amanda_sheree: Parker from Leverage (Parker)
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 02:49 am
More plot points are clicking together! I'm so glad I'm rewriting this thing. It's a really different book.

About my flash fiction:
I received a prompt last autumn with a Halloween theme. It's a long time coming, but I hope to post it soon (maybe I'll wait until autumn? Since it would be more appropriate). And I'm going to start the 100 Themes Challenge I linked to. So far, one friend gave me number 87 to do, which is "Gunshot."

Animal Crossing: New Leaf:
Screen shots and dream town link soon!
amanda_sheree: Tsirris and Olian are from one of my stories (Tsirris and Olian)
Sunday, October 7th, 2012 01:51 am

Way back in July, I asked for prompts, and I finally got around to writing the one I received.  Clibanarius wrote, "Write a scene where someone does the right thing."  I've written twice about Tlindvi, one of my minor Folmustians (aliens), and here she is again.  I have another story in progress for her as well.

Anyway, hopefully I'll polish this eventually.  It's rough and bleh.

Prompt: Doing the right thing.

 

            The boy must have been from Strimust, Tlindvi thought.  She vacationed there, once, before their planet was destroyed.  It had been an icy country; its inhabitants were fairly stocky and short compared to most other Folmustians.  Many, like the boy Tlindvi watched now, had fair grey skin and small eyes.  And on top of his head, the boy had a dusting of fair hair that was thinning prematurely.

            He was rooting through the trash cans behind the bakery like an animal.  Unaware of Tlindvi, he whimpered and muttered to himself, tossing bits of plastic and empty cake boxes aside.  He picked up a rotting banana peel and shoved it in his mouth.

            Tlindvi stepped forward, hands in the air to show she meant no harm.  “Little one,” she said in what she guessed to be his dialect.

            He spat out the banana peel and pulled out a crude knife.

            She struggled to keep her voice calm.  “Little one,” she said again.  “If you put that away, I will bring you out a nice cake and some biscuits.”

            He shocked her by replying in her own dialect.  “I could stab you right now and go inside and eat everything.  You were rich on Folmust, weren’t you?  I can tell by your accent.  You lived in Folmustis.”

            “Folmustis”: a somewhat derogatory term for what had been the richest, largest nation on Folmust.

            Tlindvi tried another route, her mind racing as she considered how she could get away and alert her boss, the old Earth lady that owned the bakery.  Tlindvi and the boy were a mere five feet apart.  Softly, she said, “How old are you, little one?”

            When he opened his mouth to answer, Tlindvi rushed back inside the bakery and slammed her back against the door to close it, but the boy was too quick.  He shoved his own weight into the door and knocked Tlindvi to the ground.  He was shockingly strong for the state he was in.

            Tlindvi scrambled for her knife.  She tended to keep it on her; she’d let herself get caught off-guard.  “ELIZA!” she shouted for the old woman.  She knew what would best get the lady’s attention: “ROBBER!”

            The boy slapped Tlindvi in the face as she grappled with him, trying to wrest away his knife.  She bit his wrist and drew blood.  He cried out in shock.

            “Damnit, Eliza!” Tlindvi yelled.  The boy looked up; Tlindvi kicked him in the jaw and grabbed his knife by the blade.  She was bleeding, but she didn’t flinch; she had the knife, and stood, pointing it at him.  “Damnit, boy!” she said now.  “I’m giving you one chance.  Pull up the chair to your right and sit the hell down.  I’m keeping your knife.  Now hold on.  ELIZA!  You damned deaf bat!”

            The old woman pattered into the room, squinting.  “What is it now, Lind?  I can’t find my specs.”

            “We have company,” said Tlindvi, gesturing to the boy.

            Eliza eyed the floor.  “Oh my God.  Is that blood?  What happened?”

            The boy was crying openly now, tears spilling down his face.  He gurgled out, “Are you calling the cops?”
 

            Tlindvi tossed the knife into the sink, which was piled high with dishes.  She reached into a cabinet, withdrawing bandages, and began wrapping her bleeding hand.  “Why ever would I, little one?” she said, gaze sliding to Eliza to show the boy he had one more chance.  “It’s not your fault I was clumsy and nicked myself.  If you’ve found your manners, then you eat these cakes we’ve just baked, and when you’re done, you’re going to wash all these dishes.  Then you can be our new delivery boy.  Got it?”

            When Eliza was out of earshot, the boy said, “Thank you, Vivi [aunt].”  Then, barely audibly, he added, “And I’m sorry.”

