.
            Every inch was a struggle as she forced trembling muscles to reach and pull. She didn’t hear the footsteps or the hissing curse, but the warm drops down her face made her raise her head and whimper.

Air Conditioning

The hero leaves —
Hot sun
Sweat and tears
Walking onward
Fighting the heat
Trying to cool

With her last strength
She reaches the door and
Flips a switch:

Deus Ex Machine

Deathwalker 2.2

             The pompous white-haired receptionist goggled when I walked through the door. From the way his eyebrows raised, he clearly hadn’t expected me to come back. His ridiculous expression was even better than the view from the ship. I snickered once before I caught myself.
            He must have heard it – he pulled himself together and sneered down his nose at me like a bird trying to peer around its beak.
            “I see you came to your senses,” his imperious tone rang in the pretentiously white hall. “Return the case to the sequentior. Your account will be charged 49.99al for reprocessing and incompletion penalties.”
            Ignoring his instructions was a special kind of pleasure. His glare spoke wordlessly, outlining my idiocy and inability to follow simple directions. That made revealing the parchment all the more satisfying.
            “Deathwalker Sephtis reporting Case T.1494 completed as requested,” I stated smugly.
            His eyes bulged, and his mouth actually, physically dropped. Actually, it kind of chewed the air as if he kept trying to talk, but nothing was coming out. Abruptly, it closed with a snap. He pressed his lips together, and his face reddened and swelled until I thought it would explode into his fluffy white hair. When he finally opened his mouth again, he was practically twitching with indignation.
             “How dare you attempt to submit a fraudulent completion!” he spluttered, waving his hands like a seizing bird and growing louder by the moment. “You mendacious upstart – I will have your license revoked for this!” 

Deathwalker 2.1

             The console signaled that we had entered the Ialuan entry field. I hit the command to relinquish control and sat back as the planet’s automated system guided the ship first into orbit and then into the atmosphere. No one had ever been able to explain to me how the field kept the ship from burning up, so I always watched closely, trying to figure out the trick. Then, as usual, I got distracted by the fascinating dance of the ships interweaving as the system matched destination to open airspace.
            It was beautiful as ever. I sighed and closed my eyes. It would be more beautiful if I didn’t have to face the main office once I landed. The tension that had seeped away started to take root again.
            “But I did it.” I touched the pocket with the priceless parchment inside.
            I wanted to believe that would make a difference. I had succeeded. Not only succeeded – succeeded at something none of them had dared to try. Thinking back to their haughty, scornful attitudes, I raised my head and hit my fist against the pocket. With a sound of disgust, I deliberately opened my eyes and leaned forward to watch the aerial display. Maybe, I couldn’t change them. But I would know. Better, I would know that they knew. No matter how they acted.
            With a half-smile, I leaned forward to enjoy the view.

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