Fiction440: The Lender

Since I’m taking so long to get the video up, here is my latest story, written for an event called Fiction440. We had to use the words, freaky, owl, and thief and the story had to be 440 words or less.

Enjoy!

The Lender-

The light from the window washes over me as I observe the nightly routine of the house, waiting for the right moment. It would have to be soon. They are settling in for the night, the child already tucked safely into bed. The female shuffles around the kitchen in her slippers preparing tea but the male…he is waiting too.

He paces the living room; glancing at the door then the window. The rough October winds rattle their windowpanes, and he jumps at every creak, every scratch of a branch across glass.

The female comes into the room and touches her uneasy husband’s shoulder. Another gust of wind shakes the tree I wait under and an indignant owl voices his annoyance.

I step into the beam of the front porch light and push open the door.

The couple jumps at the sound and soon they appear in the hall, the man in front of his bride, his arm shielding her from the harm he knows is coming.

Before either of them can speak, I proceed.

“I am here to collect.”

“Collect? Who are…” but her husband cuts her off.

“You can’t have him.”

“It was part of our deal, sir. I most certainly can.”

“Deal?” her voice is shrill, panic rising as she watches me approach the stairs. “What…”

“He’s going to try to take Danny!” He steps in front of the staircase, “He’s nothing more than a thief!”

“Sir!” I keep my voice low, but he jumps anyway. “I am no thief. I am a Lender. I am simply taking back what is rightfully mine.” I put my hand to his shoulder, my long fingers reaching his back. “You will give me my property.”

“He is not property, he is my son!”

I sigh. They never believe I will be back.

“Ten years ago, you made a deal. In your desperation for a child, you asked for help. I delivered a child…on loan. That loan has expired, it is time to repay it.”

The woman gasps and then sobs. He hadn’t told her of the deal. Never mind, though. They would not remember this exchange in the morning.

I push past the man and, despite being a head shorter than him, he can’t stop me. He falls to the ground and the woman collapses next to him. They stare after me, already grieving.

They will wake up in their beds tomorrow, convinced  a mysterious illness has taken their child and that I was nothing more than the freaky-fingered hand of death that took him. They will remember grief, they will remember fear but they will not remember me.

GetFlashed: The Angels Inside Me

 

For my latest GetFlashed story my prompts were:

Genre: SciFi in the desert

Prompt: Last night, I stopped fighting with the Angels inside of me. (I tweaked this to say, “Tonight.”

It was written in one week and this one came in about 100 words below 1,000 words. Enjoy!

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Tonight, I stopped fighting with the Angels inside of me. Tonight, I will answer their call. Continue reading “GetFlashed: The Angels Inside Me”

Wanna Get Flashed? (I Launch a Flash Fiction Challenge)

Well, do ya wanna?

First, let me explain…

I am launching my very own flash fiction challenge. For myself. I am challenging myself to write one flash fiction story a week for 13 weeks. But, I also want to get you all in on the fun. Continue reading “Wanna Get Flashed? (I Launch a Flash Fiction Challenge)”

The Freedom Journal Journey- The Truth About The Freedom Journal

So, it’s time to get honest.

The Freedom Journal is pretty awesome BUT you want to know the truth? The Freedom Journal is NOT a quick fix to your focus problems.

My current Freedom Journal Lesson? The Freedom Journal is not magic.

It IS a guide. It’s a template. It’s a plan. But, it’s a plan you have to be willing to stick to. It’s a promise to yourself that for 100 days you will have the discipline to set goals and complete them in order to complete a much bigger goal that, for whatever reason, you were compelled to create. It’s a promise you must be willing to keep, no matter what.

Because, newsflash, life WILL get in the way. It’s not realistic to think that you can completely set aside everything in your life that might distract you for 100 days. But it’s also not realistic to think that you will be able to complete your goal in 100 days without pushing aside some of those things or sacrificing some of the things that pull you away from progress. The Freedom Journal will not magically make you able to do this. This, I have learned.

