The Department of Defense has perfected a new weapon, code named Eraser.
Much like Facbook’s Block Option, the US Government can find and make individual people disappear. Going beyond the limits of Facebook’s Block, this weapon makes the person vanish from everywhere. Poof. Without a trace. No records.
You have been captured by cannibals. How do you convince them not to eat you? If that fails how do you attempt to get away?
(I only use one cannibal in my entry)
An ancient woman is stoking a fire in her hearth. She comes back to the counter and begins chopping root vegetables. “How much to you think you weigh, sweetie?”
“You aren’t thinking what I think you’re thinking?”
The old woman plunks a heavy iron pot up on the counter. “You look a bit scrawny, that’s okay though.”
“I am, really, you should try that hen I saw out in the side yard. If you un-truss me, I’ll go get it for you. I’ll even lop her head off with that ax.”
“Nah, I am in the mood for the other ‘white meat.’”
“Then I think in the interest of full self-disclosure I am not just scrawny, I am bitter. Really, I am a mean evil, bitter, bitter woman. You don’t want to eat me.”
“Bitter, you say. What kind of bitter?”
“My husband dumped me for a newer model, a real freaking model, blonde, vapid.”
“My boss said I was out of date, he promoted a kid with pimples to be my supervisor.”
“I was out for an afternoon hobble when you offered me tea and cookies. When I came inside you knocked me silly, trussed me up and now it looks like I’m going to be the main entrée at a dinner for one.”
The woman snatched up the knife she’d put down while I was pleading my case. She leaned over me.
“That’s it girlie, I’m cutting you lose.”
“Just go, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
I almost ran back to my apartment. Sure I wasn’t dinner tonight, but now I know I am not even good enough to eat. There should be some comfort in this ending but all I want to do tonight is marinate in a bottle of red wine.
No one would believe the stranger than fiction story behind my quiet spell. Let’s just say that when I am in a persistent vegetative state, a journal will surface.
I am going to put out a call for Writerly Wednesday Submissions and get back into my Fiction Friday Posts. I am even thinking about putting a toe into self-publishing my Spoon River of Houses anthology.
A few people have suggested I try my hand at some Writerly Workshops.
So, Hello World – Sally is in the Building!
If you have been a previous guest at Writerly Wednesday you are welcome to come back. If you have a new book fiction, non-fiction or creative non-fiction that has a buy link, go ahead and shoot me an email. Full Info is here..
We are gathered here, today, to dedicate this garden to the Hirsham Community.”
Papers rustle to the ground.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do this.. I can’t.” Pepper’s hands tremble. She pauses and begins to recite the email she received just before appearing in front of the best gardeners in the community.
The letter won’t leave her mind. She sees the words hanging over the group. Thinking is impossible.
I saw what you did last spring.
You thought no one would ever find you out.”
Pepper can’t stop talking. She is saying the words hanging over the gardener’s bright hats and tries to stop, talking, reading.
“What you didn’t know, was that I’d been there before you. I saw what was hidden at the back of the shed. Back behind the rake and hoe.
At this point it is becoming obvious to everyone there that something is terribly wrong. Some folks are looking around at each other as if to confirm the unfolding event.
“When I first saw it, I thought it was an animal. Dead, but an animal. Brown, tangled. Dried leaves stuck in there.
Then I thought it was an old wig. What it was doing stuffed behind the garden tools, I couldn’t guess. But it wasn’t a wig.
When I nudged it away from the wall, it tumbled to face me with a hideous broken toothed grin.”
Now the crowd has gone completely silent.
“It was the gold rimmed tooth that gave it away.
I always thought the gold made her look old, trashy, even.
But that’s no reason to lop off Doris’s head and sweep it into the corner like that.
A lady in the back row gasps and claps her hands to her chest.
Why didn’t you put it with the rest of her? You know. The dried up body you buried at the edge of the garden? Right there with the potatoes.”
Pepper paused to look at the potato patch, not ready for harvest but growing quite well. A lot of heads followed her gaze.
She continued her recitation.
“How long did it take to dry her up, like that?
