Friday, March 30, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Results (Prose) (From 3/29/12)

“Sarah, you do a good job of getting your ideas on paper but you simply must learn proper use of commas.” Mrs. Abernathy said disappointedly.

Sarah rolled her eyes and sighed, “You’ve said that like a hundred times. I don’t see what the big deal is. A comma is just an extra smudge of ink. It’s stupid that we even have to use them.”

Unfazed Mrs. Abernathy left her seat and walked to the board. On the board she drew a picture of a building; a combination restaurant and gas station. Under the picture she wrote a sample sentence. Eat here and get gas. Then she wrote it again using a comma. Eat here, and get gas.

“Do you see the difference between those two sentences?”

Sarah rolled her eyes again “Yeah one uses a comma and the other doesn’t.”

Mrs. Abernathy turned to face the class.

“Can anyone else tell me what the differences between these two sentences?”

Josh Harrington pressed his hand to his lips and blew. The resulting noise sounded similar to a whoopee cushion.

“Josh! The sound effects are not necessary, none the less you are correct.”

DWP - Prompt : The Carpenter (Tanka) (From 3/28/12)

I tried a Tanka. This one is quite bad.
When I have an opportunity I may try and give it another go.


Licensed Carpenter
The job that my husband holds
Building custom homes
Is the task that he likes best
Thou it often makes him stressed

DWP - Prompt : The Week That Was (2 Haiku) (From 3/27/12)

Laid out is the path
Characters wish to follow
The prompt takes its toll

I will not go quietly
Try, then try again

DWP - Prompt : Confessions (From 3/26/12)

“Major we need thermal imaging capability, the yeti moves to fast; we can’t get a bead on her.”

It took a few moments for Major Darke to respond, but when she finally did she sounded more than a little perplexed. “Yeti? Orion you country hayseed, we don’t have time for your shenanigans.”

Orion sounded like a young school boy being reprimanded by his instructor, “Honest Major, It’s a Yeti. Lieutenant Queste had to blow the second gene last night to keep her off us.”

The Major was fit to be tied. “He did what? Who authorized that?”

A disgusted Chloe grabbed the radio from Lieutenant Orion’s hand. “Stow it Gabriella, The yeti is closing in on us, we don’t have much time. I need that gear now.”

Through the radio came an audible gasp. “Yes Colonel. Right away Colonel.” Then there was silence.

The fire was dying out and the yeti’s attempts at reaching them were becoming more brazen. Chloe moved closer to Major Knight.

“Sebastian?” his eyes opened slightly and when he saw her he smiled. “Sebastian, I don’t think they’re going to reach us in time.”

Sebastian looked up at Chloe, sorrow washed over features already distorted by pain. “Chloe, this is my fault. You’ve always made me proud.”

Just then fire finally petered out, the yeti charged forward and snatched up Colonel Rayne. Chloe tried to fight but she couldn’t the yeti had her restrained.

The yeti slammed Chloe on the ground breaking multiple ribs. Chloe couldn’t move she just lay there waiting for what would come next. The yeti moved in and raised its hand to deliver the final blow when….

Chloe screamed and shot up into a sitting position. She was breathing fast; nearly hyperventilating and her heart pound hard in her chest. Something was restraining her, she couldn’t move.

Chloe blinked rapidly trying to make sense of what she was seeing. She was on the floor, legs tangled tightly within the sheets. Lieutenant Storm was standing the doorway looking panic stricken.

“Babe, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” He went over and began to help her up from the floor.

She hugged him. She was more than a little embarrassed and let out a small chuckle in spite of herself. “Yes. I’m fine, I’m fine, I was just having a nightmare.”

Lance smiled and kissed her on the forehead, “Doctor Stewart says you might have them for months, that yeti did a real number on you.”

Chloe’s face went blank, horror struck she finally took notice of the plaster cast on her right foot. “It wasn’t a dream?” was all she managed to say before fainting into the arms of her fiancĂ©.

DWP - Prompt : From Dusk Till Dawn (From 3/25/12)

Chloe radioed in to central command, “Reached the backup generators, under attack, three men down. Send an assault team with a medic. Do you read?”

