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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fiction: Middle Names [Part 1 of 2] (596 words)

The truth of the matter is that we are completely insane when we are all completely sober.  Because of that, we very rarely hang out with any kind of less than level-headed effecting items.  However, every once in a while, something is completely out of our control, such as when I had an awful allergic reaction to some sort of plant sex that’s floating out in the air, and I am so miserable that I decide take some Benadryl from a well intending friend.  I remembered from ages ago, age 6 or something along those lines, that I have had a pretty strong reaction to Benadryl, but I’m so stuffy and eye-wateringly sad that I cannot make myself care.

Thankfully, I now have friends who gladly and eagerly remind me exactly the reaction that I have to Benadryl.

Now most of this story is not my recollection of the night’s events.  Really, I don’t remember much past being miserable in the dining hall.  I can vaguely remember accepting the Benadryl.  That’s really it.  However, most of this story has been recounted to me by various sources, so I’m forced to believe that it’s true, and that I am really as crazy as I have been lead to believe.

It was Aubrey who had the Benadryl in her purse at dinner, and suggested that I have some.  She didn’t say so that I stop looking so miserable, but to me, it seemed implied. I weighed my options, and decided that half a dose wouldn’t kill me. For the rest of dinner I was relatively sane, if I’m recalling correctly.  A lot of the sinus pressure in my head eased up, and although my nose was still running, all in all I felt worlds better.  Really, that was the last thing that I remember.  Apparently, I was giggling and happy as we finished up dinner, and the group decided that it was time to head back to our respective homes.  Most of us lived in an apartment complex right across the street from the main gate of campus, so we all walked together across the street.  Because of that, sometimes we ended up sticking together on campus after dinner so a couple of errands could be run.  That particular day, the errands in question were going to feed the rats that Aubrey and Konnie were taking care of as part of a psychology class, an errand that took longer than expected, and happened to fall at the same time that I was flat-out losing my mind. Leaning up against the wall of the science building, I looked around at the group and realized that someone was missing.  Kaelyn had wandered away from the group, and I felt the need to point this fact out to everyone.  Egged on by my increasing Benadryl fueled insanity, Konnie started calling out, “Kaelyn Sarah! Where’d you go?! Please, come back to me!”

This, for no rational reason, and not really any irrational reason either, was hilarious to me.  I slid down the wall until I was mostly laying on the floor, my head still resting against the wall.  “You okay?” Sweet Aubrey asked me, probably genuinely concerned.

“Hey Kaelyn!” I yelled.  I didn’t wait for an answer or response, but instead screamed out into the science building, “Did you know your middle name is Sarah?”  I cackled happily at this discovery, as if I had just made the world’s funniest joke.

“Do you think it’s the Benadryl?” Roz asked.

“It’s most certainly the Benadryl,” Fay answered.

“Oh dear,” Aubrey frowned down at me.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Leaving Tonight [Part 2 of 2] (548 words)

Maddy was elated.  She was carefully slinking in-between trees, taking the back way to the training temple…and against all odds, Caleb Davion was slinking along behind her.

“So, have I proven myself worthy enough to know what’s actually going on?” Caleb asked quietly.

“Oh, yes, of course. Sorry.  We’re all running away to an old cabin that Beth’s family owns.  My family thinks I’m out with Jon’s family for the court vacation, and vice versa.  We are going to stay in the cabin as long as possible, or until we find a way to break Liam’s curse.  Lucy and Liam will run into town to get us what we need when we need it, but the rest of the time we will be in isolation,” Maddy filled in.

“Very cool.”  Caleb answered, “Assuming we don’t get caught as runaway heirs, this will be great.  Why are we going to see Master, though?”

“We are going to ask him if he has any last words of wisdom for us.  You know, just in case we do something really stupid, maybe he’ll be able to advise us.”

“Speaking of doing something really stupid…” Maddy felt Caleb close his hand around her upper arm, and she turned back to face him.  For a brief terrifying moment, Maddy thought Caleb was going to turn them in after all, but then he pulled Maddy in closer and kissed her properly for the first time. Maddy’s brain exploded into completely incomprehensible thoughts of happiness.  When they pulled apart, Caleb had a goofy smile on his face, and Maddy was sure she looked equally ridiculous.  “Madison Danielle Markson, would you care to commit high treason with me?”

“What are you talking about?”

Caleb shook his head like he was laughing at a joke he had with himself.  “What I’m trying to ask in my own little messed up way is, Maddy, do you want to marry me?”

“Want to?  Oh, God yes.”  Maddy said softly, “But, Jon, and Annemarie?”

