Last week I asked you for snippets of you, including the title of your current WIP and a little morsel from it to tease us.
This week, we’re playing another game.
In the post I’ve listed all the titles you gave me. Pick one (not your own) and write a story in less than 200 words, and tell me which title you picked.
If you want to join in, then post your story in the comments or in a post and link back here so I can find it.
Please note, I am pausing to write my novels and I read every entry which means I am a little slow at responding to comments. If your comment doesn’t appear straight away, it will, promise.
As a result of the blog pause, I am moving Writespirations to every other week, you have until Sunday 17th to get your entries in.
p.s all images from Amazon
- Under Stone
- Venus on Earth
- The Case of the Prejudiced Ghost
- My Part in the EDSA Revolution 1986
- Drawn Towards The Sun
- All aboard!
- To Have and to Harm
- End of the Line
- The Haunted Tide
- Oath Breaker
- Buster and Moo
- The Life and Times of Scott Hughes
- Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure
- The House That Wasn’t There
- Return to Echoing Waters
- The Years After Mojo’s
I chose to use the title, End of the Line from Barb. In my novel Keepers, when you die, you are taken to ‘Lines End’ where your body is laid to rest and your soul can travel to the Other Side. This is a snippet from chapter 15, as Eden (the main character) prepares to send her parents to Lines End.
Even in the dim underground station below the Ancient forest, Trees still managed to grow. Although the underground walls were mostly coated with roots, trees still dipped and swooped over the platform lining the track like soldiers at attention.
I blinked rapidly, salty tears already streaking my cheeks. Titus stepped off the sleek Earth train carrying my parents bodies and walked towards us.
“I thought it was appropriate,” Nyx said, clutching my arm, “Lionel loved the humans, I thought it would be fitting if he went to Lines End in one of their trains.”
“It’s lovely, Nyx, really lovely.” I squeezed her hand, unsure of who I was really comforting.
“I still don’t know if I can go in there…” Fear was clamping my chest tight like a vice. “I don’t think I can see their bodies.”
“I’ll be right outside. But you have to send them off with essence memory. Be brave, honey. Don’t leave them unprotected.”
“I know. I know. It’s just…” I swallowed the lump pressing my throat closed, “Do they look normal? Do they look like they used to?”
Nyx nodded, her eyes bristling with tears, “just like they’re asleep, honey.”
Sacha Black © 2016 all rights reserved
Title: Under Stone
‘So why are you dressed like that?’ said the girl next to him, sliding close, dark hair curling around her freckled face. She ran a hand across his leather breastplate. ‘Not that I don’t like it or anythin’.’ She giggled and he snapped his teeth at her, laughter rumbling in his chest.
‘It is what I wear when I hunt,’ he said, putting his arm around her as he took another swig from the bottle, enjoying the sweet taste.
‘And have you found what you were huntin’ for?’ she asked, reaching up to steal a kiss, mouth soft against his beard.
‘Easy, Carolyn, leave some for the rest of us,’ said the girl in the front seat, flashing her eyes at him as he lifted his head.
‘Oh, don’t worry,’ he said, meeting her glance with a scorching one of his own. ‘There’s plenty of me to go around.’
Ritu in next, with a snippet from either a collection of shorts or a stand alone short story
Title: Venus on Earth
All pretty usual for this place.
Then you get Venus House.
Intriguing name, isn’t it?
It’s one of the townhouses on my road, right opposite my own rented space. A beautifully kept house, and as far as I knew, it was owned by the lady who lived there. There had been no converting, but I think she rented rooms out to students. Well, I had seen a number of young women who had stayed there for a while, before moving on, and a little time went by before another face became a familiar one.
Thing is, there were also quite a lot of visitors to this place. They could be family or friends, I know, but it seemed strange that they only came most evenings…
Oh, I wondered plenty about this house. It was intriguing. And one day I got to find out a lot more about the tenants and owner…
Orange, green and a sickly purple dominated his aura, but that wasn’t what worried me. A surge of dark gray was forming in the center of his “body,” and I knew what that meant.
That was all I had time to say, but I trusted it would be enough for my partner. I dropped to the floor and rolled for the nearest item of furniture, a low bench that looked like it belonged in a dining set. What was it doing in an entryway? I crawled under it as best I could, rolled myself into a ball and covered my head with my arms.
