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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Fiction: Created (673 words)

“I can’t exist.  Can I? I mean–I am impossible.  I couldn’t be just a random happenstance.  The odds are nonexistent.  I was created, wasn’t I?” Bryna looked up at Morgan, and suddenly he couldn’t meet her eye.  “I was. I was created.  I was designed.  Wow. I shouldn’t exist.  Isn’t that fun?”

Morgan found his voice. “Bryna. It’s not like that.”

“But it is like that, isn’t it?  It’s exactly like that.  I was designed, and I–well, I can’t have been designed for good, huh? I mean. Look at me, Morgan–“. Bryna threw her arms out to the side, and glasses exploded around her. Morgan flinched, but didn’t step away.  “I can’t have meant to be a force for good.  I was designed to do something bad.  And you were sent to keep me in check. You were so determined to keep me from learning all I could do because I am supposed to destroy something, everything, I guess.  And now what? You’ve failed?  Do you have to die now?  Do I have to die now? Because you don’t want to fight me, Morgan.  I’ll win.  I was made this way for reason. No matter what else, I’m sure I was designed to win.”

“Will you be quiet for half a second?” Morgan’s voice was quiet.  Bryna, even with her new-found information and insane desire for power and confusion as for what was going on at the moment, was suddenly afraid.  When Morgan got quiet, he got scary.  New found power or not, Bryna was terrified of quiet Morgan.  “Now. You understand that I don’t have all the answers.  I was only five years old when you were born. I was most certainly not involved with this from the beginning.  Just as you were genetically designed, I have been groomed since I was a child.  I have been told a lot, and I will repeat that all to you now, but I am only aware of what they want me to know.  I will not die.  And if I have any say in it, neither will you.  Do we have an understanding?”

Bryna just stood for a second, blinking. She sank slowly back into her chair.  She covered her mouth with her hand, barely containing a sob.  Then she was crying.  Really crying. She buried her face in her hands and shook with the force of her crying. Without even thinking about it, Morgan rushed forward and wrapped his arms around her, holding her as tightly as he could.  It felt like they sat there for ages, but in reality, it was maybe ten minutes, fifteen most before she sat up of her own volition, unshaken. Morgan stopped squeezing her, but didn’t break contact, his hand still resting on her left shoulder.

“Do I want to know?  Do I want you to tell me?” Bryna asked.

“It’s not going to be easy to hear, and there are certainly going to be parts that you don’t like–but is that enough to prevent you from actually wanting to know? Your decision.”

Bryna reached up and placed both of her hands on top of Morgan’s.  “Can we not do it now? I mean, I think it will just be too much to do it right now.”

“Okay, sure.  We can do it whenever you want.”

“Can I be alone for a bit? Just to wrap my head around everything?”

Morgan looked pained for a second, “Uh, no, I can’t leave you alone now that you know. I don’t believe that you are the kind of person who would want to do harm, but if you did, well–it’s my job to make sure that you don’t. I’ve got to keep my eye on you.”

“This is really not going to end well for you.  You know that, right?”

“Probably, yes, but don’t count me out from the start, Bryna. I’m pretty strong myself, and I’ve had my fair share of training.”  Bryna nodded, not voicing aloud how little good she thought his training would do him.

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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Graduation [Part 2 of 2] (537 words)

Despite my best efforts to not think of him, it made me think of Nick. If he were here, would he be making faces at me from the crowd right now?  Rolling his eyes at me and jerking his head at Shawn and Nancy’s retreating forms as if to say can you believe them? Or maybe he would be just smiling at me, the way he does, and I would just have to smile back or melt into a puddle.  He’d find me after the ceremony, regardless of how hectic it got with all the graduates and parents. He’d wrap his arms around me and tell me how proud of me he was. I’d probably even get a kiss and a grin.  Maybe we’d even sneak out, off to find our own private spot.  I unclasped my watch and started fidgeting with it.  I spun it between two of my fingers, trying to keep myself distracted by seeing how fast I could spin it without dropping it. Crying wouldn’t be unexpected at graduation, but crying this early would earn me some odd looks.  I spun the watch a little bit faster between my fingers.  Suddenly, I heard “We love you, Bethie!” I grinned instantly and snapped my head up to look at the Tree House Group that had yelled.  Shawn and Nancy were making their ways back to their seats.  Erin and Emily were waving frantically at me, so I gave a little wave back.

“Well, you seem to be loved like crazy.”  Josh placed his hand on my shoulder, and gave it a little squeeze.

I turned around to face him. “Oh, I know I’m loved like crazy, but who’s going to love you?” I teased.

“Someone will,” Josh said with a wink, as Pomp and Circumstance started to play through the loud speakers.