Where were you keeping her?
I knew something was up when I saw you bent and sweaty with a wheelbarrow at your side.
I know what you did last spring.
The crowd mumbles. Someone laughs. Mostly they’re gawking in stunned silence.
Pepper excuses herself and darts off toward her car.
Finally Mrs. Sims, the group organizer, steps up to the podium, crunching the dropped pages under her heels.
Today I will talk about Cell Phones and Junk Drawers
I knew something was wrong when the two symbols at the bottom of my cell phone were the only things that lit.
How do we mortals fix our electronics?
We turn them off. Then turn them on again.
When you call a cell phone support tech from someone else’s cell phone they always ask the annoying question.
“Did you try turning it off?”
When you go to the emergency room the nurses aide, nurse and the doctor on call will always ask…
“When was your last bowel movement?”
Sorry, got off subject…
Okay, nothing on my phone was responding to my touch. I did not know how to turn it completely off. So I pried the protective covering off using my thumbnail and a pen.
I couldn’t figure out how to get the back off so I could pull the battery out. I had never seen the phone out of its protective clothing and discovered some thin plastic around the silver edging to pull off.
Then I noticed I was leaving finger prints on the back and obsessed over getting those off. A naked sound control and a naked power button cried out to be pressed. This resulted in more fingerprints.
During my cleaning breakdown I thought of my Kindle. To shut them down I always pressed and held the power button.
YES. It worked. I shut the phone all the way down and restarted it.
Then set to work on the fingerprints, again. While I was cleaning the back I bought something on Google. I think it was a book but I can’t find it, now. Hope it wasn’t a car.
I got everything shined up and put the protective gear back on my phone when a message popped up to remind me it is Fiction Friday.
Drawers tell a lot about a person. You really want to know your neighbor’s mind, just look in the junk drawer.
When you feel stuck with your WIP check out his or her junk drawer. You never know what you might find…
The following is an excerpt of a NaNo Project from November 2008.. The point of NaNoWriMo is to write without editing.. and keep writing. The excerpt below is in its very first seat of my pants draft..
What’s in your Junk Drawer?
Back at the house, Elizabeth chopped up some veggies for a salad and loaded the dishwasher with the morning’s cup and plate. She sat with her salad and tap water wondering what to do next. Then after some thought a junk drawer caught her eye.
Drawers tell a lot about a person. You really want to know your neighbor’s mind, just look in the junk drawer. There were a few junk drawers in the house she had shared with Steve over the last two decades. She started with the kitchen.
Rubberbands and paperclips. Rubberbands have a sort of half life, a point at wich they stop stretching and stop snapping. She pulled the small trash can from beneath the sink and dropped them in. She didn’t really need the paper clips either, when was the last time anyone needed to clip paper? Out they went. A stray butter knife she tossed into the sink. Ink pen, blue, two bic pens, black, out.
You know what, she thought out loud, I’m tossing it all. The pulled the drawer free and tipped the contents into the round file. The little rubber mat stuck fast so she sat the drawer back up on the counter and pried it loose at one corner with a finger nail. She pulled it loose the rest of the way, rolling it as she went. Beneath there was an envelope. An old crusty thing, she poked the rubber mat into the trash and began lifting the dingy paper from the drawer bottom. She was about to toss it out of hand when the return address caught her eye.
Come back next week to see another Fiction Friday Post..
Welcome to Fiction Friday – They Never Saw it Coming
Winter is slow to release its icy grip on spring time. Tulip and Iris bulbs sleep frozen earth. But the Quaking Aspens defy Old Man Winter and sport some understated blooms.
Little by little the grass begins to green. Bunnies play among the fawns and birds try to get to the bird feeders before the squirrels and deer empty them.
Some things you’ll never see coming. It isn’t written in the stars. It will come like a thief in the night.
Afterward all sorts of people, religious groups and network news analysts will lie and say they knew it all along.
The Tulips and Irises will wait. It is going to be difficult for wild things but they will adapt. Human kind? Well… first ‘hearts will go out’ and slogans will pop up and different groups will try to help pick up the pieces and put them back. But soon everyone will begin thinking of themselves.
