NaNo 2014: Story 6

I loved writing this next story–it brought together so many different ideas I’ve had (and begged for a sequel in each case) while further defining vague notions I’ve been thinking about for maybe a decade. Not to mention, some parts of it had me rolling with laughter as I wrote it. All this from a simple prompt: Cordelia, an airport, and a vintage carpet bag.

But looking at it now, the beginning’s a little choppy, and the end is pretty rough (this excerpt is actually a few paragraphs further up the last page), but like I said, this story begs for a sequel, so it didn’t exactly end easily. Why don’t you tell me what you think?

Cordelia turned precariously between en elderly woman on the right and a slightly older gentleman on her left; she hoisted up her carpet bag to clear their heads (thankfully people tend to grow shorter at their apparent age) and then she dashed forward. She nearly ran into a stroller; as she skirted around it, tossing apologies toward the mother, she realized it was merely a ghost walking with its kin and she cursed herself for losing time not running straight through them. Yes, it wasn’t considered high etiquette, but most ghosts had come to live with the expectation someone would walk through them sooner or later.

The curator reached around to the jewels, scanned them a moment, and then pulled out the flint, the cloudy-white one. He gripped it in his hand, said a word Cordelia had never heard before, and suddenly the jewel was overcome with light that burst from his hand and formed a shining dagger of radiance. “The Blade of Righteous Justice,” he said, then opened his hand and watched as the light withdrew into the stone. He placed the flint back in the case and crossed his arms. “This is a national emergency, Cordelia. We must recover those stones at all costs.”

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NaNo 2014: Story 5

This story was inspired by a pair of names, a setting of dragons, and the challenge of making the main character genderqueer. In theory, most Transgender characters can be written as their preferred genders, but a non-binary character demands to break free–from prior conceptions as well as conventional pronouns. In a contemporary story, using “they” to refer to a single person may pass, but this story (thanks to the dragons) begged to belong to my mythology–and in this world, plural pronouns don’t make sense as gender neutral alternatives to “he and “she.”

So I got creative and invented my own pronouns. They’re haphazard, but they work.

The most important thing was remembering a Trans character is not solely defined by being Trans–just like characters of color are more than their skin tone and gay characters are more than their sexuality. Torn between two cultures I’ve always been fascinated by but have written of very little, this story blossomed into a fantasy-rich social commentary that questions order, truth, and objectivity in a single tale.

Ellerin had long red hair that twisted through the air as the wind blew. The knight was dressed in finely sewn leathers that cupped around soft breasts, were belted with an iron chain, and ended in cut-off leggings that revealed sturdy muscles and a dagger tethered to the left thigh.

Kadjarti met El’s eyes, and for the first time, his gaze burned not in contempt, but in fear–he felt Ellerin’s control tightening around his heart, the world straining around them, fighting to maintain its natural state, but caving in one piece at a time. Ellerin knew they felt the world in unison, tethered in that one moment to each other, but El had seized control and Kadjarti now lay powerless. His eyes widened as El bared teeth, and with a pained howl, Ellerin’s fist dropped to his chest.

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NaNo 2014: Story 4

When I began asking for story inspiration, the first response came from one of my aunts, and I knew I had to make the story special. Her prompt was simple–Walter, an English coastal town in the 1960s, and aging–and at first I wasn’t sure where it would take me. I held onto it for a few days, and it slowly took on a few faces….

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NaNo 2014: Story 3

This story–inspired by JJ–came about with a simple prompt: an open field and a shopping cart. I stared at it for a long time, uncertain what to do with it (and inclined to stay away from stereotypical homeless stories), but finally I just sat down and started writing.

I’ve been reading Kafka’s Metamorphosis lately, and I think it certainly had a small influence on this story–in fact, the more I think of it, the more I realize how rich my writing has become since my fantasy literature class began a few months ago. It just proves the adage that if you want to write well, you must first read well.

The parking lot suddenly became an open field and Reynalda (Ms. Vicks to you) found herself, shopping cart and all, standing between a patch of tall grasses, each topped with a flourish of frilly seeds, and a thorny bush. She was certain she hadn’t parked quite this far from the store, but seeing as she hadn’t reached her car yet, she continued moving.

The children would be hungry if she didn’t arrive home soon, and she was certain they would all be eager to know what had taken her so long.

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NaNo 14: Story 2

My first two stories this month have stretched longer than anticipated, so I’m not sure if I’ll actually reach thirty stories…for now, I’m more focused upon writing good stories. (And if I must, I can reach thirty with a mad-dash of flash fiction at the end.)

This story was inspired by a dear friend who has given me prompts in the past: both prompts were serious in nature, but magic seeped into the stories nonetheless (inspiring “Sunday Sails Away” and “The Man Behind the Camera,” respectively).

This time, the prompt they gave me began with magic–and since they shared so many magical moments with me in the past, even more magic slipped in and the story found a place within my mythology–in fact, it tethered to this series of tales another story idea I’ve had for probably a decade or so, and in writing this, it has become my first contemporary tale in the mythos. (Yes, some of this mythology continues today, in this world.)

As promised, here’s the beginning and ending.

Ash sat at the edge of the post. A soft touch on the back of his hand turned his gaze downward: A small spider crawled across him.

Ash watched as the four winds rose into the air, no longer bound by the Sky God, no longer controlled by the key–completely free after millennia of imprisonment. And then, like waves of the auroras, they darted toward the horizon, each of them returning to their ancestral homes. Ash’s knees wavered and he fell to the ground. He had awakened the winds and defeated the Storm King–but at what cost?

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