Celebrating Years

I sometimes play around on a community over on livejournal called comment_fic. Yesterday one of the moderators was celebrating her birthday and I played around with a couple of new characters. I’m not completely pleased with the way this turned out, but I thought I would share and see if anyone wanted me to try to expand this a bit more. Maybe see where these two took me. What do you think about my twins?

any. any. Being twins doesn’t mean they celebrate their birthday the same way. From leni_ba

Just because they were identical twins, didn’t mean they were at all alike. The boys’ parents had long ago stopped buying their clothes or deciding what they did as long as they attended school and followed the rules. Eddie was more popular than his younger brother, commonly dressed in ripped jeans and slogan t-shirts. Joseph wore pressed slacks or neat jeans and button down shirts, keeping his head down at school.

When it came to celebrating their birthday though, that was where their differences really shone.

Joseph would get up early the morning of their birthday, have breakfast with their mother, and then leave the house. He’d leave the car he shared with his brother at home and walk downtown. Instead of spending the day partying and possibly getting into trouble like normal teenagers, Joseph would spend the day at a homeless shelter. He put his youth and muscles to good use, lifting and assisting as much as he was able. He always finished out the day by staying to serve dinner.

Eddie, on the other hand, would roll out of bed when the day was well begun. Their father was waiting to have lunch with him and discuss sports. Eddie would laze around the house until it got late enough, then take the car downtown. He wasn’t meeting his brother though; he’d meet his friends at the dance club and dance until they were kicked out at closing.

Despite their differences, the boys always took the time to wish each other a happy birthday. After all they had shared a womb for nine months and would share the day for the rest of their lives.

Author’s Note: So this didn’t turn out quite like I was intending…

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Fiction in a Flash!

I was sitting down with one of my students (I’m an English tutor for my day job) and discussing parallelism the other day when I noticed that the phrases we were using would make great prompts for some little bits of life stories. So I copied them down and wrote up some Fiction in a Flash!

 

Nothing is really fleshed out, but I thought I’d share them. I’ve underlined the phrases I used so you can see where they each came from. And I alternated them in bold so you can distinguish each “story”.

 

Can you come up with something using the same phrases?

 

Unlocking the screen, I let my four dogs out the door. They made a racket as they barked and chased each other across the yard. Breathing a sigh of relief that the noise was no longer in my house, I shut the door. When I looked out ten minutes later, I discovered that all four of them had escaped under the fence.

 

 

A runner has to keep in shape somehow. So runners can often be seen jogging and lifting weights. I even know one that goes rowing on Sundays.

 

 

“He told you I wanted help with painting the kitchen,” she complained as the kids headed out the door.

“Mom, you need more than several brushes and one roller to do the job,” Jake said.

“Yeah,” Alex added. “You need at least a couple of cans of paint.”

 

 

The guest speaker looked toward the audience. He hadn’t expected such a large crowd at this podunk college, but he was always happy to impart his knowledge. Leaning against the table, he rubbed his hands together in his mind. It wouldn’t do to let them see too much of his plans. Smiling with anticipation and open his mouth to speak, he wove a spell over his gullible audience.

 

 

When I’m buying a birthday present for that special someone, I search everywhere. I comb through music shops looking for the perfect CD or sheet music. I haunt electronic shops, sorting through bins of odds and ends to find that elusive piece to build a new robot. Finally I visit the clothing shops so I can deck out my precious in the latest style. Nothing is too good when I’m shopping for my darling’s birthday.

 

 

Getting dressed for the office takes meticulous patience. He has to pick out the perfect outfit and make sure everything is pressed neatly. His hair must be styled perfectly and not a line can be out of place. Then he packs up his laptop computer into his leather briefcase and tucks his cellular phone into his pocket (even if it ruins the line of his pants) before leaving for the train.

Cup o’ Sunshine

A few weeks ago, this image was posted as a prompt for one of the contests within my writing group. Although I am not participating in the contest, the picture intrigued me and I wanted to write a story to go with it. It took me a few weeks, but I finally figured out my story.

So here’s my version of “Cup o’ Sunshine”. What is your story?

sunshine

Every cup of tea, every reading she did was a different story, a different look at a life lived. She never knew what would appear in the cup when she poured the hot water. Even though she used the same leaves every time, she wouldn’t get the same result. Each customer, each person, deserved a different response. So she boiled the water over the open flame, whispering the prayers to her Goddess, before carefully pouring it into the simple white cup.

