>My mind works in strange ways

>I found this little tidbit scribbled on the back of an expired WIC voucher, apparently written in the waiting room while waiting for my husband’s neurology appointment to be over.


A Watchtower sits on a coffee table in a doctor’s waiting room. Slowly, it devours its tablemates,one by one consuming them, page by oage, occasionally splitting and leave a new copy of itself to replace the one it eliminates. One day, the receptionist dusts the plastic plants, and wonders what happened to all the Newsweeks, Time Magazines,and Woman’s Days, and why there are fourteen copies of the Watchtower. The phone rings, and she scurries off. Why is a ragged copy of Bible Stories is glaring balefully up at the magazines from its upside-down vantage point on the floor beside the table.

She sets the book back on the table, the phone rings, and she scurries back into her office on the other side of the foggy sliding glass.

She doesn’t hear the rattle of wooden legs, the tearing of paper, the flutter of fallen pages. The combined forces of the cannibalistic Watchtower are no match for the hard-bound strength of the Bible Story book.

The janitor grumbles about damn kids and their worthless parents as he sweeps up the tattered, torn remains of fourteen Watchtowers, scattered around the waiting room floor.

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>A little short on my daily goal

Yesterday, I bell a bit short of my goal.  I’m at 6,026, and I was planning on being at 6,670 last night.  That adds a bit more to what I need to have done, but that I can do.  I managed to insert a gratuitous sex scene, but I think it’s actually going to advance the plot a little; add some conflict early on (and not the kind you think, either).

Just to share a little, here’s a short snippet of what I’ve written so far (in all its unedited glory). One of my MCs is an albino; however, I’m trying to make her representation realistic; albinos have serious vision problems, as a result of the lack of pigment in their eyes, and glasses don’t help, either. So she’s actually mostly blind. And magic hasn’t automatically fixed it, either; her spells help, but are imperfect.

Anyway:

   Sara stretched and reached for the ceiling, trying to work the kinks out of her neck and back.  She had been sitting for hours, poring over one of her beloved texts, nose to book, the only way she found it possible to read.  The spectacles that should have been on her face were lying by the book.  They gave her headaches, and they didn’t really help her much, anyway, but her instructors insisted she have them.  They were mostly just fashion accessories at this point.

“Still moldering away in this library?” Larath said,patting her on the shoulder and flopping noisily into the chair. The librarian glared as he scraped chair against floor and knocked three of her books onto the floor.

“Larath, you need to be more careful!” she admonished, stooping to gather up the books.

“Sorry, sis, I’m just not good with this stuff.”  He thumbed through one of the tomes, sniffing and setting it down with a shake of his head.  “Give  me the sawdust in the salle over the musty dusty in here any day.”

She shook her head.  “You’re lucky you have me around, you know, otherwise you’d be a complete ignoramus. How did you even manage to pass your classes?”

Larath grinned at her.  “Easy.You helped me.”

She rolled her eyes.  “I shouldn’t have.  Maybe you would have learned something other than how to swing a sword.  Speaking of which, aren’t you supposed to be practicing for your final practicum?”

He shook his head. “I was supposed to, but instructor Elias managed  to sprain his ankle, so the session was cancelled. I’ve got the rest of the day off!”  he stretched and leaned back in his chair.  He pinwheeled his arms wildly as the chair overbalanced and nearly toppled over, dumping him into the floor. He seized the table and steadied himself.

Sara shook her head again. “You’re hopeless. Get out of here before you tear the place down, or get me kicked out of here. I’ve got to finish this.”

“Nuh uh. I’m here to make sure you eat, young lady. A little bird told me yiou’ve been here *all* day, and haven’t stopped once for anything to eat. If you fall over from starvation, you’ll never have the energy to finish your exams. Or stay up to study for them.”

She sighed. “But I just have a few more pages–”

He grabbed her arm, closed the book, and pulled her up to her feet. “No way. You’re coming with me, now, while lunch is still hot, so you don’t end up with a bowl of stewed leftovers.”

Sara grabbed her cloak and slung it over her shoulders. She murmured a few arcane syllables, twisted her fingers, and pulled the hood of the cloak over her head. “Alright, alright, I’m going.”  She let him guide her through the tables, thankful that this time, at least, she wouldn’t end up with another bruised thigh when some thoughtless ass forgot to push his chair under the table.

“Sara! Sara!” someone called.  She looked back to see the librarian’s indistinct shape, glowing, waving something high in the air.  “Wait!”  The librarian caught up to her, and the glow faded to see the blurry human form.  She blinked to try and clear her vision, but the spell had malfunctioned somehow, and the blur remained.

I need to work on that.  Still not handling the far to near transition well, Sara thought to herself.

“Sara, dear, you forgot your spectacles,” the librarian said, shoving the metal framed lenses into Sara’s hand.  Sara smiled, swallowing the retort, and crammed the spectacles  onto her face. The librarian smiled, and bowed, then scurried off to her desk.

“I thought those didn’t help?” Larath said as they walked out of the library.

“They don’t. No one seems to believe me when I tell them that, though, so they keep insisting I wear them. They give me a headache, but if I don’t wear them, the headache I get from the constant nagging to put them on is worse. So I close my eyes, or just grin and bear it.”

“That is so cool. I wish I could see with my eyes closed,” he commented, holding open a door for her.

“I wish I could see more with them open.”

>Free (non) Fiction – Honey, I’m home!