Chloe tried to send the message multiple times and received no response. The snow had begun to fall harder and was blocking the transmission, deflecting the signal away, out of reach of the bio dome. She handed the radio to Private Orion, “Keep trying.” she said.

With help from Lieutenant Storm she moved the fallen men closer to the still burning generators. It was dangerous but they needed warmth or they would soon suffer from hypothermia as well as their injuries.

The yeti circled the area. Lieutenant Queste noticed the fire was acting as a natural deterrent and was most likely the only thing that kept the yeti at bay. They would have to keep the generator burning to have any hope of staying alive until morning.

“Colonel how many flares do you have?”

“Flares? We’re carrying the standard gear, two per pack. But we can’t reach central command; no one is out here looking for us. What are you thinking soldier?”

The few times the yeti dared come close, Chloe’s team laid down a barrage of gun fire. The yeti howled in frustration, but easily hid itself among the snow banks surrounding the generators.

Once the fire died down they used the flares to blow the second generator. It was risky but they couldn’t think of any other available options so they had all agreed to the plan. Each secretly hoping the yeti would soon abandon his attempts at reaching them.

Dawn brought with it solar heat, the snow had ceased to fall and Private Orion tried the radio again, “Roger that, Private Orion the voice of Major Darke, boomed over the waves. A strike team will reach you by 0800, hunker down and report the details of the attackers, let me know what you need son.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Downfall (Poem)

Up into the snow and ice they began their ascent
On finding Major Sebastian Knight they were hell bent
Vehemently searching, guns drawn and battle ready
Their course to the backup generators was steady

She found him among his team barely alive
They hoped and prayed that they’d survive
The yeti had savagely tried to slaughter them all
But strength in numbers would be his downfall.

DWP - Prompt : Unforgiven (Prose)

Major Gabriella Darke appeared on deck and was a sight to behold. She was much older than Chloe, her graying hair was done up in a tight bun and her wizened face was etched with wrinkles. But it was her conduct, not her age that dictated the respect she received from the crew. Today she was all business and none too happy at being rousted from her bunk after pulling third detail in the armory. She’d wanted to choke the life out of the skittish junior recruit that insisted on waking her, and then mumbling incoherently when she finally opened the door. Of course she hadn’t yet, there was no time, but the future was certain to be full of possibilities.

“Colonel.” She said as she gave a crisp salute and stood at attention waiting for Chloe’s instructions.

“Major we have a situation. Major Knight abandoned his post two hours ago to investigate a possible threat and has yet to return. His whereabouts are of the utmost importance. A team is being sent to his last known location, the surface backup generators. Lieutenant Storm, Lieutenant Queste, and Private Orion will join me on this mission. You will remain within the confines of the bio dome as acting command.”

“Yes, Ma’am”, Major Darke was not thrilled with her new assignment, she longed for her sleep but she was a career officer and duty would always win out over preference.

Chloe turns to a young officer to her right. “Lieutenant Rivers, Fill the Major in on what we know so far.”

“Ma’ am, yes Ma’ am” Lieutenant Rivers handed Major Darke a red file containing print outs of the last transmissions from Major Knight and his team.

Lieutenant Storm was looking expectantly at Chloe. “Let’s move.” was all she said as she turned away from the still conversing Major Darke and Lieutenant Rivers, left central command and headed to the surface lifts.

DWP - Prompt : The Momento

“Major Knight was on duty?” A scowl planted itself firmly on Chloe’s face. She knew the Major well; he’d been a friend of her father’s and checked up on her regularly after he died. The Major had attended her graduation from the academy and was intimately aware of every major event that happened in her life. They weren’t related but they were as close to family as two people could get. He was all she had left in the world. Unconsciously she put a hand to her neck and felt for the silver locket hidden beneath her uniform, a present from Sebastian.

Fear was taking hold and in attempt to gain back control Chloe unleashed a barrage of questions at the still frightened Lieutenant. “Why would he leave his post? Who did he assign as acting command? Its seven o’clock in the morning Lieutenant, he’s been missing for hours. Why didn’t someone have the intelligence to come and get me? And why the hell is it so damn cold in here?”

