Friday Fictioneers: “Lady Macbeth”

 

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So, here’s a thing. I’m kind of losing my interest in this here blog. Given the huge disparity between “number of blog viewers” and “number of books bought,” I hardly think this is a useful self-promotion tool. I think this is just becoming more of a place for me to practice with various short stories that I may or may not do anything with. Like those Miniature Narrative Projects. And Lorequest is fun. Maybe I should just focus on doing that/those.

We’ll see, it’s almost a brand-new year, after all.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Image Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Image Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Title: Lady Macbeth

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

 

 

Beauty within, beauty without. That’s the old saying, right? The voices in her head were no longer holding their dread council. And so, like a room cleared of all its furniture, Violet’s mind was her own again.

But she thanked heaven and smiled into the mirror. The voices had told her beautiful, terrible things. Those “late work nights,” the “business trips.” How could she have been so blind to her husband’s clichés?

The red beneath Violet’s nails didn’t mar her new glow. She just applied more soap and gave a toothy once-loving smile for the mangled man in the tub.

 

 

 


 

 

It’s also possible my newfound disillusionment with writing comes from the fact that it’s Christmastime and I really should be spending my time doing something else.

 

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Miniature Narrative Project 2015: Part 2

 

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So, I think I may have lied when I said I was going to be doing this once every 2-3 days. But now that grad school applications are done, who knows, I might end up doing it after all.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

PART 1

 

Title: One Look Rings an End

Prompt (from Daily Prompt): You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

 

 

 

The Duke, as a much younger and happier man, opened the door to his new home. The inside smelled immediately of well-washed wood. The rains had been heavy of late and the clean water must have soaked through the house all the way from the roof down to the wooden beams.

The town was still all abuzz from the Duke’s wedding. Such holy joinings were met with a reverence not seen anywhere else in the world. Furth used to be a town that had a lot more going for it. It made train parts, of all things. Strange for a town so small with barely a factory to call its own. Little workshops and busy, taut-with-muscle arms took the place of steam-driven machines. Sure, it took the workshops weeks to craft something that could be churned out in a handful of hours elsewhere but the products of Furth weren’t just pieces of machines, they were works of art.

So with every new matrimonial joining came the idea of a new rebirth for the town. It was a particularly good omen if the Furth native married outside of the town, as the Duke did. This, of course, meant that the town had to celebrate the whole affair for days on end. The drunk littered the town like strewn bodies even now, three days after the wedding.

The Duke shut his door behind him. Hopefully the wedding cake was still good. Maybe all of the damp air helped keep it moist. Actually, the cake was sitting out on the coffee table. It had a conspicuous chunk missing, cut like a wound, facing the two occupied chairs in the front room. A man and a woman sat in unseasonably thick clothing, fur collars and all. They ate the cake from golden china plates that the Duke never remembered having.

“It’s an awful big cake,” the man said. “Seems a lot for two people to eat.”

“Doesn’t seem to bother us,” the woman said with a little laugh. “I hope you don’t mind that we saw ourselves in.”

The Duke, against all logic and reasoning, sat himself down across from the pair. In a town as small and congenially conjoined as Furth, this wasn’t exactly the strangest collection of people found in someone’s house.

“You don’t know who we are, do you?” the man asked.

“If I did,” the Duke said, “I would’ve greeted you both properly.”

“And yet still he remains confident, unfazed,” the woman said, leaning over to the man as if she meant her coy speech to be a whisper.

“I’ve heard of much stranger people and things going on in people’s homes around these parts,” the Duke said. “Right after a wedding, ambling houseguests are as dependable as the spring rain.”

“Pastor Abelard’s trouble with the rancher and his cows certainly gives credence to that,” the man said, sitting back. “I’ve heard plenty of stories of wayward people but never so much as a head of livestock. Your wedding will go down in the town’s history for more than one reason.”

The Duke leaned forward onto his elbows. He pulled the curtain away from the window and squinted towards the man. His face was mostly hidden by a large three-cornered black hat which was lined with dark orange fur around the lining.

“You’re not a resident,” the Duke said. “I’ve lived here my whole life but I’ve never seen somebody like you. Unless you’re some traveler that Phil never showed the rest of us.” Philip was so very proud of his inn. Every guest he had, whether they were just staying for the night or for half of their lives, would be given the grand tour of the town by him alone. And nobody ever piped up in disappointment. Which may have been because Phil would never really shut up the whole tour.

“Yes,” the man said.

“Yes to what?”

“To your question.”

The woman laughed, hiding her mouth behind her hand (though her gums were shockingly visible as her lips curled away. Just like how the Duke’s own wife laughs. Her face was also obscured by a huge dark hat, one that sat at an angle that spat in the face of gravity. A thin black veil protected her face like chainmail. “Don’t torture him, my dear.”

The man sat back, crossing his arms. The Duke uncrossed my arms and sat up straight. “I’m a traveler,” he said. “But Phil never had to show me around town when I lived here my whole life.”

In one smooth, outright regal, movement, the man removed his hat and tucked it under his arm.