The petitioner was instructed to stir the water then, just three times, making sure to disturb all the tea leaves. Then the person tipped the cup towards her as they wrapped their hands around it and she peered inside.

This time she was startled to see a light emitting from the cup even before the young girl tipped it towards her. As the cup tilted her way, the practitioner could see clouds wafting from the brim. She had assumed the fluffy, white trails wreathing the edge of the cup were steam or froth added when the tea was stirred, but now she could see it was actual clouds. Clouds and mist that surrounded a small sun settled in the center of the cup.

“What does it mean?” the girl asked in a tentative voice as she also peered into the cup.

The practitioner breathed a sigh of relief now that she’d seen into the cup. She hadn’t wanted to give this child bad news, but this could be nothing but good. “You are a cheerful person,” she said, continuing to peer into the cup as she spoke. “Happy and content. You will have a peaceful and long life.”

The girl smiled in response, her demeanor showing that the woman had been correct. “Thank you, Grandmother,” she answered, bouncing to her feet. She practically skipped out of the shop.

The old woman shuffled over to the sink and poured the cup of sunshine down the drain; setting the cup on the countertop to dry until her next customer.

Adventure Ho!

I entered the prompt contest on Writer’s Digest this week for fun (write to their prompt, under 500 words, within a week) and thought I would post both their prompt and my answer here. It was both more fun and a bit harder than I was expecting, but it’s done even if I don’t think it’s some of my better work. Thanks to my friend, Kate, for letting me steal her name for the role of ‘best friend’. It worked out well.

The original posting is here and the prompt and story follow.

Prompt:
Your best friend knocks on your door one afternoon. You open it and he or she is dressed in a strange costume. Before you can say anything, your friend hands you a sword and says, “I need your help. Your family’s life depends on it.” Just then, your friend opens what looks to be a porthole to another dimension, grabs your hand and jumps through.

I stumbled slightly as we exited the portal, almost stabbing myself with the sword Kate had handed me. Kate waited until I had righted myself before striding off towards the towering castle.
“What’s going on?” I asked. “You can’t just yank me into Hell without any explanation…” I stifled a yelp as a tree branch tried to grab me. “Really?!”

Kate spun around, but kept walking, hacking at the branch with her own sword. “Not Hell, Hades. And I told you, your family’s in trouble. Slay the dragon; rescue the prince, blah, blah, blah.”

“Kate, I write fairy tales, I don’t live them.”

“Yeah. Well. Someone screwed up.”

“Oh, this is not going to end well,” I groaned.

She grinned evilly. “But it’ll be fun.”

“Oh, you did not just quote Buffy at me.”

Another grin was her only response and I slogged after her, muttering about how this was always more interesting to write about.

By the time we got to the actual castle, my back was killing me, my feet had stopped speaking to me, and I’d remembered why I gave up fencing all those years ago. I was also wishing for an archery set because that I had half a chance of using competently. “You said my family was in danger, but you didn’t say who or how,” I said as we paused just outside the stone building.

“Slay the dragon, rescue the prince, free the family.”

“Really, Kate? Not helpful.”

“Look. I don’t have the gig of all knowing, all seeing. I’ve only got as much information as the Powers the Be give me.”

“How about telling them to cough up information?”

“We have to go thataway?” she said, pointing in a direction.

I groaned, hefting the sword. “How about a sheath?”

Kate just headed in the direction she’d indicated.

I sighed, before following along, trying not to drag the sword.

In the end it was all anti-climactic. The dragon actually allowed us entrance when we waved our swords at him and the prince ended up being a whiny complainer that neither of us wanted to deal with. Kate and I exchanged glances before shuffling him towards the exit. It took us a little while to search the castle, but we finally found my family stashed in the upper tower.

I picked up the globe that they were encased in. “When you said my family was in trouble, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. How do we get them free?”

“I’m pretty sure breaking it is not the answer.”

“So take it back to Earth? Can you open the portal or however you got us here?”

Kate grinned and waved her hand, the portal opened before us and she yanked me through.

I clutched the globe, attempting to not break it, or lose my breakfast, lunch, or dinner. “Now we need to get it open.”

“Drop it.”

When I followed her instructions, the globe burst open and my family was released, ending the spell.