“Colonel.” Lance Storm gave her a knowing look and placed a reassuring hand on Chloe’s upper arm. “The temperature of the bio dome dropped rapidly in the early hours. Major Knight assumed that the life support module was experiencing technical difficulties and sent a team of engineers. They found no problems with the module itself and left the bio dome to check on the exterior generators. When they didn’t report in, Major Knight took a three man recognizance team to scout the situation. He ordered me not to leave central command and to refrain from notifying you until a serious threat could be confirmed.

“Damn that old man, one day he’s going to get himself killed.” Chloe said under her breath.

Lance’s eyes widened “Excuse me, Colonel?”

“Shut it Storm. Send one of the junior recruits to wake up Major Darke. Gabriella will take over Central Command. Then go get your gear, were going hunting!”

DWP - Prompt : The Departed

She addressed the first soldier of significant rank that she laid her eyes upon.

“Lieutenant Storm” Colonel Rayne barked angrily “who is in charge here?”

Lieutenant Storm stood stone still, too surprised by her entrance and disheveled state to manage a reply.

A none to helpful junior recruit from the commissary mumbled under his breath to his companion. “She’s the Colonel; you’d think she’d know who was in charge.” When he saw her expression go from bad to worse he knew his feeble attempted at humor had been overheard.

Chloe rounded upon the recruit, all the more enraged by his insubordinate commentary. Seeing the youth in eminent peril brought Lieutenant Storm back to his senses. “Colonel, Major Knight is the commanding officer on duty.” Chloe glared at the recruit for just a moment longer before turning to give the lieutenant her full attention. “Records show he was not relieved of duty, yet he left his post at five thirty eight this morning.”

The nameless recruit was not without his wits that morning. Seeing that the Colonel was otherwise engaged he used the opportunity to make what he hoped would be an unnoticed departure. It wasn’t. Without missing a beat Chloe grabbed an apple from a discarded tray and pitched it into the air. Her bowie followed only a second behind, pierced the apple and stuck fast just above the recruits head. The young man fainted and was hastily drug from the room by his quaking companion. Chloe smirked at the sight and turned back to a now less confident Lieutenant Storm.

DWP - Prompt : The Usual Suspects ( 2 Haiku)

The door slides open
Usual suspects present
Stopped dead in their tracks.

She scans the cold room
Seeking the unknown culprit
Murder on her mind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Tumbling

In academy she was set apart

     Colonel Chloe Rayne is very smart

          She has a strong and devoted heart

               And displays authority from the start

               To think her weak would be a mistake

          For surely your arms she’d break

     Her combat skills are the best

She has beaten all the rest

But on this particular morning

     Her face carried a distinct warning

          The boots on her feet were not yet tied

               Adding a stomping type noise to her stride

               Her bun was loose, blond curls sent tumbling

          And about the frigid cold she was mumbling

     Laughing aloud most would not advise

Irritating an officer is not very wise

DWP - Prompt : Controls

Chloe woke. The sterile room was freezing. She rolled rather lethargically to one side of her metal framed cot and sat up yawning and stretching her tired aching body.  She searched the cold floor with her bare feet trying to locate the fuzzy bunny slippers she had left there the previous night. Then finally, she stood, wrapped a thin white blanket around her shoulders and shuffled bleary eyed across the floor. 

She reached the panels biometric controls and clumsily slapped her hand upon it. “Colonel Chloe Rayne” she said still held in the fog of sleep.   The panel door slid away revealing a monitor and a set of gages and knobs. She blinked multiple times trying to clear her vision before being able to read the temperature on the thermometer as a chilling forty eight degrees. 

The Bio domes life support systems were set to keep a constant temperature of seventy five degrees ensuring that the crew would be comfortable and the computerized components would remain fully functional.  A twenty seven degree drop in temperature was unsatisfactory, and put the lives of her crew in danger. Her morning mission was to correct the problem and then to locate the parties responsible.

