Teen Wolf Fanfiction for Throwback Thursday #38

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Photo by Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash.

Yes, I said Teen Wolf fanfiction. I had a phase, more recently that I care to admit, where I binge-watched the show and started a fanfiction about it. I was planning to turn it into a Gothic novel parody, in which each of the characters embodied some sort of Gothic archetype: the madwoman in the attic, the tortured artist, the imprisoned monster, that sort of thing. I never got past the first chapter of the story, which is what I’m presenting here.

***

Dreaming. He was dreaming, trapped in a nightmare. He could almost taste the damp, smell the stale air trapped with him down here, feel the thick cold iron wrapped around each wrist, chaining him in the darkness. He could feel walls closing him in, but couldn’t see them, could only see the thick suffocating dark. Stiles’ voice. The only thing keeping him sane was that voice. So loud, like Stiles was there in the dark with him. Oh god no. They couldn’t have imprisoned Stiles too. They? Who were they? He growled and strained and growled again, almost roaring. His rage kept him sane too.

“Scott…Scott McCall…Scottie…Scott my man…SCOTT, WAKE UP!”

The dream broke and shattered. He stirred in its remnants, like a phoenix rising from ashes. Only he felt a whole lot more like hell than a phoenix. Besides, phoenixes—phoenixi?—didn’t drool in their sleep.

“Stiles?” he groaned, trying to wipe his mouth but failing. His hand had fallen asleep and wasn’t much more than dead weight at the moment. “Do you have to talk so loud?”

“Yes, Sleeping Beauty, because you were thrashing around. Did you kill something? No, don’t tell me, I don’t want to have nightmares myself.” He gathered several books off the floor and dropped them unceremoniously at Scott’s feet.  Scott must have kicked them off in his sleep.

“How long was I out?” he mumbled.

“Oh, only a couple of years,” Stiles replied. Scott glared at him and he sighed heavily. “What’s going on with you anyway? You almost fell asleep in class, you’ve barely talked to me all day, and now this. Tell me.” He balanced one leg on his other knee and leaned forward, arranging his posture to look like a psychologist. “Tell the doctor, Scottie.”

Scott had been dreaming. Dreaming about a monster. And the monster was him. The dream came rushing back, flooding his head with images. He was no longer the only living being in the labyrinth that had been his nightmare. There were other faces now, unfocused, like he was seeing them through a foggy window. One of the faces abruptly came into focus. It was Lydia.

“Stiles…” he began and licked his lips. “I think something is going to happen. Something that involves all of us. And it’s…it’s not going to be like anything we’ve ever been through before.”

Stiles leaned back in his chair. “Well, that’s just peachy. Great way to spend a sunny afternoon, wondering what out-of-this-world thing is going to happen next. Lovely.” He sucked up the last bit of soda from his to-go cup, being careful to make extra noise, and slam-dunked it into the trash can. He sighed again and ran his fingers backward through his hair. A frown creased his face and he cocked his head to the side. “How do you know all this?”

“I dreamed it,” Scott said. “Just now.” He flicked his fingers outward and looked absently at the claws that appeared there. “But it’s not just a dream. It’s going to come true. And soon.”

“How soon?” Stiles asked in a low voice. The room dimmed as clouds obscured the sun that moments ago had been shining. Not ominous at all. Not a bit.

That question. That was the one Scott hadn’t wanted to answer. All he knew was that his dream, the one in which he, Scott, was chained in darkness that smelled of rot, the one in which the sight of Lydia’s face made him freeze up, that was all going to come true.

Scott took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Tell the truth, Scott. Tell him. He should know.

“In two days,” he said.

He relayed the news the next day. Ten minutes between history and chemistry: not the ideal time, but it was good enough. Jostling among Yoda-sized backpacks and sharp corners of plastic binders, the two of them found Kira. She was taking notebooks out of her locker while cradling a soda in the crook of her arm. She looked hot. In a temperature sort of way, of course. Scott glanced around and desperately hoped no one had seen his eyes glow.

“So, Kira,” Stiles said nonchalantly, which just emphasized the fact that he was feeling far from it. “How’s it going?”

“Hi!” She smiled. Oh god that smile. Then the smile disappeared and a frown took its place. “Okay, come on, you’re not even trying to be fake, Stiles. You know that.”
Stiles threw his hands up and let them drop in defeat. “How is she so smart?”

“Kira.” Part of him wondered why were they making it such a big deal. It was just a dream. Of course he had bad dreams. Their lives had basically been a nightmare for the past few months. But it was so real, so horribly real. It was as if Scott had really been there. Wait…he glanced down at his wrists, covered by his slightly-too-long sleeves. He peeled the ends back.

His wrists were red. No, purple. Purple bands wrapped around them like bruises. What the heck. It couldn’t be. No way. His heart rate sped up. Whatever had happened—and he had no idea what—something like that should have healed by now.

“Stiles…” he muttered, turning his back to the crowd. “Look.” He showed the marks.