The Duke fell back into the chair, his breath scrambling away with fear in its weak little heart. The man across from the Duke has his face, he wears his hair, and he smiles just as the Duke would.

The Duke’s brown hair was auburn on the smiling man and his skin is frightfully pale compared to the Duke’s well-worked tan. A long scar wound in a circle around the man’s eye— the golden one. The Duke’s own grass-green eyes shrink back into his skull. Now, this mysterious visitor’s only still-green eye looks sick, the colour of infected skin. The green eye winks at the Duke. The golden eye’s pupil disappears into a molten sea. One blink and its back.

And suddenly the Duke felt more at home than he ever had in his entire life.

The Duke’s wife comes in through the front door. She sees the guests and smiles, her gums showing frank and resplendent as her lips curl away. And the Duke smiles back at her for a reason that sounds like a song in his head but has a feeble scream at its center.

 

 

THE OTHER ENTRIES

 


 

 

Pingback:

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unexpected-guests/">Unexpected Guests</a>

 

I should compile these little mini-stories I make on this site (and boy there’s a loooot of them out there) into some kind of compilation. What are those called? Oh yeah. Books. That’s what they’re called.

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Flash! Friday: Final Double Feature

 

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That’s not the title of the actual entries. It’s just that this is the last time Flash! Friday is doing its flashy Friday thing. It’s been fun, if incredibly stressful.

Speaking of stressed…

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Title: Time, Stampeding

Word Count: 100

On Friday everything changed.

I was a young man on Thursday. On Wednesday I was a fountain of imagination. On Tuesday the world was studded with diamonds. On Friday, as sudden as a startled breath, I felt ragged. Old friends are now a world away. New friends are mere theories.

All my joints ache and my thoughts come halting, like they’re all flying backwards to neater, better times. There’s no snow in the middle of winter and I feel a great unbalance in my world.

If I convince myself I still have the young man’s pulse, perhaps it’s actually true.

 

 

 

I was going to write something else here. But then I lost all of my energy and most of my will to live.

 

THE (LAST OF THE) OTHERS

 


 

 

Nope, still stressed. What a way to send it off, huh.

 

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Friday Fictioneers: “Growing Pains”

 

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Wow, I actually have inspiration to write something coherent this time? AND I have a new idea for Lorequest? Amazing.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Image Copyright: Luther Siler

Image Copyright: Luther Siler

 

Title: Growing Pains

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

 

 

If mom says I’m having growing pains (or did she say I was the ‘growing pain’?), this duck is going to redefine the term. My little brother shouldn’t be playing with stuffed animals anymore anyway. An old remote-control robot of mine will wear this duck’s skin just as good.

I send my Frankenstein (which squeaks like a dog in pain) into Ronnie’s room, to scare the prissy girliness right out of him.

He squeals. I run to see, to laugh in his blubbering, snotty face.

But Ronnie’s hugging the stupid thing like it just gave him a kitten for Christmas.

 

 

 


 

 

Beeble dee bee, it’s off to bed with me!

Because I stayed up too late. Again. Too much to do on these stupid stupid Fridays.

 

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Miniature Narrative Project 2015: Part 1

 

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Because it was such a good idea last time, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing another Miniature Narrative Project for December. This time, though, I’m going to be using The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt. I’ll do an entry at least once every three days but probably not a whole lot more than that. And each entry will be related to the last AND be related to the Daily Prompt entry.

As for word count, I’ll keep it flexible but I’ll try to keep it under 800 or something. That way I don’t just lurch into a full narrative at the last second like I did last time.

So, I guess we’ll just see where this goes.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Prompt: “What is your favorite sweet thing to eat? Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake? Tell us all about the anticipation and delight of eating your favorite dessert. Not into sweets? Tell us all about your weakness for that certain salty snack.”

Title: Bright Like a New Day

Word Count: 743

 

If I shined my buttons any more, I’d steal the sun’s thunder right from under it. My silly mother and father just don’t understand. There’s only three people’s approval that I need. Mine, that devilishly handsome man in the mirror looking back at me, and the Duke of the Great Chamber. Or just the Duke. He and I are on a first-name basis, of course.

Perhaps today I’ll finally make him aware of that. After I come back from my royal mission. For the Duke is hungry and his sweet tooth must be satiated.

“We can’t just move a whole town,” the foreman whines. “And there are people who live here. What about them?”

“There’s plenty of room in the capital,” I say. “They can all live closer to their beloved Duke.”

A moment of silence creeps by us. The foreman pulls his collar (which is very official— brass buttons and the noble crest and everything) away from his throat, never minding the winter chill. He must think it a noose. With a heavy sigh, he hefts his axe.

Deep below, still in the quite of the early morning snow, the town lies unaware that is destiny is about to be realized. The Duke will have his nation and he will eat so he may build that land for another day. I kick the flanks of my horse; I shall be the first to tell those in the sleepy valley of the change to their lives. Perhaps my buttons will be like a beacon to them and turn them from townsfolk to pilgrims on a quest for a better, purer home.