Chloe’s head had lay in her bunk little more than three hours and the lack of sleep was starting to take a toll on her usual friendly but stern demeanor.   She was still dressed in her snow camo. She only had to exchange her slippers for boots before forcefully placing her hand back upon the biometric control panel and barking her name into the microphone. As if in fear the door slid open fast, and Colonel Rayne stepped out into the hallway, turned left and marched swiftly down the corridor toward central command.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

So ... What's with the 14 posts today?

It may have appeared to some that I effectively fell off the planet. Well that just isn't true. In reality what happened is a long and involved story about a husband, a change in service providers and a seemly inept technician which resulted in the crashing of an entire wireless network. 

I was able to receive The Daily Writing Practice  prompts on my cellphone but posting my responses using that tiny keyboard leads to frustration. Especially as an accidental tap to the touch screen will have you starting the whole process over again.

Therefore I saved them up and i'm posting them for you now while the internet is working. (who knows what tomorrow will bring)  My service is still sketchy as my computer needs some replacement parts due to a surge in power which also managed to take out the TV.

Please have patience and I will do my best to remain consistant.

DWP - Prompt : Simple (Poem) (From 3/18/12)

They say writing is easy, so everybody should
If it was that simple, then everyone would
Storytelling is a skill, one that must be rehearsed
Practice or you'll end up with just a boring dry verse.

DWP - Prompt : The After Life (Prose ) (From 3/17/12)

Zendaya followed Brazil inside the small Gypsy caravan. She looked around the tiny space taking notice of the colorful tapestries that adorned the red velvet walls. The hanged man appeared in one, the devil in another, but not all were so sinister. Images of the sun, the moon, and the symbols of cups, wands, swords and pentacles were also present.

Taking the seat nearest the door Zendaya nervously asks, "Okay we're here. So now are you going to tell me why drug me all the way down to Jersey shore?"

Brazil sighed. "Mr. Watson my Philosophy teacher says those who do not learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. He says that means that we get opportunities to learn from our mistakes. Then when we're presented with the same problem over again we can make a better decision. So I am going to ask Madame Gabrielle about my past. We're here for a lesson in history," Brazil says excitedly.

Bewildered Zendaya says, "So let me get this straight, you drug me on a 30 minute bus ride to Jersey so you could have a carnival fortune teller tutor you in history? Are you freaking nuts?"

DWP - Prompt : Fast (From 3/16/12)

Red dingy stuck fast
Held by the rocky jetty
Far above water

DWP - Prompt : Karma (First Line) My Name Was (From 3/15/12)

My name was Wilhelmina Murray.Once I resided with my best friend Lucy in the small seaside town of Whitby, England where I held a position as a school teacher. Back then I was sheltered by my family and my would-be husband. Like most of the respectable women of my time I would have been considered shy, quiet and naive to the ways of the world. I lived a modest life style and was making preparations to become Mrs. Jonathan Harker when my fiance was sent to Budapest on business.
It was then that I captured the attention of another man and life as I knew it, changed forever.

Now I am a woman of the night. A volatile eccentric who does as she sees fit. No longer am I meek and compliant. I answer to no man. Since my transformation I see the world very differently. Gone are the days when I looked at it with the innocent eyes of a child. But there was a price to pay for my freedom and I paid it unwillingly. Immortality brought with it strength and power. An untamed energy rests within, giving me the desire. But I have maintained a sense of propriety and decorum
challenges my conscious only allowing me to pray upon the depraved.

DWP - Prompt : The Meadow (2 Haiku) (From 3/14/12)

Yellow weeds turn to
Fuzzy white dandelions
floating on the breeze.
Lush grass, wild flowers
Hungry, a kestrel swoops in
The mole has surfaced.