“If we are successful with the run away, I will probably never see Annemarie again. And can you tell me that you and Jon are honestly in love?  Or were you just getting married because it’s what people in your position do?”

Maddy knew that Jon loved Lucy. Jon knew she loved Caleb. Without ever discussing it, without really meaning to, they had resigned themselves to a friendly, but loveless marriage, because it was easier than raising a fuss.

Slowly, it dawned on her that she didn’t have to marry Jon if they were running away.  She was sure that ridiculous grin was starting to bloom on her face again.  “Caleb Hayden Davion, I would love to commit High Treason with you.  Where can we get married before we have to go into hiding?”

“Master Isoc can marry people, can’t he?” Caleb said, as they began their slip back through the trees towards the temple again.

“Yes, I suppose he can, can’t he?  Okay.  You ask to speak to Master Isoc privately, and I’ll speak to Jon.  I think that I should tell him personally that I’m breaking off the engagement.  I mean, I know I’m not going to break his heart, but as his friend…”

“No, I understand entirely.” Caleb said and eased Maddy’s mind.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Leaving Tonight [Part 1 of 2] (1060 words)

Caleb heard a soft clicking at his window.  He pulled a pillow over his head, but the clicking just got louder.  He was going to kill whatever had decided to spend the night on his window sill.  He angrily ripped back his curtains, but instead of finding some small bird or rodent tapping away, he saw Maddy perched on his window sill. Panicked, Caleb stumbled a couple of steps back.  Maddy gestured to the latch until Caleb finally came back to his senses and pulled the latch open.  Maddy quickly swung half the window open, and jumped quickly and quietly down to Caleb’s floor.

“What in the hell are you doing here?  My parents have forbidden me from interacting with the class, you know that!”  Caleb whispered harshly but quickly.

“I know what your parents said you were and weren’t allowed to do, but I didn’t think that would actually stop you from doing whatever you wanted.”

Caleb started at the harsh tone coming out of Maddy’s mouth. He hadn’t expected her to sneak into his room to tell him off. “Well, obviously, you were wrong about me, so why don’t you just leave me be.  I don’t know if you heard, but tomorrow they are announcing that I am to marry Princess Annemarie.  I will be the new king when Annemarie takes the throne.”

“Yeah, I heard.  Best wishes on your engagement and what not.”  Maddy spat back, before bringing her hands up to her face, and rubbing her eyes. She let out an exasperated sigh. “No, no, no. Maddy calm down.  Look, Caleb, I didn’t come here to fight with you.  I came here to lay it all on the line and to try to convince you to come with me.”

“Come with you?  Where?”

“Come with us, actually.  I can’t tell you where in case I am terribly wrong about you.  But we’re going. We are going to help Liam.  We don’t know how yet, but we are getting out of dodge, and we are going tonight.”

Caleb faltered a moment.  Why would she be inviting him?  It was very obvious that the group was going to be fine without him. Maddy and Beth both had the same specialty, so if any cure for Liam was going to be found, Caleb was just a redundant expert.   Maddy was just going to go off and marry Jon, and the two of them would go off and make wonderful little high ranked babies that someday would marry into the royal family the way he would. Caleb turned away and stared at his wall, trying to clear his head of the sudden anger that had built there.  “What in the world would you need me for?”  Caleb asked aloud after a moment.

“You’re right.  We don’t need you, but I definitely want you to come.” Caleb turned back and saw that Maddy was extending her hand out towards him.  He didn’t want to take it.  He didn’t want to be stronger than she expected and break through her defenses to see the way that see would be picturing him with simply a mild interest, or worse, to see the way she idolized Jon. “Please, take my hand.  Let me prove it.”

Caleb turned away again from Maddy again before he closed his eyes.  That way, when he saw what he hated, he wouldn’t have to lay eyes on Maddy ever again. He thrust his hand out behind him, and felt Maddy’s soft fingers slip into his grip. Images erupted behind Caleb’s eyes.  They were all him.  Eleven years old, and begrudgingly removing his Lord Heir charm, already thinking he was better than his teachers.  Thirteen years old, laughing with Jon, holding Liam in a head lock and ruffling his hair, just moments before the tables were turned, and Jon and Liam had him pinned, laughing so hard he almost stopped breathing. Fifteen years old, shirtless, looking ashamed as Maddy’s hand very softly tracing the circle scar on his shoulder.  Sixteen years old, kissing Maddy softly on the cheek following the Festival of Music. Just a few moments ago, staring confused out the window, hair half sticking up from when he had been trying to sleep.  And now, back turned to her, shoulders tense, anticipating seeing the worst through her eyes. All of these pictures were colored, tainted with Maddy’s opinion of him.  Her opinion of him was far more positive than Caleb had ever seen before in his life.  And now, watching his shoulders pull even tighter with what he was learning, she was absolutely terrified that he wasn’t going to turn back to her.  That he was going to spit on her and order her out of his house, as he technically had every right to.  That fear was stronger in her mind that even the fear that he was going to take her in, tell his parents they were planning to escape with a cursed man.