The town was emptied, its people, whether they were crying or smiling, were sent south to the capital, and each building was turned to splinters and gravel. Yet still I saw doubt in the foreman’s eyes. Even as we brought the caravan carrying those remnants of schools, churches, and homes back to the capital, his eyes were downcast. Perhaps he did not so fervently believe yet? Or maybe it was the thought of bandits that troubled him. I could not say but troubled with it no more. If all went well, I would never work with the disagreeable man and his unshaven face ever again.

For all the next day, the Great Chamber churched and belched black smoke into the snowy sky. Sugar was mixed with wood and stone and brick. Honey, water, flour, and whatever else the Duke had a hunger for were poured in and reshaped into a great red-brown tar-like lake. It almost looked like pudding from where I stood (at one of the many balconies scattered about the room. I was summoned, you see, to observe the conception of this newest batch). Our Duke has a sweet tooth indeed.

A tremendous glass room, rimmed with iron and casting light like a lantern suspended from heaven, hangs high above the pool and machinery of the Great Chamber. Up there, shadows and form are ideas, ideals, always shifting as if part of some spectacular fire. Only the Duke lives up there and only he determines what does or does not shape.

“My hunger,” the Duke thunders (though I think this is still but a whisper from him) in his thousand voices, “is the cement of our nation. The town of Huntsman’s Valley has brought one-hundred and thirty six new residents to our growing capital. And with this newest batch, the largest of its kind to ever be wrought, our nation shall grow evermore.”

There’s a pause without silence. The Duke’s words echo and bounce around all the shined steel walls.

“Purdon,” he says to me. Me. “I would like you to watch as I take the first bite. Note that with all of these balconies, none of my ministers nor officials are here. You alone have been summoned to watch this new age be ushered in.”

For just a moment, the swirling light in the heavenly glass room seem to all focus on me. I wish I could smile. But I’m far too overwhelmed, the strength of my body leaving my skin but empowering me soul. I can’t turn my eyes away as the globe comes down from the ceiling on chains and pulleys and the glass opens up like a blossom in spring. If only those simple folk of Huntsman’s Valley could see what their sacrifice has created.

They would probably weep as I did then. And still do.

 

 

THE OTHER DAILY PROMPT ENTRIES

 


 

 

PINGBACK:

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/pour-some-sugar-on-me/">Pour Some Sugar on Me</a>

 

So that was weird. Similar to the last one (link way at the top of the entry), this story might end up being somewhere in-between an over-detailed children’s tale and one of those childish-seeming tales that actually has bizarre, dark undertones. Like Adventure Time or something. Except for the whole nuclear war things…

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Friday Fictioneers: Access Denied

 

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It would help if I knew what day it was so I could get these done on time.

As it stands, here’s another more formless “soundless fury” that I spun to try to explain my state of mind, rather than craft a new narrative.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Image Copyright: Roger Bultot

Image Copyright: Roger Bultot

 

Title: Access Denied

Word Count: 100

 

Draw sword, wake the horde, batter down this door.

My hatred of slant rhymes stalls my fury. Futility picks up whatever slack left behind. This door is wood, brick, or steel, whatever I can’t break down. Eden is more of a man, a door attendant, than a garden (though he’s standing in one, smiling sagely). I cannot bribe him for he has all that he wants and I can’t ask for time before he’s locked it all away in glass.

Eden IS timeless, like all great art, existing before the first clock clicked.

The crack in the door glows golden.

 

 

 


 

 

I don’t even know how to interpret these. They’re just my head piecing together its own distaste for time slipping away from me yet again. Maybe one day, sooner than later, I can remember how to be proud of my mind just being itself again.

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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Flash! Friday: “In the Dragon’s Shadow”

 

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Looks like this is going to be one of the last Flash! Friday’s. Like, period I guess. So this’ll be one of the last times I scramble incoherently to scribble out something that looks good as of right now that I’m sure I’ll cringe at later.

But hey, it’s still fun!

 

Speaking of which, have fun~

 


 

 

Guidelines: Must include a dragon and use photo prompt (on page)

 

Title: In the Dragon’s Shadow

Word Count: 160

 

The Dragon’s still there, lying atop my city’s skyscrapers like it’s His mound of gold. And also like we’re his food, part of a scurrying platter. History would make it hard to disagree with that.

But I took it upon myself, to continue the fight. Yet I’m no dragon-slayer. I fight against the march of nature blessing the strong and forgetting the weak. My sword is chalk, my armour is darkness, my foe-slaying arrows are memories. My battlefields are the front doors of homes made empty by His hunger, where I inscribe lonely epitaphs.

Tonight, I fight the hardest battle and inscribe the most painful epitaph of my life, through a labyrinth of smoke and ash and back to the house where I sat on the porch all night with someone I had wanted to live my life with since the day I saw her eyes that blazed with heaven’s fire throughout history.

“A beautiful girl lived here,” I write.

 

 

THE OTHERS

 


 

 

I was thinking the story would almost be like Reign of Fire with the dragons in the modern world. Except, you know, not as cripplingly stupid. Really, the first 20 minutes of that movie was fine. It was everything else that was wrong!

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

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