I was aware of Paul moving behind me, grabbing Gerome and crouching down to cover the man with his body.
Just in time.
Items started flying. Peeking out from behind my shielding arms, I saw a huge flat-screen TV–good to know Gerome’s priorities with his ill-gotten gains–followed by a… VCR? Really? So old school. A beat up couch was next, along with a new-looking recliner.
Next in Ladylee with Title: My Part in the EDSA Revolution 1986
Two nuns were kneeling down in front of a soldier. One nun was holding her rosary tightly, urging the soldier not to shoot them or just reciting her prayers loudly. The other nun was in a contemplative mood, one hand touching her chin, the other arm crossed under her chest. In front of them was a soldier brandishing a belt of bullets, his M-16 rifle held at slope arms. The contrasting image of the nuns and the cold, harsh rifle of the soldier was the focus of this photograph. A huge crowd was behind the nuns. They were ordinary street Filipinos, men and women, parents and children, students, employed or unemployed, rich, middle-class or poor. I was part of this crowd – more people coming and going, military tanks and cannons with their soldiers greeted with flowers and food, burning tyres, activist flags and streamers, vendors, vehicles, portable radios, foreign correspondents and religious altars everywhere.
“On the day that his family got the devastating, yet not unexpected, news, Gordie Dumont’s grandfather, his father’s father, Clarence Elijah Dumont, took the boy hunting. The trip had been planned for some time and his grandfather would not be dissuaded, even with the arrival of the report that his mother had died in some ratty hotel in downtown Winnipeg. The city was always full of peril and the Dumont family had come to expect that the precarious habits of Estelle Dumont might someday take her away forever.
“We will be back in a week,” Clarence had quietly but authoritatively declared. “Maybe a week. It depends on the hunting. It will also depend on how well the boy walks in the forest. No matter what, the fishing will be good. The fishing is always good for me.”
Everyone knew that the fishing wasn’t always good for Clarence. They had occasionally heard him confess that the fish just weren’t biting this or that time. It was something he said to remind one and all that most of life was a game of chance. He knew that fish, like people, had a sense of humour. Sometimes, fish, wittingly or otherwise, simply needed to remind mankind that humans weren’t in charge and keeping out of sight of anglers hammered home the point.”
Bré in next, with her WIP Title: All Aboad! and intriguing it most certainly is.
It was time to go on board the train. Mother grabbed her cases and disappeared ahead of us. I shifted Saffron one more time and lifted Poppy up to my other hip.
“Ok Finnick, I need you to hold on tight to my coat pocket. Do not let go no matter what.”
We got on board and finally found Mother sitting in the last carraige. She was talking to a Steward, her hand lightly pressing aganst his arm. A couple of minutes later he came back with some juice boxes and sandwhiches. Mother didn’t give him money.
“Is daddy going to come visit?” Finnick pipes up. He’s trying to open his juice box. “Oh yes. We will write to him and tell him our new address.” I take Finnick’s juice and pierce the straw through. I hate when she says things like that. Finnick hasn’t seen his daddy in almost two years. Since he got tired of Mother’s dramas. I haven’t seen my own father in almost ten years, for the same reason.
Am I married now? We did not even exchange rings or say any vows; this certainly takes the biscuit for unromantic weddings! No flowers, confetti, presents, or even a bit of wedding cake! Well, this is what I wanted, but it does feel a bit strange.
“Congratulations, to you both, Mr. and Mrs. Terzi.” Gail felt that she ought to mark the occasion.
“Thanks, Gail. Mrs. Terzi, finally, I must go and ring my mum. She wanted to know when we had got married.”
As they walked out of the room, Jackie and Aslan were putting their wedding rings on their fingers themselves.
Jane sounded a little sad although was trying to put on a brave voice to mirror her daughter’s happiness. Jackie too felt a little frisson of sorrow; it would have been so lovely to have some of her family there at the wedding, especially her mum and sisters.
I was just going over the day’s tour schedule when I heard Zack suck in a breath. “Holy fudge truckers!” He paused and added for emphasis. “Mother fudge-truckers!” For a man who never swears, Zach can put a lot of emotion into perfectly clean phrases.
Mara looked up, and her knitting needles went into blur mode.
Crap. I knew, without even looking. “She’s back, isn’t she? Leigh Ann.”
They both nodded. Leigh Ann Shay, part-time succubus, and full-time pain in the butt.