Some people are survivors. Some are great at coping. Some will lay down and die. It is going to be a difficult time and when they write the history books they’ll agree they never saw it coming.
Using less than 250 words I am giving you a setting, characters and a hint that something is wrong. Please leave comments.
Where are the characters hanging out?
Who are they?
What are they doing?
What is the mood of the scene?
You are welcome leave comments. Let me know where it unravels, where you become lost or what just doesn’t work for you. You may even use your comment space to suggest edits or even re-write the scene.
A Simple Scene
“Has anybody seen Maggie?” Georgia unshouldered her backpack. It slid down her leg and thudded at her feet.
Mark stared dumbly and shrugged an ‘I don’t know’ before turning back to his gadget.
“How ‘bout you, Nate? Linda?” Georgia slid down the wall and came to a sitting crouch next to her pack. “Damn it. What is the first rule?”
“Always leave a note on the board.” Mark said in a tired monotone still working at the jumble of wires with tweezers and a small melting machine that looked like the offspring of a glue gun and soldering iron.
“Why do we always need to leave a note?” Georgia was ramping up to a lecture. She waited for the next response.
The library remained silent.
“Come on Georgia, we aren’t children.” Linda said as she gathered her pack. “I’ll look for her while I’m on watch, but I don’t think she left. At least not for ‘out there.’”
“I think she went up to the Historical room. I don’t know what she does, but it keeps her from going bat shit.” Nate said from the meeting room. “I’ve got some food from the back room of the Café up the street. I suspect we’ll all feel better if we eat something.”
“I’ll go up and check on Maggie if you’ll please go eat something.”
Georgia stood up and retrieved her pack. “Come on Mike, take a break, let’s see what Nate scrounged up for us.”
1a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary:he turned to confront his antagonist’
Your Protagonist is only as well rounded as your Antagonist.
What does your antagonist want? What scares him? Is there something he would never do, even if his life depended on it? What does he dream about? Who does he love? Are his parents living nearby?
Everything you consider when building your main character should be considered when you are fleshing out your bad guy.
If you haven’t done this, open a file for your antagonist and start asking him questions. One very good way to learn about him is to ask him what he thinks is going on. Do this at various points during your first draft. He will surprise you.
Knowing your enemy is key to motivation.
While you are exploring your bad guy go ahead and push him to his limits. Make him do that thing he’d rather die than do.
The notes you make on your antagonist may never see your final draft but I am sure your story will be better for having taken the time to know him.
I let the site choose a random gender, American name, located in the United States.
Brenda W. Brouwer
2726 Chapmans Lane
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Brenda Brouwer has the following information generated with her name and address.
Email Address: BrendaWBrouwer@teleworm.us
This is a real email address. Click here to activate it!
Mother’s Maiden name: Kent
Birthday: September 7, 1951 (62 years old)
Visa: 4539 0701 9976 2571
You should click here to find out if your SSN is online.
Favorite color: Purple
Occupation: Water transportation pilot
Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Altima
UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 290 686 15 2191 987 3
Blood type: O+
Weight: 207.5 pounds (94.3 kilograms)
Height: 5′ 1″ (154 centimeters)
Geo coordinates: 35.147928, -106.553079
QR Code: Click to view the QR code for this identity
I’ve disabled some embedded links. If you were going to do something illegal, there is an option to make the email live for a limited time. I am sure you can imagine your own ideas for using the information generated on this site. I am not recommending anything more serious than fleshing out a character to use in your WIPs.
I also interview characters. I give them homes, favorite rooms, closets filled with good things and skeletons if the story calls for them. I do a timeline of life events. When did her first tooth fall out? Where was she?
Does she have health problems? Is she caught up in someone else’s personality disorder?
What is the last thing this character would do? Sure, I can make her do it. Do I wan’t to? We’ll see when we get there.
Thank you for visiting with me on Fiction Friday. Please, leave a comment.
I’ll see you next week. Don’t touch anything sharp.