            They never spoke of the incident again.

amanda_sheree: (pumpkins)
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 11:27 pm
26) Write a personalized rejection letter for the YA novel “Sparkle Lust”

Limbless Mini-Wolves? And That Was The Best Part

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission of Sparkle Lust. I am sorry to say that it is not right for me at this time. However, I would like to address some aspects of your novel.

I will begin with the characters. Sterling Mason Von Brandt is a clichéd and highly idealized hero. Descriptions of his face and physique comprise about one-third of the novel, and the phrase “his ivory chest, like chiseled marble glinting in a winter sun, heaved with passion” occurs far too often. Furthermore, Chrysanta makes for a dull and passive heroine. Her clumsiness, bouts of anger, and complete lack of self-respect do not endear her to me. Also, descriptions of her doe-like eyes, quiet whimpers, and flowing tresses occur ad nauseam, and frankly, the recurring details about her nipple rings disturbed me.

The plot, if there is one, is wavering and crawls along like the pace of the limbless mini-wolves of whom the lead characters are so fond. When Chrysanta buys an entire farm of these serpentine-meets-lupine beasts, I thought something interesting just might happen; however, nothing did. I cannot say I was surprised when it was revealed that these creatures glistened just as much as Sterling’s chest, and that this clumsily added information would lead to the blinding of one of Sterling’s many rivals (Helsing Pitambara Alfonso Abel). You see, once Sterling’s chest blinded Becket Bolton (rival number eight, if I’ve counted right), the following blinding to come was all too apparent with your heavy-handed prose.

I would be lying if I said that your novel gave me no enjoyment. I needed a good laugh. In fact, I may have an asthma attack.

Yours,
MSB

Read more... )
amanda_sheree: Isaac and Mia from Golden Sun (Snuggle)
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 09:50 pm
Remember that thirty days of flash fiction challenge over the summer? It's about time I finish it. Here's #25. Warning: Mild swearing in this entry. Meet Riley Walsh (TrebleClefChaos) and Neville Nolan (Imgumbydammit89).

25) Prompt: noir style
Home Fatale

TrebleClefChaos is online
Imgumbydammit89: riley
Imgumbydammit89: finally
Imgumbydammit89: its been like…a week
TrebleClefChaos: It’s been twelve hours.
Imgumbydammit89: rite
Imgumbydammit89: u wanna start?
TrebleClefChaos: The theme of the day is noir, yes?
TrebleClefChaos: I walk into the smoky room at the back of the restaurant. Poignant music plays. I don my trench coat and dapper hat. Sitting behind Fat Joey at the poker table is a drop dead sexy home fatale. His eyelashes are thick, like the bristles of a paintbrush. His disheveled hair, black like raven feathers, partly obscures his glistening eyes. He nods his head at me in invitation.
Imgumbydammit89: ur god modding again. im the sexy home fatale here and i will do what i damn well want
Imgumbydammit89: and that is for you to sit down next to me
Imgumbydammit89: i sip sexily at my martini. seductively i eat the olive
Imgumbydammit89: the juicebox is playing depressing ass music and so i crank up some fatboy slim
Imgumbydammit89: its a wonderful night, gotta take it from me
TrebleClefChaos: It is warm in the room. Too warm. I shirk off my trench coat and playfully set my hat atop my home fatale’s head. I’m not here for fun and games, though. I am here…to solve the murder of Glub Gino.
Imgumbydammit89: rofl glub gino
TrebleClefChaos: *Glib
Imgumbydammit89: that is a ghetto ass name
TrebleClefChaos: “Well,” I say. “He is sleeping with the fishes. Glub glub.” I give a charming smile to my horrible role-playing partner.
Imgumbydammit89: well
Imgumbydammit89: you already know what this is going to devolve into
TrebleClefChaos: Sadly, yes.
Imgumbydammit89: so can we cyber now
TrebleClefChaos: Of course, as always, the answer is…
TrebleClefChaos: NO.
TrebleClefChaos: You really should find someone within 5,000 miles of you.
TrebleClefChaos is offline

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Golden Sun Jenna)
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 10:49 am
24) Write a scene on a movie set

The Dream Catcher 3000

I fitted the metallic helmet to our Source, Cameron Miles, who lay on the $4,000 bed covered with an insanely expensive goose-down comforter. As our highest-paid and highest-earning Source, she got only the best—and this combination of bed, bedding, time, and lighting yielded the best results with her. Cameron had just fallen asleep, so we could get started.