“And I don’t have time to put the CLOSED sign on the door?”
They shook their heads.
“She’s right behind me, isn’t she?”
A sweet voice, which my cousin Carey once described as the last purr a bird hears before the cat pounces, answered. “Hey, you guys—I’m back! And guess what? I’m interning at Null City Travel! Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
In the silence that followed, we all heard Zach’s muttered, “Son of a mother fudge-trucking bench.”
I had to agree.
Next in Kim with a snippet from her YA novel Title: The Haunted Tide
‘Then I heard it. A high, keening chorus drifting in from the sea. A haunting sound that clawed at my heart. There was more than one voice; they blended together in a chilling hymn with no words. As the volume increased, it was hard to tell if the voices were on the beach or in my head. That’s when I noticed it. At first a cloud in the distance, it shifted shape, a thick mist skimming the waves, rolling onto the beach. It sneaked across the sand and surrounded me, its damp fingers brushing my face. My mouth dried up and a frosty rawness crept over my scalp. I couldn’t see through the swirls of vapour but I could just make out Jasper’s familiar yap, faint and muffled.
I peered through the muggy mist, torn with terror, unable to work out how close the sea was or how far it was to the dunes. Shuffling in the shifting sand, I focused on the muffled yapping. Where was he?’
The blue flashing lights pulsed through the fractured front window, illuminating the blood splatter on the walls. The click-click of the forensic team’s camera ate into the sterile silence as the officers combed through the living room.
The house resembled a scene from a macabre horror show.
I briefly lifted my eyes to look at the police officer who knelt before me, his face a mask of professionalism even though he must be wishing he was anywhere but here.
‘Did you see who killed your dad? Who tried to kill you? Who broke in and attacked you miss?’
I couldn’t answer. The words were stuck in my throat. How could I tell him that my dad was the one who had tried to kill me and that a wolf had jumped through the window and ripped out his throat? Who would believe me?
Geoff up next with a snippet from Title: Buster and Moo. You can find Geoffle’s first book HERE.
“This will be good, won’t it? Like a fresh start.”
“Fresh start?” Mervin frowned.
Landen added hurriedly, “We need a new name. Buster is ridiculous, don’t you think?”
Mervin seemed lost how to respond.
Unspoken words sat between them. Why that phrase? He’d used it a lot after her second miscarriage, when she’d said she wanted to try for a partnership. Absently she touched her stomach. Had he made the connection? Briefly she was back in that hot sunny consulting room, a lifetime before.
She jumped as he said, “He’s just a dog, Lanny, not some existential thinker. Does it really matter?”
“Something that fits his character.”
Mervin tilted his head. “Those spots make him look like a pig. What about Oink?”
“You aren’t serious?” She paused. “He’s more like a cow anyway.”
Mervin shrugged. “Ermintrude? Flossy? Daisy? Are they too girlie?”
“What about Moo?”
Next in Hugh, with Title: The Life and Times of Scott Hughes.
“Yes, I’m fine” replied Scott, “Its just the excitement of being in London and, of course, meeting you.”
“Same here,” said Nick, “I’ve been constantly thinking about this day ever since we arranged it. Now it’s finally arrived and here we are.”
“I’m just a bit nervous I suppose,” blushed Scott.
“No need to be,” replied Nick, as he smiled at Scott again. “So, this is your first time in London?”
“Yes. Have you been before?”
“A few times, but never to meet somebody as cute as you.”
“I’m being honest,” laughed Nick.
Scott smiled but didn’t say anything. It made him feel a little uncomfortable as compliments often did.
“Sorry if I’ve embarrassed you. Do you always blush when somebody pays you a compliment?” Scott still couldn’t say anything and felt his face blush even more. Nick started to laugh again and then realised that perhaps he shouldn’t as Scott may think he was making fun of him.
“So, what do you want to do with your time this weekend?” asked Nick.
Next with a snippet is Elizabeth S. Tyree with Title: Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure
“Dude, we rode our bikes a block to get a drink from the gas station,” Pauly didn’t sound like he agreed with John’s idea of an adventure.
“A block and a half,” John corrected, “We had to a road AND ride in a busy parking lot to get big drinks and candy bars at a BRAND NEW GAS STATION.” John’s face had the wide eyes and raised eyebrows that say ‘AHA TAKE THAT.’