>

Many thanks to Violet, whose blog inspired me to write this piece. Special mention to Danie, who has been writing faithfully in her blog and sharing fiction as well. What good is a writing blog if indeed no writing appears? If my friends can do it, so can I! I’m going to start sharing short pieces from time to time, what subjects, I don’t know. Whatever takes my fancy. Maybe nonfiction, maybe something from life, but it’ll be all creative prose. I haven’t written poetry since I won the Young GA Author’s contest for a poem I wrote in the 7th grade and my 8th grade literature teacher thought it would be fun to analyze my stuff. Ruined poetry for me completely. No, there is no symbolism in that star. It was just a star, dammit. Okay, I lied. I’ll share that poem for you. I wrote it in 7th grade, and I happen to think it ain’t bad.

Glimmering Beauty

Glimmering beauty,
shimmering sight.
Bathing our world
in its beautiful light.

Flickering in,
Flickering out.
Dance in the sky,
spread yourself all about.

Falling down,
for all to see.
Flickering out,
after dancing with glee.

Little one, little one,
so high, so far
Don’t you know
you’re a shining star?


This is the only poem I ever wrote that I liked. I never wrote another one after this. (Thanks Mrs. Held! I appreciate that! No, really! Oh, and you ruined Les Miserables for me, too. I can’t even stand the sight of the posters.)

That had nothing to do with anything. Anyway. Here you go.

This is not fiction; it’s a blow-by-blow retelling of about four hours ago. Harrowing experience, it was! But I survived! Let me tell you the tale…

****

Thunder rumbles outside the window. I glare at the slats of the back door, but the storm was not impressed. “Well damn. I guess I’d better get moving before the storm gets bad.” My friends and I had already procrastinated enough as it was. I wave and than them, and left the bright, cool apartment for the oppressive heat and dark.

The sky above flashes, nearly blinding and deafening me as a few fat drops of rain splatter on my treasured hand-made card. I press it to my chest as I fumble in my purse for my keys. The flashes of lightning are near constant, illuminating the dark, heavy, low-lying clouds in the night sky. I jump in the car, thankful I’d made it before the bottom dropped out.

I triy to call my husband, but no answer. Must have fallen asleep. I’m not running that late. Maybe he’s just catching a smoke on the back porch?

I stare up at the sky. Another blinding flash of white-hot light crawled across the black sky, reaching twisted fingers over me, a plasmic creature aching to seize my dirty car and fry me.

I jerk the wheel, nearly slamming into a curb in my inattentiveness. Eyes on the wheel, stupid.

The sky never stops moving, never stops flashing and belching its anger overhead. The fat drops of rain come faster as I take the curve of the entrance ramp a little too fast in my haste to get ahead of the storm before it overtakes me.

A huge gust of wind blasts the car, nearly knocking me into a creeping semi in the left lane.

Uh oh.

Rain inundates my poor car. The duct tape half-covering the driver’s side window doesn’t keep it all in. I take off my glasses and try to wipe the droplets off, succeeding in nearly rearending the guy in front of me as I stare down rather than out.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I put my glasses back on my face, and grasp the wheel firmly at ten and two. I lean up and stare out of the window, trying to see between wiper swipes and locate the reflective bumps on the center line, since the paint was covered by the deluge, reflecting too bright street lights instead of the faded stripes.

I slow to a crawl, not noticing the flashing blue lights behind me when a cop came up, because I was too low to see the rear view mirror.

I signal and shift to the left lane, letting the officer pass. I’m under the speed limit, so he can’t be waiting for me. Sure enough, he slides past, and then pulls off over the hill where another set of flashing blue lights indicates either a motorist in distress, an ill-timed bust, or something else entirely.

The road is invisible. Several times the car hydroplanes, just a bit, pulling me too close to the edge of the road, the guard rail and rumble strips threatening and warning me of the danger. My night blindness is getting worse. Every little car dealership’s overlit parking lot blinds me as I pass.

Nearby, a bolt of lightning strikes a telephone pole, leaving my ears ringing and my eyes blotched in negative colors. I panic and pulled into the right lane, but it clears in a few seconds. Fortunately, no one was nearby to be a victim of my momentary blindness. For future reference: Driving blind is not a good thing.

I veer around the curve of the I-75/I-16 split at a whopping forty miles an hour.

As if a curtain was pulled back, the rain clears, leaving a dark, slick road reflecting more street lights and my windshield wipers squeaking and protesting at the sudden lack of wet. I turn them down, and lean back against the damn driver’s seat. Thunder is still rumbling, lightning is still flashing, but it’s behind me, not above and ahead of me. I don’t make it far, though, before the rain catches me again, but this time the road is prepared. No more huge puddles of rain that haven’t had a chance to drain off.

It’s a little easier as I pull off of the interstate onto the sharp round curve of the exit. Every car is actually going slow for once, cautious in the downpour, instead of the usual willy-nilly oblivious driving I’m used to around here. The rain fades again, foiled by my sudden change in direction, and I can actually speed up to Pio Nono’s limit of 50 miles per hour.

I make it into the driveway as the fat drops of the front catch up to me. I seize my “shit” from the night’s activities, clutch them to my chest, and duck through the rain across the three feet from my car to my front step.

Safe!

Wind chases me through the door, following by wet grasping droplets of rain catching the heels of my shoes. Triumphant, I slam the door a little too hard, and yell, “Honey, I’m home!”