As for the actual graduation ceremony, it was, on the whole, unimpressive.  Our valedictorian gave some generic speech about the tough choices we were going to have to face in the incoming years. Our principal gave the exact same speech he gave every year about how it wasn’t the end of high school, but instead it was the “Beginning of the rest of our lives.”  And then we got to walk. I was a little bit giddy as we started to reach the end of the ‘C’s and when they finally called “Bethany Mary Davis,” I was trying not to outright laugh while crossing the stage, having a stupid little moment in my head where I imagined Nancy worrying about how stupid she looked by calling me Elizabeth last week.

Yes, I assured her in my mind, You did look incredibly stupid. I stopped at the side of the stage in the designated spot to turn my tassel to the other side, and as I was moving it, I point with my rolled up diploma at the section where the Tree House Crowd was sitting.  The cheer that rose up made me smile even wider, and I sank back into my chair.

“We did it.” I said to no one in particular.

“Now the hard part starts,” Margaret Isabella Daniels said on my right, and I silently responded you have no idea.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Graduation [Part 1 of 2] (530 words)

Graduation was more fun than I thought it was going to be. The way the seats lined up and the way our names fell, Josh ended up sitting directly behind me.

“We made it, huh?’ He whispered into my ear as I took my seat.

“By some miracle that I’ll never understand, we’re still standing,” I responded.  He patted me on the shoulder a couple of times, and then turned to talk to someone else in the group of seniors around us.  I turned back to look at the crowd instead. I wondered if my parents were going to come to this, since they had left me a gift and all. We have never talked about it.  I scanned the crowd quickly to see if I could pick them out of the crowd.  I couldn’t, but I wasn’t even sure that if they were there I would have been able to recognize them from this far out.

At the end of my scan, I looked up at the section where people from the Tree House usually tended to congregate. Since I was the only one graduating, and a lot of people had been at the pre-party which was still in full swing when I left, I figured that most of them would probably stay and party rather than sit through a ceremony for one girl.  I was thinking probably Shawn and Erin, maybe Nancy if Shawn dragged her along.  I was floored to see that there was a group of twenty or some people all talking amongst themselves.  One of the girls noticed that I was looking up at them, and she got everyone else to turn and wave down at me.  Shawn, Nancy, Erin, Adam and Emily we sitting in the front row of the group, and even Nancy looked genuinely pleased to be there, which I found to be mostly disturbing. Even still, I had to smile and wave back. They cheered, and gave me a thumb up across the board.

“Beth, will you help us end an argument?” Josh tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned around to face him.

“What argument?”

“Which is the better high school movie: The Breakfast Club or Charlie Bartlett?” Josh asked, both he and his friend sitting next to him watching me eagerly.

“Oh, The Breakfast Club, hands down.”  Josh’s friend grinned and gave me a high-five.

Josh shook his head at me. “You’re killing me, Davis.”

“Not my fault that you have poor taste, Josh.”  I replied with a grin.

“Bah. Turn back round, I’m done with you.”  He said with mock disdain.

I did turn back around, looking at the Tree House group once again. Nancy and Shawn were missing, so I scanned the crowd for them again, and saw them heading up the aisle, hand in hand.  I looked at my watch.  There was only fifteen minutes until the ceremonies were supposed to begin.  I wondered just how desperate they were to sneak off in a high school stadium filled with crazy families, and I hoped that they (or rather, Shawn, I couldn’t care less about Nancy) would be back in time for everything to start.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Law (154 words)

She was a Priestess.  She had been declared one since she was about four months old.  They took her away from her family, and trained her to read the books.  She was taught to study and to believe.  She was taught, accidentally perhaps, but above all else, her word was law.

That was a big mistake.  You see, Rhian didn’t believe in the books that she was taught to read and study.  But she did believe that her word was law, only because people treated her word like law.  And in the hands of a sixteen year old girl, well, a word as law was a very dangerous weapon.  And it was a very dangerous time.  Rhian was promoted to High Priestess, and it was a position that she would hold until she passed on.  The world would change a hundred times in those years.  All because one very intelligent girl’s word was law.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Running (100 words)

She stretched for a moment, pulling her legs and twisting her back, and crossing her arms over her chest.  For the first time in a very long time, she actually wanted to run.  Today, she wasn’t here out of obligation to her team, or obligation to the insane amounts of money her mother paid for her to be trained.  No, today she actually felt the itch to get out there and push herself as hard as she could. And she guessed it showed because the coach gave her a knowing smile.  “Okay, let’s line up and get this thing going.”

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Protector [Part 2 of 2] (510 words)

Even fifteen years later, twenty-two years old and preparing for one of her father’s many parties, Lillianne slipped on the silver ring, and thought of her mysterious savior from all those years ago.  But then, she pushed her to the back of her mind, and plastered on the well-practiced smile she always used when she was forced to spend extended periods of time with her father’s friends.  She half wondered how many of them would try to convince her father to let them marry her tonight.  She was sure it was going to be a number higher than she’d like.  That was the worst part of being the only daughter of a very rich and very powerful man.

