FICTION: Changing Our Stars

Changing Our Stars - Person looking up at stars

This is an assignment for a writing course, and I figured I’d use it as an excuse to post. Enjoy.

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Clara strode through her neighbourhood, street lamps so far apart she spent a bulk of her walk in darkness. Purple clouds blotted the stars, threatening to swallow her whole too.

It wasn’t the best idea, being out at night, but she had to get out of her cramped room; a cramped room that her boyfriend was currently sharing with some skank from God-knows-where. It took all her willpower not to clock him in the head—and that bitch too.

Would I really have done it, though?

Confrontation wasn’t really her strongest suit. She couldn’t understand why. It was something that had always held her back in life. Even buying a fifth of vodka earlier was a chore, what with the cashier spewing lurid remarks while counting her change.

She took another swig of vodka. Just what are you afraid of, Clara?

She could very well take care of herself. She hadn’t needed to test the effectiveness of her brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and she was the head of her debate club, so what was it about confrontation that she didn’t like?

People would just dump work on her desk and expect her to do it for them, and her first course of action was always to be amicable—to keep people happy at her expense.

Is this all I’ll ever be in life?

As if in reply, the clouds moved to cover the moon. Even the universe had given up on her.

Suddenly, a shout rose amidst some catcalls. “Hey, woman!”

Clara ignored the voice and fished her jeans for her pocket knife. She wished she had worn her yoga pants, because running in stiff denim wasn’t exactly the best.

“Yeah, you, with the rack and that nice ass! C’mere a minute!”

Footsteps trailed behind her, and Clara tightened her grip around her knife. She didn’t know how near the scumbags were, but she felt someone’s breath on her neck as the culprit whispered: “What’s a sweet little blonde like you doing at—”

She hadn’t wanted to throw him, but muscle memory took over. The asshole had passed out the moment his face crunched against the tarmac. She turned around to see a bewildered pair of eyes staring back at her.

Clara took another swig off her bottle and drew her knife, a sudden rush of violent thoughts racing through her mind. All those years of pent-up anger sent her into a silent rage. She set down her bottle and stared her attacker straight in the eye.

“I’m ready to turn this into a murder scene if you are.”

The other guy slowly backed away, then turned around into a sprint.

And just like that, the clouds began to part, and world seemed to turn just a little brighter for a moment.

FICTION: Reading Between The Lines

Man alone in office building

Photo: Brandon Holmes

Life was easy as a subtitler. The job wasn’t demanding. You sat in a comfortable office, and the only person who ever bother you was your supervisor, and that’s only to make sure you’re making deadlines.

The labour’s a piece of cake too. You ran a video through a subtitling software and correct the transcriptions made by the computer. That’s it.

Of course, things would’ve been much worse without the software. While the computer’s ability to decipher words might be horrendous, at least I didn’t have to manually insert the timestamps, which would’ve made my work three times harder.

Everything was fine, until ‘the awakening’ happened. If I had to pinpoint an exact time, it’d have to be when the software produced a particularly hilarious sentence.

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FICTION: Adventures In An Introvert’s Mind

fighting

It was a cloudy day, and Caleb kept to the shadows as he crossed the street. He didn’t want to be seen, though he knew that avoiding contact was inevitable. It had been getting harder since—What was thatWas that shadow there earl—

A searing pain tore through Caleb’s back. He let his damn guard down again. Instinctively, he tightened his grip around his duffel bag as he started to move.

Caleb leapt aside, the hints of a second strike whooshing past his ear. He didn’t turn to face his attacker. He just sprinted as fast as his legs would take him.

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FLASH FICTION: Undead’s Dilemma

“Just do it already.” Julia bared her neck, hair to one side.

“S-so do I just b-bite the jugular? Or?”

Jesus Christ. Even now he’s second guessing himself .

“I don’t know,” she snapped. “What is it you guys usually do?”

“I’ve never done it before all right?”

“Well there aren’t any blood banks here, so I suggest you get to learning. And keep your voice down. Bad enough you roused a pack of carvers. Now you’re gonna get us killed because you can’t handle a little blood.”

It was so dark that Julia might as well have been talking to herself, but she knew that Elu could see the scorn in her eyes. Go on pussyfooting like this and you’ll lose your that night vision in a jiffy.

“B-but what if you turn?”

“Look, Elu.” Julia didn’t know if it was the anger or fear having her speak through gritted teeth. “You don’t do this, you die. You die, I die. Turning stopped being an issue the moment you decided to wander into uncharted rooms. Now are you gonna do it or what?”

“O-okay. Right then. Yes. This might hurt.”

“For fuck’s sake.”

But it did hurt, the exact same way it would if someone stuck a blunt snail-fork in your neck. Julia might’ve whimpered as Elu drew blood… she couldn’t remember. Why is it that when you black out in the dark, the world starts getting brighter?

Despite losing grip on reality, Julia heard the unmistakable wails of the carvers. It was them all right, hungry for blood in a way that Elu will never be. Get strong, she thought. Get us out of here. As she toed the borders of consciousness, Julia summoned the energy for one last whisper: “Whatever you do… don’t look them in the eye.”

FLASH FICTION: Just A Hint

The straw that broke the camel’s back, was in fact, as light as a breath. Julie leaned in for the kiss — as she always did — not because she desired intimacy, but to make sure that Frank stuck to his word. She had sniffed the unmistakable scent of a tipple, along with Frank’s many other efforts at disguising it: mints, cigarettes, coffee.

How could it have been just a straw, when it felt heavier than sack of bricks? In fact, the only thing heavier than what she had packed — all seven years worth of living together — were the tears of her broken heart.

Via Daily Prompt: Scent

 

 

WRITING PROMPT: God Of Gamers

clouds

Photo credit: Kevin Dooley

Writing prompt: One morning humanity wakes up to a message in the sky. “Sorry was AFK for a bit there” -God

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“How do you think it got there?”

“I don’t know,” I say. “Probably some skywriters with a good idea of a prank.”

“Skywriting? But it’s been there since this morning!”

I leave the stranger behind, because I don’t need more questions that I can understand myself. Why don’t you come up with your own explanations then? If I’d stayed there for another minute, I might’ve snapped at him. Thank God, heh, I had the presence of mind to leave. Who knows what else I’d have done. I’m just on edge, is all. But deep down, I know I’m fuckin’ terrified.

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FICTION: Festive Doom

new-year-party

Photo credit: Rolands Lakis

Via Daily Prompt: Festive

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There’s a weird relationship between happy tunes and horror movies; the twinkling of a baby mobile, or tunes from a theme park. You don’t get the same chill from, say, dubstep or emo rock.

The advertisement jingles in supermarkets are right up the horror-movie aisle (heh). How could anybody be happy about a ten percent discount off a two-dollar item? My heart goes out to the staff every time I shop in a supermarket that repeats music and the month’s current offers.

Today, I find myself at the hypermarket deciding on a door gift for a new year’s party. Should I go for the wine, or the snacks? I visualise a wine snob at the party—and it’s a real possibility because I don’t know anyone there—frowning at my ten-dollar bottle of wine. But ten-dollar wine is classier than twenty-dollar bags of Lays, surely?

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