“And…action!”

I flipped the switch to the Dream Catcher 3000, and the magic began.

The helmet projected an image of a blazing landscape onto our movie screen. Fireballs the size of basketballs rained down from the sky. We could barely take that in before the focus shifted, and the screen zoomed out to show us a massive, erupting volcano.

The view swung east, so quickly that I felt a twinge of nausea. Thousands of people were on foot, climbing and pushing and punching one another in their desperate escape.

“Disaster movie,” I murmured to my companions, not loud enough for Cameron to hear. We were forbidden to do or say anything that might influence the dreams.

“Should net us a pretty good profit,” said Josh, one of the investors of the Dream Catcher.

Then the screen went blank. I held my breath; if this was a flop—an “unfinished” or underdeveloped dream—our director was going to throw another hissy fit. The best thing about the Dream Catcher was that the mind furnished all the necessary special effects. The worst thing was that more often than not, the dreams were worthless. The job required a mountain of patience and time, so we felt our checks were well-earned.

The director inhaled sharply. “Ooooh,” he said, and I could practically see dollar signs in his eyes.

Cameron’s mind was now showing us people glowing—actually glowing—as they ascended heavenward. There was another flash, and we saw cars, trains, houses, all being submerged in freak floods. In another shot, we had a bird’s-eye view of a city that looked like Los Angeles, and its buildings were toppling and then collapsing from an earthquake so terrifying that I felt off-balance myself.

Cameron showed us disaster after disaster after disaster. I felt like screaming and running myself, but I was also strangely exhilarated. Cameron’s dreams often did that for me, and for her millions of fans. This was going to be an apocalyptic movie…and I’m pretty sure I had dollar signs in my own eyes.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Golden Sun Jenna)
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 08:34 pm
23) Prompt: falling

Anca, Apple of My Eye

Petru dropped the baby from the second-story window, but I am the one being put on trial for it. After all, say my accusers, I am Anca’s nanny. I’d been on the clock, so to speak, when the “accident” happened. Never mind that a witness saw Petru, and not just me, up in that window.

In all my 200 years of living in this cursed province, I have lamented the treatment of my kind. Matagots, that is; not strictly chamois spirits like myself, but all Matagots. Even the “revered” bear spirits and the supposedly prized wolf ones are first in line for the chopping-block whenever anything befalls a human. I have heard that other civilizations are much more advanced. Some, I’ve heard, even have special protection programs and written laws giving the Matagots just as many rights as their “masters.”

I may sound bitter, but I’m not completely. Anca—my darling, my dear, the apple of my eye—survived the fall, thank God, when a young woman caught her (although the force of the fall knocked the young lady to the ground, she, like Anca, had no serious injuries). And that is what matters most. What I’m afraid of above all else is that Petru will put little Anca in harm’s way again. Whether it’s by carelessness or malicious intent, if I’m locked away, Anca will be left with Petru. Perhaps the government will furnish the family with a new Matagot and so a new nanny for Anca, but that is little solace.

As I testify on the stand in court, Anca sits in the crowd, sucking her right thumb and then pulling it out of her mouth and clapping whenever I speak. She is dressed in mismatching clothes, and Petru has not combed her yellow hair, which sticks up like the arms of a starfish.

Whenever the prosecutor uses a harsh tone with me, Anca wails. It may not change the outcome of my case, but her inarticulate testimony means the world to me.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Hardison and Parker)
Friday, July 8th, 2011 10:42 pm
Pascal and Valentine are two of the main child characters planned for my Brownie Points (the other two are Kandace and Bixby, featured in earlier prompts).

22) Write a scene with children

Ode to Valentine

Pascal was taken with Valentine Spurling.

Valentine loved to go barefoot. In class, she kicked off her shoes under her desk. She wore her brown hair in a long braid, and on cold days, she wore mismatched stockings. Her taste in clothing could only be labeled “eclectic” (in particular, she loved wearing a shiny blue tunic, often in combination with a neon orange skirt). Most of the fifth grade thought she was odd; Pascal thought she was the most wonderful creature ever to breathe.

He made it his mission in life to learn all of Valentine’s favorite things. One night, before a social studies test, he stayed up until midnight, composing a poem called “Ode to Valentine.” Consequently, he got a B- on his test and his parents grounded him for a week.