This particular night, she was only out on the floor for a matter of minutes when she received the shock of her life.  She was talking and laughing with her second eldest brother’s fiancée when she heard behind her, “Well, well, well, Lillianne, just as special as always, and still under the protection of my ring.”  Lillianne whipped around so fast that she probably could have taken someone out with her hair. It was her.  The woman she had met in the closet.  She looked just the same as she had then.  Well, not just the same. She did look older, but not fifteen years older like she should have.  When she saved Lillianne, she looked twenty-two or twenty-three years old, easily.  But she did not look thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old now.  She looked maybe twenty-six or twenty-seven at a stretch, but certainly no older than that.  She realized that she must be just staring at the poor woman, but she could not think of anything else to do.  She didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all.  She continued to smile as she spoke.  “I realize that the last time we met, I was incredibly rude, and I never introduced myself.  My name is Wyli, and I have to say that it was an absolute pleasure to meet you.”  She offered his hand, and on auto pilot, Lillianne reached out and shook it.  Wyli held her hand, and turned it so that she could look closely at the ring, her ring, on Lillianne’s middle finger.  “You’ve taken good care of it.”

“It’s my most prized possession.” She answered honestly. “Call me superstitious, but I genuinely believe it has kept me safe all these years.”

“Oh, I don’t think that’ superstitious at all.” She grinned at Lillianne in a knowing sort of way. “I think that ring has protected you in more ways than you know.” She let go of Lillianne’s hand and she let if fall back to her side. “If you’ll pardon me, I need to excuse myself for a moment.”

“Will I have to go another fifteen years before I see you again?”

“Oh, no, Lillianne. I think you’ll be seeing a lot of more of me in the future.  I fear you’ll begin to get quite sick of me soon.”

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Protector [Part 1 of 2] (627 words)

It was a ring.  A silver ring with a purple stone.  The design was simple, yet elegant.  She wore it on her middle finger of her right hand.  She was often told it complimented whatever she was wearing.  That was a very good thing, because she never took it off.  She never explained why, but it was important to her.  It had always been important to her.  It was important because She had given it to her.

Lillianne had first met Her on a tragic day in her family’s past.  Lillianne was seven years old when her home was attacked.  Her father had pissed a lot of people off, and the home she grew up in was marched upon, and whole sections of the house were set on fire.  She had run from her room, determined to make it out, but she had been cut off, both by flame and by bad men.  She hid in a spare bedroom, and as she heard people approaching, she retreated even further into an empty walk in closet.  She armed herself with the small pocket knife her father had given her ages ago when she was jealous of her brothers’ scout knives.  But even still, she was pretty sure this wasn’t going to end well for her.

When She burst into the closet, Lillianne didn’t attack her.  She had a gut feeling, and she didn’t attack.  “Oh, excellent. I thought there was someone in here.  I don’t want to hurt you.  I want to get you out of here safely.  Do you believe me?”

Lillianne nodded just the tiniest bit, and she turned to leave the closet, but Lillianne cried out, “No! Don’t leave me here alone!”

She immediately felt ashamed.  Her brother’s wouldn’t have cried like that.  She should be strong like them.  But the woman didn’t look angry or disappointed.  In fact, she smiled as she turned around to face her again.  She knelt down in front of Lillianne, and said, “Sweetheart, what’s your name?”

“Lillianne,” She whispered.

“Well, Lillianne, you are a very special little girl. And I’ve got to go out there just for a minute so that I can make sure that you stay safe.  Do you understand?” She nodded carefully.  “You’re still scared, aren’t you?”  She nodded again.  The woman thought for a moment, and then stuck her hand into her pants pocket and pulled out that ring. “Here.  You hold onto this.  It’s very special to me, and I’m going to give it to you as a promise that I’ll keep you safe and that I’ll come back. Okay?”  She held out her hand, and the woman placed the ring in Lillianne’s palm and closed her fingers around it.  “Keep it safe, Lillianne.  That ring is just as special as you are.”  And then she left.

The next thing Lillianne knew her oldest brother forced his way into the closet, screamed out in relief that he had found her, and carried her quickly to the main hall where the rest of her family was waiting for her.  She didn’t see the woman.  No one asked her about the ring.  They always just assumed that she had found it in the spare bedroom, since no one had been in that room in decades, it easily could have been left behind by some distant relative, a silly piece of jewelry that no one cared to miss.

She didn’t speak of the woman, because she wasn’t sure that anyone would believe her.  And she just couldn’t take something looking her in the eye and telling her that she had imagined her, that she was just a dream Lillianne’s brain had cooked up out of fear, out of a desire to believe that she was being protected.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in Stories

 

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