DWP - Prompt : There's A Ghost Wind Blowing ( First Line) (From 3/13/12)

“There’s a ghost wind blowing.” Seraphina said to herself as she stood on her decaying porch looking out at the turbulent twilight sky. An icy breeze spawned and picked up momentum, howling and whistling its way through the ancient oak trees. As she studied the swift movement of the gray clouds overhead, the thick black curls of her hair lifted and twisted wildly. The tasseled ends of her shawl and the hem of her flamboyant gypsy-like dress flapped violently against her back and legs as the gusts grew in ferocity. The foretelling signs did not bode well. Seraphina sniffed the air; the current carried on it the scent of damp earth. Quickly she turned her back on the scene, briskly walking into her small chalet and closing the door behind her. She hurried to the windows intent on closing the shutters before the rain began to fall. The mist had arrived before she’d even managed to secure the first of the windows and tendrils of a dense fog were crawling ever closer.

She ran to the second window and froze, paralyzed with fear; all she could do was watch as the four riders galloped into visibility one after the other. The Victor passed the window first on a strong white horse, bow in hand and crown planted firmly upon his head. The second rider appeared to be a bloodthirsty brute. He carried a large sword and was battle ready, his headstrong mount, a fiery red. A scale swung in the hands of the rider of the thin black horse, he spoke but its words were inaudible over the rushing of the winds. The riders paid her no attention, they kept moving, pushing onward toward some unknown destination.

Panic set in and Seraphina willed herself to move but her feet wouldn’t budge. She tried to gain control of her wits, to look away but she was bewitched and could not turn. Her heart beat hard and fast in her chest, her breathing quickened and neared hyperventilation as the fourth and final rider came into view. Slowly the emaciated pale green horse and skeletal rider reached the window.

The horse stopped and Death turned his skull to face Seraphina through the glass-less window. She looked into the deep black void of his eyeless sockets and was mortally terrified, her legs buckled as her heart burst in her chest. She crumpled and fell to the floor where she lay dying of fright. Death turned and continued riding on the fog, following his brethren through the isolated wood. Moments later the spirit of Seraphina rose and took to the winds howling and whistling her way through the ancient oak trees.

DWP - Prompt : Cravings (From 3/12/12)

I don't crave just any old sweet,
It's chocolate, that's what I like to eat.
If I were Willy Wonka, I'd put all types to the test,
Just to figure out which one I liked the best.
Then I'd chase them all down with a Coke and a smile,
Knowing the caffeinated sugar high would last quite a while.
You see with my vices at hand I'm as happy as can be,
But without them I'm cranky, so I suggest that you flee.
So that my friends is how I make it through the day,
I don't drink coffee so I stay awake this way!

DWP - Prompt : The Wizard (Poem) (From 3/11/12)

A dark and sinister laugh
Rings out over the small town
The evil warlock raises his staff
And begins to cut the men down.

DWP - Prompt : Used (Prose) (From 3/10/12)

Paisley, your garden is so bountiful, I’m so jealous. The contrasting colors of the vegetables and aromas of the herbs have created a garden worthy of a magazine. But what did you use to get all these plants to grow in such straight lines?

Oh, Petunia that’s my little secret. Besides you’d never believe me if I told you.

You have to tell me; back in Miami we have torrential downpours. They cause the seeds to wash out to one side of the raised beds. Two weeks later after the seeds have started to sprout; I have to thin out the seedlings that are too close together. Then I barely have anything left.

Alright but you’re not allowed to laugh, okay? I started watching YouTube videos on urban gardening and found this one series I really like called “Garden Girl.” Patty, the host gives out awesome tips and tricks on how to garden in small spaces. Well in one of her videos she gives instructions on how to make seed tape. I’d never heard of it before but it’s really easy. All the stuff I used to make it can be found in virtually any home. First you make a paste out of water and flour. Put that aside and cut a length of toilet paper the size of your garden bed. Then cut it in half length ways. Check your package of seed to see how far apart the seeds need to be spaced. Measure the distance out and then put some paste there and two seeds. Then fold the toilet paper length wise and trap the tiny seeds in the paste which is now sandwiched inside the toilet paper pocket. Then Wallah all that’s left is to let it dry and then plant it.