With a sudden jolt, Caleb dropped Maddy’s hand and snapped his eyes open.  He stared at his wall, suddenly very, very aware of every bit of air between Maddy and himself.  The woman standing behind him, for some completely unknown and entirely absurd reason, loved him.

“Caleb?”  Maddy’s voice was soft, almost fragile.  For a moment, Caleb could feel Maddy’s fear pulsing through his veins.  Then he was just himself again.  And he was absolutely elated, his own fear evaporating entirely out of his body.

He turned around and faced Maddy.  “You have an exit strategy, I assume?” Maddy grinned wider than he had ever seen in his entire life.

“Of course I do.  Put on a shirt, and pack a bag if necessary. We have a rendezvous in thirty minutes.  We will be stopping to see Master Isoc before leaving, in case that influences what you wear.”

Caleb made his way to his dresser to start collecting things, before he realized that he didn’t have anything to pack in, and he couldn’t quite ask the maid to pack his bag for his run away from home.  For a moment, he froze, and then he turned wide-eyed to face Maddy.

Maddy laughed, and crossed to Caleb’s bed.  She ripped one of the pillow cases off his pillow and held it out to Caleb. “Pack in this. Quickly though. We’ve got a lot to do.”

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Flipping a Coin (1154 words)

Really, the hardest part about planning their wedding was trying to decide on which side of the ocean to have it on.  She was American, born and raised. He was English, born and raised.  They both loved their homes, their countries, and their families.  They didn’t want to have to cut anyone out because of travel costs, unavailability, anything like that.  She had her moments where she was tempted to play the “girl” card, claiming (truthfully) that she had been planning her dream wedding since she was a little girl.

But then again, she knew that he had been thinking about his wedding just as long.  He’d always wanted to start his own family, and it was something that he had dreamt about since he was a little boy.  It was an awful catch-22.  Who should win?

They were determined not to actually get into a fight about it.  They decided to plan the wedding as if they had both won their argument.  They would look at the weddings, the estimates, the plans, and decide based on money, time and hassle.

They spread both weddings across the dining room table, sitting on opposite sides to present their arguments. The estimated budgets literally came down to less than 20 dollars apart when converted into the same currency.  The times and hassle were on the same scale.  They had two completely planned weddings, and absolutely no idea how to decide which to pick.

“This is hard.” Haley complained resting her head down on the table in front of her.  When she sat back up, part of her wedding plans for America was stuck to her cheek, and she had to shake her head to knock it loose.  It was humorous and depressing all at once.

“If love were easy, it’d be rather boring wouldn’t it?” Russell replied, using words from a story she wrote against her.

“True enough, but this still sucks majorly.”

“Yeah.” He agreed, looking at all the pages spread out in front of him.  “Could we just have two weddings?  One in the UK and one in the United States?”

“And whose wedding goes first and is the one we actually get married in? And do we want to drain our honeymoon fund to pay for two weddings, bring it down so drastically that we end up probably having to have a ‘staycation’ honeymoon?”

Russell wrinkled his nose, either at the word ‘staycation’ or the idea of what it implied—probably both. “No, I don’t want people to be able to just come and bug us at our house when we’re supposed to be honeymooning.”

“Then we are going to have to choose.  America or England.  Where do we want to get married?”

“I say England.”  Russell chimed in.

“And I say America.”

They stared each other down for a moment before Russell heaved a sigh, and stood up from the table.  “This is just awful.”  He pinched the bridge of his nose. “One of us just needs to stop loving their families.  If just one of us were just a cold heartless bastard towards our families, then it would be just that much easier.”

“Yeah, but I figure trying to convince the other stop loving their family would be a harder argument than trying to decide where to get married, so we’re just going to have to be decisive.” Haley glanced at all the papers on the table for barely a second, but then looked back up at her husband to be. “Want to flip a coin?’

It was a joke, but Russell looked up suddenly, a slightly wild grin on his face. “Yes, yes. Let’s do that.  Let’s flip a coin.  Heads, England. Tails, United States of America.”