Meanwhile, someone got hold of his poem one school day after kickball. It couldn’t have been worse: Zenon Slaski, the self-proclaimed class clown. (Although Pascal often thought that Zenon’s name was the most comical thing about him.) Zenon also professed to be a jock, which was fair, because he was on the soccer team and the track team—and he was a jerk.

Pascal used to think that Zenon had a raging crush on Valentine, which spurred Pascal’s hatred of him. The real scenario, though, was more unthinkable. Zenon started referring to Valentine as “The Queen of the Losers.” And once Zenon shared “Ode to Valentine,” Pascal knew that life would be just that much harder for Valentine, too.

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amanda_sheree: Parker from Leverage (Parker)
Friday, July 8th, 2011 09:59 pm
21) Write a scene with a drink(ing) of some sort

The Usual

“Hey, Pia.”

“Hey, Blaze.”

“The usual?”

“The usual,” I confirmed, smiling.

I’d been coming to this restaurant frequently for a good drink over the past month. Whenever I finished my evening workout at the gym, I’d walk over to this fancy Mexican restaurant—leg warmers, messy hair poking out of my headband, halter top, and all. Blaze had been my waiter that first night, and after some strained politeness, I accidentally let out a big burp. And that dispelled the tension instead of multiplying it.

Blaze—I’d learned that actually was his name—was putting himself through beauty school. I was a struggling journalism student. We never saw each other outside the restaurant, but he joked all the time that he lived in the projects.

Blaze returned with my drink, bowing a little and affecting a lisp. “A Thirley Temple for the thexy lady!”

“Thankth,” I joked back. I slurped down my drink and held it out for a refill.

“So, planning on drinking back twice the calories you burned off tonight?”

“Not just drinking. Get me a couple chicken enchiladas? I think I’m pregnant.”

Blaze studied me. “Seriously?”

“No. You should know me by now. I’m single, anyways.”

Anyway. I hate when you say, ‘Anyways.’”

“How ‘bout you, Blaze? Got anyone?”

“I love how you act drunk off sugar.”

I didn’t pursue the subject. Blaze might have liked to joke about his dysfunctional family, but when pressed for details, he clammed up. It always drove home to me that we weren’t really friends; he was a friendly guy, and he knew how to elicit huge tips, but he wouldn’t let anyone in.

…So we really were alike.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Golden Sun Jenna)
Thursday, July 7th, 2011 03:35 pm
WARNING: This flash fic revolves around a volatile character. Some of the subject matter may be disturbing. The protagonist is unwell.

This one (the story itself) came to exactly 250 words. Yay!

20) Write a scene with the opening line “I hate you; I just want you to know that”

How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

“I hate you; I just want you to know that.”

I paused to take in a deep breath and continued, “You’re a train-wreck. You’re an embarrassment. When Kyle finally had the sense to dump your sorry ass, all you did was cry and eat gallons of ice-cream. You call yourself a Powell? Huh?

“Aren’t you going to make excuses, as usual? I’m fed up. You’re so irresponsible. Your parents are spending thousands—thousands—of bucks each semester, just so you can miss half your classes and do half the work.

“And your job? You’re on the verge of being fired. You act like cashiering is biochemistry or something. How many times did you have to ask for help just yesterday? You didn’t card that one kid, and you’re damn lucky that Gabi noticed and reminded you before you rung him up.

“And what do you do on the weekends? You play game after game of computer Solitaire. And whenever Gabi swallows her pride enough to ask you along to a party, you get totally wasted, and last time you were left puking on someone’s grass for an hour. You slept all the next day and didn’t even start your research paper.

“By the way, the professor is giving you, what, an extra week to work? And you haven’t even opened a Word Document, have you?

“I hate you. I just want you to know that.”

The diatribe done, I turned away from the mirror and went to start my paper.

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amanda_sheree: (Truth)
Thursday, July 7th, 2011 02:34 pm
19) Prompt: in the marketplace

Tahir the Swan Spirit

The biggest draw I got each week from my stall at the marketplace was thanks to Tahir. She had just recently—about a year before—come into my possession. It was a fluke, really. She was a Matagot of the First-Tier, meaning that the gift she produced each day had more value than those of 90% of all other recorded Matagots.

Tahir took the form of a swan. For centuries, she belonged to a family called the Tambolis. Then, about a year ago, all but one of them died in a family feud. The youngest daughter, Anila, lived…and married me.

Neither Anila nor Tahir cared much for me. Each day, Anila cried her liquid tears, and each day, Tahir cried her single diamond tear, which I was prohibited from selling.