DWP - Prompt : Scrambled (From 3/9/12)

A collection of letters that make little sense
Make up the first line of our defense
They contain a capital letter and a number too
And are displayed as asterisks to protect you
Passwords and CAPTCHA are what they are called
So hard to read and remember you should be appalled
A scrambled bunch of random alphabet mess
They frustrate, annoy, and cause much distress

DWP - Prompt : The Conspiracy (From 3/8/12)

My husband switched our cable
From Bright House to The Dish
Now our network is unstable
And all I can do is wish
That I'll finish this by three
and get to type it on my phone
I know patience is the key
But all I can do is groan
the guy says he doesn't know whats wrong
But I think it's plain to see
Its taking him so long because
It's a writing conspiracy!


DWP - Prompt : The Traitor (2 Haiku) (From 3/7/12)

He betray his heart
Cut it out and locked it away
In a dead mans chest

The discovery
Ended in mutiny
Maps are dangerous

DWP - Prompt : The Old Ways (From 3/6/12)

The withered old man shuffled out to his workshop and closed the door behind him. Inside he toils away at a solitary table. He uses a hand saw to cut longs planks of mahogany into two foot pieces. Then time and time again he places the two foot sections into an old wooden lathe. Its blades cut into the wood as he slowly turns the crank carving out identical patterns. As each of the elaborate spindles are created they are stacked in a neat pile on the other side of the table where they wait to be sanded. Other pieces are cut to size and then planed down by hand, sanded and nailed together to make a frame. While carving tools are used to create ornate designs.

Sure he could have saved money and bought a crib. He also could have completed the job faster by using electric or battery operated tools. But there’s a certain satisfaction when you complete a project by hand and when you’re finished you have an heirloom piece of quality furniture which will stand the test of time and be used for future generations.

DWP - Prompt : Blocked (from 3/5/12)

Tick tock, hands move round the clock
But nothing makes it to the paper.
An hour’s passed. The plot’s a crock.
There is no real mystery to this caper.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Journey (4 Line Poem)

Happily working in the vegetable gardens today,
When a flock of sea birds flew gracefully over head.
To the gulf coast beaches they will make their way,
In west central Florida near our modest farmstead.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Credit (Prose? .. No more like an Editorial.)

Have you have ever attended the book signing of a newly published author of fiction?  You may have noticed that the writer really savors the moment.  They relish the notoriety, give thanks, and really seem to appreciate their fans, dolling out autograph after autograph with a smile plastered across their glowing face.
Once published some of these writers have a change in attitude, especially toward their fans. Not long ago they would have posted a character portrayal received from a fan on their refrigerator or taped into a scrap book.  They would have been ecstatic that someone out in the world loved their work as much as they did.  But now the superior author takes an opposition to fan fiction, threatening high dollar lawsuits and forcing websites to close.
I personally do not understand the change of heart. Fan fiction is just that, a work written or drawn by a fan, their fan.  Though they may change an aspect of a character the original author envisioned, the story is unique and separate from the original work.
Therefore certain rights should be attributed to the fan for his writing as long as the original author is given proper credit.   Based on a novel by in large font across the bottom of their copy, seems more than sufficient.  Why quell the aspirations of young writers, published authors are their inspiration and as such they have a responsibility.

Friday, March 2, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Unfinished (Prologue - Lydian Sparks)

Nothing is more ominous than a blank page. All the warning signs were there but I chose to ignore them. It seemed innocent enough as I held it in my hands, just the beginnings of a story written in a small leather bound journal. I, like many of the Memory Keepers before me have used my time at the Magi-Scriptorium to decipher and absorb the stories of the ancients and learn the teachings they so painstakingly labored to set to paper. So it was not uncommon for me to be seen roaming the dark and dusty caverns in search of a volume penned in secrecy by an enlightened elder. What one should have found unusual was the over turned book sprawled out on the marble floor, its binding bent and cover torn. Who knew the simple act of encountering a half finished book would be the defining moment that would change my life forever?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Awkward ( Poem-ish ... maybe Uncategorized.)

I didn't know what to do for this one. I worked at the school all day and then came home and spent all of my writing time working on a small section of a chapter of fan fiction.  So this is what ya get....  I'll post that Fan Fiction piece entitled Druesilla Phoenyx later this month, it's a collaborative work and it's still in the beginning stages.