Haley’s mouth hung open. “Russ, this is our wedding.  You want to flip a coin to determine the fate of our wedding?”

“Why not? If it weren’t for the fact that my wedding plan is in England, would you have any problem with it?”

“Well, no.  It would be a beautiful wedding.”

“And I think your wedding would be just as wonderful, except that it’s in the United States.”

“Russ, I—don’t know.”

“Come on, Hale.  I thought you were the one who believed in fate.  Great cosmic forces will guide the coin to have it land on the right side, eh?” Russ was teasing her, but only a little.  He knew how important her faith was to her.  She was Religious, a Christian girl who took her belief in God very seriously.  It wasn’t to say that he didn’t believe in god, there had to be something up there pulling some strings in order for him to be lucky enough to end up with her, but he had a very hard time accepting a religion, truly understanding what they were trying to say.  Before meeting Haley, he had a very set opinion on what practicing Christians were, and Haley had blown all of those ideas right out of the water.  He had even, despite his long time instance that he never would or could, planned their wedding in England in a church.

Haley looked at the coin that Russell had fished out of his pocket.  Although she’d probably never admit it, she said a quick prayer over that coin. “Heads, England, Tails United States?”  She repeated.

“Yep. Should I flip it or do you want to?”

“No, no, no.”  Haley wrung her hands nervously.  “I couldn’t. You do it.”

Russell hesitated for a second, spinning the sliver piece between his fingers, then he brought it up and kissed it softly.  If Haley didn’t know better, she might assume that he was saying a prayer for the coin as well.  Then he flipped the coin into the air.  He made no attempt to catch it, and just watched as it bounced off the table and rolled to the floor.  Haley held her breath as she approached the spot on the carpet, and let it out with a sigh of “tails.”

“Well, that’s that then.  United States it is,” Russell grumbled with fake annoyance.  Haley grinned from ear to ear.  Russell swept all his papers into a messy pile, and then deposited them into a trash can.  “We should keep this coin flipping idea in mind, Hale. It’s worlds easier than stressing out for hours.”

“You want us to make all our major life decisions based on a coin flip?” Haley asked, starting to put her papers into their proper piles again.

“Well, we just planned our wedding via coin flip, so—“Russ pointed out.

Haley blinked up at Russ for a moment, then grinned. “Fair enough. So, want to come be part of the call where I tell my parents that we’re getting married in New Hampshire?”

“Sure.  Should I maybe not mention that we flipped a coin?

“Yeah. That can be our own little secret.”

“Okay. Now, Haley, I wanted to talk to you about our honeymoon—“

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Writing (454 words)

“I hate this assignment.  I really, really hate it.”  Haley looked up at Kaelyn and her computer.  She was chewing on the end of a pen and staring at her computer monitor. “It’s a stupid assignment.”

“What assignment is that?” Haley asked, kicking her feet up.  She was reading some sort of stupid book, because she had a crazy stupid to do list, and all of her homework was done hours ago.  Haley might not have been the smartest stick in the mud, but she was certainly one of the most efficient.

“The stupid Hertzson assignment.  Write a misleading beginning.  What does that even mean?” Kaelyn threw her pen down on the desk next to her keyboard.

“Well—“Haley was a lot of things, but smart enough to hold her tongue was not one of those things. “I’m assuming that he wants you to write the beginning of a story that is misleading.  Just a hunch.”

“You are of very little help.”  Kaelyn informed her, spinning around in her chair so that she was facing Haley’s bed.  “Well, what are you going to write about?”

“Going to?” Haley smiled down into her book.

Kaelyn groaned. “Don’t tell me that you’re already done with the assignment.”

“I won’t tell you then.”  Haley smiled, not really reading, but also not really wanting to look up at Kaelyn either.

“Okay then.  Read me what you’ve got.”  That time Haley did look up, already starting to blush.

“I—couldn’t.”

“Oh, come on. I’m not going to steal it from you. And you’re just going to have to read it aloud in class tomorrow anyways.  Don’t get shy on me now.”

“It’s not any good.”

“Its fine, I’m sure you’re just over reacting.  Come on, you got into Advanced Creative Writing, didn’t you? Your portfolio had to be worth something.” Haley wrinkled her nose, and Kaelyn waggled her eyebrows.  “You know you want to.”

That was the double-edged sword of being a writer.  Haley wanted to write for people to read, but it never seemed good enough to let someone else read.  But, she supposed, if she couldn’t let Kaelyn read it tonight, then there was really no reason to even bother turning it in the next morning.