I sold talismans carved from rosewood at my stall. Some warded off malaria; others cured male impotence. The talismans that brought in the most money, though, brought good fortune; I’d doubted their legitimacy until both Tahir and Anila came to be mine. My own recent fortune also dispelled the uncertainties of my potential customers.

One Market Day, I nearly fainted when my first customer of the day approached. He rode an elephant and had many servants about him. Walking in front was a man beating a drum. Suddenly, the drummer halted and the others did as well. The drummer said, “Welcome Prince Chetan!”

Anila and I both fell to our knees. Tahir let out a shriek.

Prince Chetan climbed down from the elephant. Without ceremony, he said, “The swan spirit and the young woman both belong to me. Give them over now, and I will not have you beheaded.”

Anila was weeping. “Cousin!” she said. “I knew you would come. They reported me dead, but I knew you’d recognize my writing!”

Prince Chetan glared at me so fiercely that I trembled. I was the one who reported Anila dead and took her to my province.

That day, I lost Anila and Tahir. That day, I also sold my last good-luck talisman.

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amanda_sheree: Tsirris and Olian are from one of my stories (Tsirris and Olian)
Monday, July 4th, 2011 05:40 pm
This flash fiction is about the man at the liquor store whom Tlindvi met. Many weird (alien, haha) names ahead.

18) Prompt: the name “Thomas Daniel”

Then and Now

My name is Thomas Daniel, now. It used to be Nislid Trib-Strind Gemter.

I’m a liquor store cashier, now. I used to be a biochemist.

I am a widower, now. I used to have a wife, and her name was Plivi Baer-Strind Dalip.

I get up every morning at seven o’clock and walk the three miles to the liquor store, where I have been working for going on a year. I make $3 an hour, whereas—I’ve heard from the humans—minimum wage used to be $8. Granted, the humans still make more than I. And there is currently no way for me to become an American citizen…but I don’t mind that.

My job affords me with a luxury or two. The greater boon is the social aspect; I have networked with half a dozen of my kind, and several visit me at the store every week. Most of them live within ten miles of it. Some are employed as I am, whether at poorly paying jobs such as mine or self-employed at specialty professions (one, Forret, is an architect). The lesser advantage is how greatly I am learning, speaking, and reading the English language by interacting with so many Americans; within another year, I may even find a job in my beloved field of biochemistry (this is one reason why I have changed my name. Besides, all humans butchered my original).

I was lonely for a while. Now I have a fiancée, and her name is Tlindvi.

I was destitute for a while. I toiled and persevered and clawed my way up a few metaphorical rungs, and now I am clawing up a few more.

I was Nislid, a man familiar with opulence and prestige. Now I am Thomas Daniel, and I am a man familiar with self-respect and humility.

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amanda_sheree: Tsirris and Olian are from one of my stories (Tsirris and Olian)
Friday, July 1st, 2011 06:23 pm
This prompt features a Folmustian character (my wannabe "sci-fi" novel features Tsirris and his family, who are from a planet called Folmust).

17) Write a scene with a character in a foreign land, unable to speak the local language

Tlindvi

Tlindvi knew only a handful of human words—specifically, American ones. And here, in America, she was below even third-class. On Folmust, she’d ranked among the finest, which was why she’d been able to get into one of the escape spacecrafts so soon. She could recall that journey so vividly, and hear again the screams of her doomed fellows as she’d boarded the craft.

Best to put that out of her mind. Best to focus on the few words she knew, and hope she could get something to eat.

The man—the Folmustian man—who had taught her these words was named Tsirris. Tsirris had been on the same spacecraft with his family that Tlindvi had been on. His wife had held their screaming baby, while Tlindvi was just as hysterical as that little baby boy.

“Relax,” Tsirris had said in Folmustian to her. “Lidi [daughter], do you speak American? I’m a linguistics expert, although you must have known that from my robes. I can communicate decently in it; my grandfather used to collect books from a place called the United States. He went along on a few research missions.”

This babble had calmed her, which she supposed was the man’s intent.

Now, she stood outside a one-story building somewhere in a city called Los Angeles. It was bright inside the shop, and a plastic sign on one of the windows had symbols on it: “OPEN.” Tlindvi stepped into the store, and there were a few aisles of food and several windowed refrigerators full of drinks.

But best of all was the cashier: A Folmustian.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Golden Sun Jenna)
Thursday, June 30th, 2011 10:08 pm
This flash fiction takes place in a setting for a short story I've had in mind and been developing every once in a great while. (Said short story revolves around Katri, the cousin mentioned below.) I went a bit over for this prompt (it's 364 words long), so I'm putting a bit behind a cut.