“With our mom’s in the car behind us.” Pauly obviously wasn’t in the right kind of mood for this talk.
“Whatever P-man,” John tossed the spare apple to his friend, took a juicy bite from his own, and plopped down on his favorite ‘captain’s’ chair.
Paulonious made a face but didn’t say anything about John’s use of the nick-name. He didn’t mind being called “Pauly”, “Pauly P,” or even “Punk” but he absolutely HATED it when the big boys at school called him The P. kid, P.P., or the worst P.P. the Whiz Kid.
The wagon pulls over in front of a drayman’s cart and reins to a halt at the top of Raeburn Place. The wizened old driver jumps down with a flourish that belies his years. “On ye go,” he says, cheerfully waving a hand towards his passengers. The pair clamber off the back, shaking jackets and trousers in a bid to rid themselves of the black dust.
“Wouldnae bother, pal.” The driver pats one of the sacks of coal. “Stuff gets intae yer skin.” As if to demonstrate this, he spits in his hand and wipes it across his sooty face. “See? I’d hae less o’ this muck on me if I’d hae gone doon the mine.” He laughs good-naturedly.
The young man shakes the older man by the hand. “Thanks for the ride.” He glances down at the boy at his side. “We’ll let ye get off, then.”
The stuff of my life had been dumped without any thought into cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling in one of those rent-by-the-month storage facilities on the south side of Vegas. If I hadn’t come back from the dead who knows what would have happened to it. Sold probably. The proceeds given to the state.
I turned to the manager and asked, “Are you sure all that crap is mine?”
“Your name is Dr. Fiona Butters, right? And you lived at 3814 Juniper Drive?” he read from the rental agreement. Poor sod was sweating profusely in the hot September sun. His polyester SafeStorage shirt was a size too small, a couple of strategic buttons were missing but at least his fly was up.
Tully stopped humming and held his head on one side, listening. His eyes glittered with amazement.
“Can you hear?” he whispered.
Carla stood quite still and held her breath. The silence of the night sky was broken. Like ripples on a stream, faint music made by unearthly voices came to her over the waves of darkness. She looked at Tully, her eyes wide.
“It’s the stars,” he breathed, “the planets. They’re singing.”
“What does it mean?”
Tully beamed at her. “It means we’re in heaven.”
Carla grinned. “Seriously.”
“The possibilities here are endless. Nothing is beyond us if we try hard enough. You can see why Nisroc wants to protect his world.”
Carla frowned slightly as if a cloud had passed over the moon, and the music faded. “Yeah. I s’ppose.”
Tully took her hand and led her into a fiery nest of stardust. “You worry too much,” he said gently and pulled her down beside him. “Time for dreaming.”
Carla snuggled into his arms, loosening his shirt from his trousers, nuzzling into his neck, her senses filling with his unmistakeable Tully smell.
“I wonder if the Grigori dream too,” she murmured.
“Erelah said they all do.”
“Erelah?” Carla sat up sharply. “You mean we might bump into herup here?”
Tully pulled her back down to him. “What have you got against Erelah, anyway? She’s a good laugh, when you get to know her.”
“And you have?”
“Yeah, a bit.”
Carla fought to keep her ground in what felt like shifting sands. She held Tully tighter, finding the buckle on his belt. She bit his ear and whispered, “Like this?”
Tully kissed her hard on the mouth. “You ask the silliest questions.”
Tully kissed her again. And again. “Of course not.”
His hands were on her skin beneath her shirt. His mouth was on hers. The stars were singing. Carla let the unpleasant thoughts slip into the gentle darkness between the planets and returned Tully’s kiss with the same passion as in the old days.
Contrary powers waged war in her skin. Her shield, the rose birthmark encircling her eye, the singular force that had mangled her youth, was the realm’s secret salvation. Or so her mentor dreamed. Catling’s reflection brushed fingertips along the petals’ imperfections, edges tattered, small holes where pink skin shone through.
Her shield severed the influence controlling a kingdom, broke the sway that moved the heart between love and fear, a body between pleasure and pain, life between healing and death. Vianne had sighed with relief to find the shield intact.
Catling turned in the mirror, her underdress unbuttoned and draped around her waist. A garden of luminescence carved her back, colors climbing her neck and capping her shaved head. Vines curled, wending through flowers, dragonflies, and a crimson bird, its wings flared.
Red feathers, the distilled hue of death.
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