“All right, all right, Fine.”  Haley swung her legs off the bed and crossed to her computer.

“Yay!” Kaelyn turned in her chair again, so she was facing Haley.

“No reading over my shoulder now.  Let me edit myself as I want, huh?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”  Kaelyn sighed, spinning in her chair one last time so that she was facing away from Haley and her computer.

Haley pulled up the file on her computer.  “You ready?”

“Yes.”  Kaelyn was slightly exasperated. “Just read.”

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Breaking a Curse is Hard Work (313 words)

Beth sighed and rubbed her hands over her eyes.  The words were swimming before her eyes.  She wasn’t going to get anything else done if she kept at it like this.   Sighing, she pushed away from the table and crossed over to the windows overlooking the river.  She watched as a wake from a recent boat passing rolled into shore and sighed.  She headed out the back door and walked down the pier.  Mom would not be happy to see her out here at night, Step-Daddy would not be happy to see her out here without a jacket on, and Margie would simply be jealous that Beth was out here in general.  Beth wrapped her arms around herself, and stared at the reflection of the half-moon in the water.

Margie was the whole reason Beth was doing any of this.  If someone had asked, of course she would refer to Step-Daddy, and Liam at Witch Class, but really, this was all about Margie.  Step-Daddy had made a life for himself because of all the things he had done before he was cursed, and Liam was going to have some level of respectability because he was a Witch, but Margie?  She was a twelve-year-old girl without a power, who had been cursed for her entire life.  How in the world was she going to handle the world around her?  Beth was going to find a way to make sure that Margie was going to be able to do anything that she wanted to do with her life.

Beth shivered, but she wasn’t entirely sure it was due the winds coming off of the water.  She wrapped her arms around herself, and began to head back to the house.  She was going to have to keep working if she wanted to be able to get anything done in time for her sister to use it.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Inherited Prophecy (553 words)

Charlotte rubbed her hands over her face.  She leaned back against the shingles, and stared up at the sky.  The stars were shining brighter than she had ever seen at home.  Suddenly, the stars all blurred together, and Charlotte blinked until tears fell down her cheeks. Finally, Charlotte just squeezed her eyes shut and kept them shut.

After a second, she heard the soft thunk of someone else coming onto the roof, but Charlotte kept her eyes shut.  That someone laid down next to her, but Charlotte still kept her eyes shut.

“Whatcha doing, Lotte?” Charlotte finally peeked her eyes open a little as she turned and saw Lance next to her, staring up at the sky.

“Really? Lotte?  I haven’t heard that one in a long time. I think the last time I was called Lotte I was about seven.” Charlotte turned her gaze back to the sky.  Since the stars didn’t blur this time, she decided to keep her eyes open.

“Would you prefer I call you something else?” Lance asked.

Charlotte shrugged as best as she could laying against the roof. “Nah. Call me whatever you want to call me.”

“I think I’ll call you George then.”

She looked over at Lance, but he was still staring up at the sky, the hints of a smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “Yeah, okay. Call me George, but I’m pretty sure I won’t answer.”

“Okay, then I’ll just stick to Lotte.  But jumping back a topic, Whatcha doing?”

“I’m resting. Thinking. Trying to relax.”

“By climbing onto the roof four stories high? Using a very precarious window ledge, by the way.”

“It’s the house my father built following a path of climbing that my sister taught to get onto the roof, so I figure if I’ve got to figure out what to do with the stupid prophecy legacy they’ve left me, it’s as good a place as any.”

“Huh.  Well, fair enough.”  Lance was silent for a while, so Charlotte looked over at him again. He was staring up at the sky still.  Charlotte couldn’t help but wonder if he had looked her at all since coming up here.  Not that it would have shocked her if he had been secretly staring at her. It seemed like every single person in the entire house, the entire school, the entire world, was staring at her.  Because she was her father’s only surviving daughter, they all wanted her to be the one to come up with the solution, to save the world, and it was impossible.  She could barely pass her Gen Ed Classes, how in the hell was she supposed to save the world?

Charlotte covered her face with her hands in an attempt to muffle her crying. An arm slinked around her shoulders and pulled her up into a sitting position. Her head was resting on Lance’s chest, and his arms were wrapped around her back.

Lance was muttering those normal things that guys say when faced with a crying girls. Things like “It’ll be alright” and “I’m here for you.” Charlotte knew the first was a lie, it wasn’t going to be alright and it never would be again.  But she believed that Lance was here for her–he wasn’t going anywhere.  And that was almost enough to be comforting.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Stories