Note: Groovers seemingly break the laws of physics. Magic-ness, I guess.

16) Write a scene on horseback

Groovers

Even though my mount was a puke-green water beast with a red-and-black mane that resembled and felt like seaweed, the pair of us made for the most uninteresting beings on this train in damned Arcentya. Poor Cutweed kept neighing and nuzzling my right hand. I knew he hated how industrialized this city was, because walking and horse-riding and grass and nature seemed to be things of the past here. He’d insisted that I stay sitting on him in case we had to bolt. I didn’t point out that we didn’t have anywhere to bolt to.
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amanda_sheree: Parker from Leverage (Parker)
Monday, June 27th, 2011 05:20 pm
The main character here is one that I planned for last year's NaNoWriMo. It didn't go anywhere, but maybe I'll pursue it eventually.

15) Prompt: shots fired

The Colt Diamondback

The best gift I ever got was a pistol from Dad on my fourteenth birthday. Mom would’ve protested, saying all a female werewolf needed were her teeth and claws; she clung to old school guidelines and spouted garbage mantras like that. Dad would have replied (had Mom been there) that a girl also needed a way to defend herself while in human form. Then, Mom would have said running was enough.

Anyway, I was always into tomboy things. You can see why I came to like it being just Dad and me.

When I saw the Colt Diamondback—a double action revolver—it was love at first sight. The revolver had a .22 cartridge, which Dad explained afforded good accuracy and had low recoil. That sunny afternoon, we hopped into his old red pickup truck and sped down the country roads, headed for the nearest firing range.

I wanted Gerald to come, but he was still stuck in bed with Lyme disease. And last I’d seen him, he looked god-awful. During the last full moon, Gerald and I had gone running through wooded hills with my dad and Gerald’s grandparents, and Gerald ended up with a bad tick bite that landed him in the hospital once we regained our human forms. He lost five pounds in a matter of days, puking his guts out, but it could’ve been a lot worse.

“Focus, Abby,” Dad said when we got to the shooting range. I’d fired a gun before, so I didn’t know why Dad was so grave about it. We were here for fun, right?

Wrong.

I soon found out why Dad insisted that I become adept at this.

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amanda_sheree: Isaac and Mia from Golden Sun (Snuggle)
Sunday, June 26th, 2011 06:24 pm
I had fun with this one. It's satirical. I loved using the ridiculous names and poking fun!

14) Write the final scene of a romance novel “Never Been Caught”

Chapter 124: The End... Or Is It?

Something old.
The antique lace gloves that her grandmother had worn to her own wedding in 1958.

Something new.
The silver teardrop earrings on which she had spent three hundred dollars.

Something borrowed.
The triple strand pearl necklace from her maid of honor.

Something blue.
The hair ribbon that held back her curly golden tresses in an elegant ponytail.

Amarantha breathed deeply. The guests were all seated and silent; there were so many, and she felt very nervous. The “Wedding March” began to play. She focused her gaze to the wedding podium and forced a smile, willing herself to calm.

In her left hand, Amarantha clutched her bouquet of white roses to her chest. She slipped her right hand into the crook of her father’s left arm, and he escorted her down the aisle.

It all happened so fast. It seemed that, in no time, Amarantha and Crescentius were saying their vows. Crescentius looked as perfect as he always did; maybe almost as perfect as his bride. The pastor was asking if anyone objected to their union…

…And no one did. Amarantha felt much better. Maeleachlainn hadn’t crashed the wedding, after all. Crescentius really must have subdued him. Perhaps Maeleachlainn was now in the very dungeon in which he had imprisoned Amarantha. Amarantha gave her groom a shy smile, and he returned it.

This all felt so ethereal. She knew, without a doubt, that all that time she had spent locked up was worth it. Had it really been two years? But now she had her knight in shining armor. This was perfect.

They were about to say their “I dos” when gunfire ruptured the silence. Maeleachlainn burst into the church, waving a handgun.

“You see, my dear,” he grinned evilly at Amarantha. “I will never be caught.”

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Golden Sun Jenna)
Sunday, June 26th, 2011 04:02 pm
D'oh. I went over by around 100 words.

13) Prompt: underwater

Stinson Shoreline

In my first life, I drowned.