And, guess how I learned this? Life. Life happened. Distractions happened. Things got hectic, emotional, overwhelming and I let life derail me from the progress I was making toward my goal. Because that’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. And, like I said, the Freedom Journal is not magic. It did not change my personality.

But, it did give me a new tool with which to face the shortcomings (or should we call them “unique charms?) of my personality.

Because now I have this pretty book. I have a goal written in that pretty book. I have a promise made to myself that I will not stop until I complete the goal written in that pretty book, even if it takes longer than 100 days. Because that partially completed book will drive me nuts. And I knew that it would. Which is why I bought the pretty book in the first place. I knew I needed help accomplishing my goals. Not a miracle solution, but help. And The Freedom Journal has given me that.

So, now I will get back to it. I will not let life derail me because I have a tool that gives me motivation, guidance and that shows me the small steps I need to take to make big things happen. Making them happen, though, is up to me.

Fiction 440: The Final Light

My latest Fiction 440 piece: For this event, we are given 3 words and asked to write a story in 440 words or less. This time, the words were- meteor, Ceasar, and neon.

It was also the first time I organized and led the event, borrowing the idea (with permission) from my friends in Lansing and bringing it to Grand Rapids. It was small, but a lot of fun.

So, here is my story.

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She paused and looked around the quiet stretch of land, dotted with the proof of life once lived. No one else had chosen this spot for this night, and she supposed that made sense. But, for her, the lines separating the living and the dead had always been thin, and they were getting thinner with each passing moment. She’d always preferred the company of the dead anyway, why should now be any different?

Final spot chosen, she turned and watched for his approaching figure. He’d been close behind the whole walk here but she couldn’t make out his frame in the last of the light. The very last of it actually, she thought and chuckled.  He should have caught up by now and she called into the falling darkness. Nothing.

Her skin prickled but she refused to let herself panic. There was still time, she thought, let him enjoy himself. That was the whole point of their meeting, after all. Comfort, enjoyment…

The rest of the world had paired off immediately after the announcement, contacting loved ones, holeling up with families, or running off to be with friends. But, ten years as a coroner’s assistant had given her a certain aversion to the living. So, after the announcement, she’d had no one to turn to for comfort, until she saw him. He was alone too and his deep brown eyes caught her attention immediately. He shouldn’t have to spend this time alone, and neither should she.

They’d gone home together.

She turned again, squinting through the now complete darkness. She said his name. Then again, louder. “Caesar! C’mere boy!” Only silence answered her call and her stomach clenched. It was getting close and she was suddenly very aware of how badly she did not want to be alone. It was why she’d been drawn to him on the street. Why she’d chosen this place for their last moments. She’d been alone most of her life, she couldn’t stand the thought of being alone in death.

“Caesar!”

She looked up to the sky.

The moon shown neon bright, catching the stones around her and bouncing back into the charged atmosphere. Then, the light was gone.

It was here. She fell to her knees in the pitch black night, the last night, and reached out into the nothingness around her. She called again, one last time. This time though, there was a bark. Soft fur brushed her hands and a cold nose pressed against her cheek. Her arms closed around his solid form and he sighed against her as the meteor met the Earth and the last darkness met the final light.

 

The Freedom Journal Journey: Starting is the Hardest Part

So, I’ve been rocking out the Freedom Journal for a week now (yes, rocking it!) and I have to say, I am pretty pumped about my progress. It’s amazing how one simple change can affect an entire mindset. I now have chapter ideas, some chapter descriptions, pages of notes, an overall theme and an elevator pitch for a project I’ve been putting off for at least 6 months. I’ve worked on it every single day for a week when just a month ago I’d barely touched it since I had the idea.

So, yay for the Freedom Journal! Continue reading “The Freedom Journal Journey: Starting is the Hardest Part”

The Freedom Journal Journey: Here Goes Nothing

So, I’ve got this book I wanna write. Big surprise, right? Look, a writer that wants to write a book. Want another big surprise? I’m not writing it. I started it…and stopped. I kept trying to get back to it and stopped again. Whoa, shocker. A writer with an incomplete book.

