NaNo 2014: Story 7

I’ve fallen a little behind in posting my stories–so I’ll put this one here today, and another tomorrow. This one in particular came from an idea I had while riding the elevator to work one day. What happened if suddenly everyone on the elevator disappeared? It’s meant to be horror, but has a surreal ending. I like it.

Marley looked up at the ding of the elevator arriving and then watched as the door rolled back and a small crowd of people came out. There were two or three others waiting around, and as they filed into the elevator, Marley went with them.

She stepped back and watched the door swing shut. She was trapped there. The door shook as it fell into place and Marley looked up. There was her reflection, facing her, smiling at her from the other side of the glass. It waved to her, though Marley kept her hands at her sides, and then it walked away; Marley saw her reflection on the door a moment longer before it vanished.

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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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