One July evening, I was ambling along barefoot in the wet sand of the shoreline at Stinson Beach. I’d come so far that the last people I’d seen were now ten minutes of walking distance behind me. Once in a while, I bent down to dig a seashell out of the damp sand and then dropped it into the Pink Panther lunchbox I carried.

I came to a place where boulders jutted out over the water. I set down my lunchbox on a portion of dry sand to free my right hand, and then I tucked the camera that I’d been carrying in my left hand down into the bodice of my frilly cream-colored dress.

Climbing the rocks turned out to be much harder than I expected. I wished that I’d changed into jeans and a T-shirt before heading to the beach, but I’d been so eager to spend my two hours of free time to the fullest. My sister’s violin recital had nearly bored me to tears.

At least I’d left my stupid dress shoes in the car.

I scrambled up the second boulder. I reached up, searching for a grip on the third, but my right foot slipped and I screamed, dangling by one hand over the jagged rocks and perilous waves below. The camera slipped out of my dress and fell against the rocks with a small clang.

I couldn’t take a photograph like I’d planned, now, but I had to keep climbing. Once I got my balance on the next rock, which was nice and almost flat, I would be able to descend more safely.

I was wrong about that. The rock turned out to be very slick. My hands flailed for purchase, but there was none. I fell. I screamed as my fingers grasped desperately at nothing.

The rocks beat me on the way down, but it was the water that took me. I kicked and thrashed about, but the waves were too strong. I went under.

The next thing I knew, I was in a body that wasn’t my own.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Hardison and Parker)
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 10:49 pm
This prompt had me banging my head for a couple days, with no idea what to write.

12) Write a scene at a sushi bar

Bincho Maguro To Go

I lost my virginity at a sushi bar.

I sat side-by-side with Paul at our table for two, sweating from drinking too much alcohol, and I mentally thanked Joselyn. Originally, I had my heart set on a silk dress; Joselyn warned me that it wouldn’t breathe enough at a summer wedding in Texas, and she suggested chiffon instead. So, I didn’t have sweat stains, but still the sun had scorched my shoulders and dampened my hair, which clung to my neck and was unraveling from its bun—and I hoped that Paul didn’t smell my acrid B.O.

“What would you like to eat, doll?”

“Hmm,” I said, pursing my lips. I held the menu in my right hand and nervously drummed the fingers of my left on the table. “Maybe the bincho…umm…”

Paul smiled up at me. “The bincho maguro?”

He was sweating, too. His hair had become disheveled, and the collar of his white shirt clung to him. My heart beat faster; I thought that maybe I should have another drink to calm my nerves.

I set down my menu. “Sounds great.”

He laughed. “You have no idea what it is, do you?” He reached under the table and squeezed my nearer thigh, where he had stripped off my lacey red garter only hours before. “Well, I think you’ll like it.” He leaned in to whisper into my ear, “And some day, I’m taking you to a real sushi bar. Not some place below a rental condo. Given…the condo is costing us a thousand bucks a night.”

“Oh, shut-up.”

“I have a surprise. We’re ordering the food to go. And then I’m carrying you to the master bedroom.”

“Classy. Then I can tell everyone I lost my virginity at a sushi bar.”

Paul shrugged. “Above one, but eh.”

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amanda_sheree: Isaac and Mia from Golden Sun (Snuggle)
Friday, June 24th, 2011 12:41 am
The characters for this flash fiction originated here: "Conejita."

11) Prompt: a dragon and a princess

The Underwater Court

In Em’s world, she was a princess. She lived in a castle made of sapphire at the bottom of the ocean. Crystallized algae grew around and upon the castle and glittered like gems. Dozens of entertainers filled Em’s royal court: Mermaids with gorgeous tresses curling about their faces performed complicated synchronized swimming shows; hippocampi capered about, pulling pearly chariots that carried Nereids—undersea women similar to mermaids, but without fishtails—doing acrobatic acts; sea lions did circus tricks; and, best of all, sea dragons spouted white-hot flames and allowed only the most prestigious of the kingdom to ride on their backs as they surged to the surface and skimmed the waves.

Those allowed to ride were Princess Emma, Queen Mom, King Daddy, and Prince Dom (Em’s brother, Dominic). Every Friday evening, the four of them would venture outside of the kingdom, each on his or her own dragon, and visit the tropical islands to the south. Princess Emma had the most special dragon of all: A lithe sea serpent named Ethelinda who had scales like diamonds and eyes like onyx.