But, that’s a thing. It’s a common thing. But, it doesn’t have to be.

I want to stop complaining about my unfinished work and start being proud of my finished work. Continue reading “The Freedom Journal Journey: Here Goes Nothing”

A Writer’s Out of Body Experience

Sometimes, It Hits You…

The other day, I was sitting in a bustling coffee shop while the snow fell haphazardly outside and the wind blew furiously. Folks on either side of me were engrossed in their work, leaned forward toward their computer screens or immersed in vibrant conversation. My computer was open in front of me, the Economist in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. I was engrossed in the words in front of me, trying to decipher the language in the article I was using to research an assignment due the next week and bopping my foot to the Indie Rock dancing out of my headphones when it hit me.

I caught the scene as though I were outside of my body looking in and saw myself sitting there, reading and researching for an article that I would write that would then be published and I would get paid for, and I realized- Yup. I am a writer.

imawriter

As kids, we all have those milestones that, when we reach them, will signify that we have in fact grown up and reached a new level of maturity. Like, when I can drive I will feel like a grown up. Nope, that didn’t do it…maybe when I can vote…or when I move out…when I get married? We are constantly waiting for that next moment that will tell us we have arrived in a new phase of life.

I think writers experience something similar. Especially if they are slowly transitioning into the world of writing to make money. We rely on these invisible milestones to tell us that we have finally become professional writers. Like setting up a home office, or establishing an LLC or waiting for that first day you don’t have to go into an office. We are constantly waiting.

We rely on invisible milestones to tell us we have finally becomes #writers, and we shouldn't. Click To Tweet

And then, we realize, we are just spending our whole lives waiting for the next level.

waiting

Stop Waiting…

So, when I caught this out of body image of myself toiling away in a coffee shop while I was once suffering through 8 hours of answering phones or scheduling appointments, I savored it. I may wonder from day to day where my next paycheck will be coming from. I may wish I had the traditional benefits and insurance of a 40 hr, 9-5 job and I definitely face challenges every single day. But, I would rather be facing these challenges knowing that I am doing something I love, rather than stressing over a job I hate.

So, whatever your situation, whether writing is your job or your passion (or both!), stop waiting for the next level or next step to tell you that you have reached some invisible goal. The next time you are sitting down to write, take a moment and take it in. You are doing what you love. You are choosing to pursue your dream and no matter where you are in that pursuit, that’s a big deal. Take a look around, smile and say, “Yup. I’m a writer.”

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Have you ever had an Ah-ha moment where you looked up and realized you were doing exactly what you’ve always wanted to do? I’d love to hear about it!

 

When Thinking Hurts My Writing, I Don’t Think

Writing Is Like Breathing (But not in the way you would expect)

Have you ever tried to concentrate on your breathing?

Like, during a meditation or when the doctor tells you to take a deep breath while he’s listening to your heart? Ever notice what happens? Suddenly, the simple act of breathing in becomes incredibly difficult. You’re in the middle of breathing in when he quickly tells you to breath out, but you’re not done breathing in and you don’t have enough air sucked to complete a full breath out and what does oxygen taste like again and why is your heart beating so hard and it’s a wonder you’re not passed out in a gutter somewhere if breathing is this damn difficult… Continue reading “When Thinking Hurts My Writing, I Don’t Think”

Fiction 440: Graduation

She’d always wanted a baby. It was a need so ingrained in her psyche that she would have what she called “arm urges,” moments where she literally ached to hold that warm, wiggling, cooing being in her arms. She’d known she was meant to be a mother the very first time she held her first baby doll and the need only grew as she got older. Even the stories her friends told her of long labor and excruciating pain didn’t deter her. Even when it wasn’t happening, she prayed…someday it would. Continue reading “Fiction 440: Graduation”