One day—it was a Tuesday morning, in Em’s waking and painful world—Em met a boy her age named Marco. Em was out in the front yard with her brother, Dom, who held her hand to help her keep her balance. (She was not yet at the point where she needed a wheelchair.) Marco approached Em and Dom and introduced himself; Dom was suspicious and quite rude to him.

But that night, as Em was about to slip into her dream world, she heard a knock at her window. Marco was there. He had brought leftover pizza. They sat up late into the night, talking, and for once, Em didn’t need her dream world.

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amanda_sheree: my baby, Annie, in my lap (Link and Zelda)
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 10:32 pm
I went over by like 100 words on this one. D'oh. It's basically a continuation of the blurb from the previous prompt. I'm not satisfied with this one, but I could always revisit it.

10) Write a scene focused around a musical instrument

Charon's Elegy

I strode up the cobbled walkway to the lonely yellow house. The screen was held open halfway by a wooden chair. As I approached, the aroma of beef stew mingled with the fragrance of burning cinnamon incense sticks. I could hear the clanging of pots and then the off-key singing of a boy.

I cradled my violin and called out, “Ricky! Oy, Ricky!”

The singing stopped, and in moments, Ricky reached the door. He peered out at me. “Aderyn. Whatcha need?”

“Conall’s busy, and I need a ride to Tea Rose Lane.”

“Can’tcha hail a cab or something?”

“I’m broke. And if I tried to hitch a ride, Conall would kill me. You heard what happened to that one girl last week.”

Ricky winced. “All right. Give me two minutes. Gotta turn off the stove and let the food sit.”

I leaned against the house and waited. Ricky came out holding two glasses of lemonade and handed one to me. We got into his beat up old car, which was his pride and joy, and then we were driving along a dirt road headed for Tea Rose Lane.

Ricky ran his hand through his wavy dark hair. “So, you going to a recital or something?” he asked, indicating my violin.

“No. I’m going to play for Chandra.”

“Ah. Got it.” He went silent after that; he must have heard the news.

My poor Chandra. She was a young mini-carrier dragon, with pale rose-colored feathers and the most beautiful blue eyes. Her father, Charon, had just died from an epidemic that was worst among the feathered dragons.

I’d been practicing the song for a week. It was called “Red-Feathered Champion.” A band had played it at Charon’s funeral. Ever since, Chandra had been humming it, and I thought my playing might comfort her.

Once we reached the complex where Chandra lived, Ricky saluted me and drove off.

I carried my violin into the lobby—the place was sort of like a hotel—and the security guard checked me for weapons and such before admitting me. He escorted me into a sitting-room and went to tell Chandra she had company.

When Chandra finally flew halfheartedly into the room, I picked up my violin and played. She perched on the sofa seat beside me and closed her eyes, which brimmed with tears. She swung her head in time with the music, and then she began to sing.

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amanda_sheree: Matthew from Golden Sun (Matthew Golden Sun)
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 03:40 pm
The following flash fiction takes place in the same world as my planned Draconic Desires.

9) Write a scene working from the title “Roses are Red, Violets are Dead”

Red Roses; Dead Violets

Ulla required me to bring crushed violets for my first lesson. She told me that, when mixed in a foamy broth filled with various vegetables and red roses, the violets would draw the sickness out of the mini carrier-dragons upon their drinking the concoction. No one knew what exactly caused the epidemic, but the feathered dragons—particularly the brown ones—were more prone to contract it than their scaled cousins.

When I showed up at dawn that first day, carrying a jar of the powdered violets and letting my imagination run wild about the things I could buy my little sister with my cut of the potion profits, I found Ulla sitting outside on her porch swing. Wordlessly, I held out the jar. She twisted the cap off and inhaled. “This is good, Conall.”

“You don’t sound very enthusiastic, Ulla.”

Ulla shook her head. The knotted ropes of her grey hair whipped against her face. She rose from the swing and motioned for me to follow her. Her pace was slow and her steps haphazard. I wondered if she had been drinking.

As we headed for the dragon infirmary located two miles northwest, I had a horrible feeling that I knew what was wrong: Chandra must be sick—or worse. Probably worse. Chandra, the pale pink rose-feathered dragon that my little sister, Aderyn, had come to love so much. The carrier-dragon that she would be allowed to call her own one day, with the grant promised her once she finished school. How could I break the news to her?

I croaked out, “It’s Chandra, isn’t it?”

Ulla exhaled sharply, air whistling between her front teeth. “Charon,” she said. “Chandra’s father. My own little darling.”

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