“What?” That was from Kira. She looked up at Scott, puzzled. For once, he didn’t register her look. The sounds of the crowd around him started to fade, like his ears were being stuffed with cotton.

“Dude,” said Stiles. Then: “Lydia! Get over here!”

Scott’s heart leaped, then seemed to stop beating, leaving him chilly all over. Lydia. Her face in his dream. Her face in his dungeon.

She headed straight for Scott and grabbed his arm. “Did you get it? Did you get my message?”

He swallowed, trying to get his tongue working again. Seriously, he’d been through way crazier things than just being locked in a dungeon. At least he wasn’t being electrocuted. But he couldn’t shake it. “What—what message?”

She sighed and rolled her eyes, but her face was pale. She locked eyes with him, searching him. “The dream. I sent you my dream.”

“Your dream?”

“The one with…well, the one where you—”

“Where I’m chained up in the dark, completely alone except for you? Yeah, I got it.” He glanced around nervously. The halls were emptying. They had to get going. “Listen. Something’s coming. I have no idea what, but this is just the beginning—Lydia?”

Her hands were shaking. She held them to her face, smearing her lipstick and not caring. Her eyes focused on something none of them could see, something far away. “When is a door not a door?”

“Oh my god, not that.” Stiles reeled away from the group, clutching his forehead. “There’s no freakin’ way I’m going to be possessed by an evil spirit again. I mean, ADD is bad enough—”

“When it’s ajar,” said Lydia whispered, ignoring him. She looked around at them then, and her eyes were huge. “We’re all going to lose ourselves.”

 

~H

Flash Fiction: The Ghost Cow

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels. Written for DVerse Poets’ Prosery #7.

Based on a true story.

144 words

A cow is screaming across the arroyo as the four of us lie among the graves. We’re scarved and swaddled against the cold, but my toes are growing numb. I imagine us stacked on top of the other bodies, my feet resting above an ancient businessman’s head, my stretched-out hands meeting the bony fingers of a long-buried grandmother.

That cow doesn’t appreciate the night sky. Irregular mournful bellows interrupt our star-gazing. The sound reminds me of ghosts. Maybe the cow has seen one. Maybe it senses us, lying in a graveyard at 11:45 at night and wonders what on earth we’re doing here. I’m beginning to wonder that too.

The bushes rustle and whisper with near-human voices. Someone trips over me.

“Where did you go? We were looking for you!”

The others have returned from their wandering. They thought the ghost cow was haunting them.

~H

Poem for Weekend Writing Prompt #135: The Writer

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

136 words

I have become a lobotomy patient,

Exposed to the cruel hand that is Writing,

As the clock’s interminable tick-tick-tick

Drills a hole in my skull.

 

I cannot write! I cry aloud to the vacuum-like room

But it doesn’t listen. The blank page screams in my face

As it sucks me down. Devoid of syllables, I am a vulnerable scallop

Ready to be devoured.

 

I might be an oyster, but I do not have a pearl.

What senseless barricade has boarded up the words?

Could the clock drill into it instead? I will drink down the page

So it won’t drink me.

 

One day I will devour the wild sea,

And tame the unfettered Charybdis that is Writing;

I will make the world my oyster, and I will be its pearl,

Carved out of the unsealed skull.

 

~H

Throwback Thursday #18

Reblogging this post today for Fandango’s Friday Flashback! https://fivedotoh.com/2019/12/06/fandangos-friday-flashback-december-6/

EluminoraCreations

Here’s a poem I wrote about five years ago. At the time I had an assignment to write for a class, and had absolutely no inspiration. No inspiration for anything I thought was good, anyway. I penned the following poem in the midst of my frustration that night.

***

The Page’s Epitaph

This paper waits; the moment holds

Its breath for the bright words to come,

But nothing brilliant there unfolds—

The silence still is waiting dumb

For lines to flow forth from the pen.

Words, words! the barren paper screams!

Uninspiration like a fen

Of fog and swampy darkness seems—

I am unloved! bursts forth the gasp

From out the page’s snowy deep.

No words unfurl within my grasp—

My fickle muse seems dead asleep.

And so with utter grief I bear

The sad news of this tragedy:

The blank page died for want of words.

This is its…

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Flash Fiction for Throwback Thursday #37

Photo by Kamil Feczko on Unsplash.

Today’s Throwback Thursday story was written over five years ago and for some reason it came to my mind today. I’m presenting it without any editing, just as I wrote it down the first time.

The room contained only three people, but the machines crowded them together. Artificial light reflected off their white masks. Their silence had continued unbroken for half an hour.

“She’s stable. All intravenous lines are connected and functional. Oxygen level is normal.” The man hunched over the glass containment unit straightened. His back popped audibly. He sighed and swiveled backward in his chair to the metal door at one end of the room. “At last.” He removed his mask, revealing a hard line of a mouth, a chin covered in three days’ worth of stubble.

One of them remained standing at the side of the case, staring down at the girl’s body. The other jerked off her mask as she followed the faintly squeaking chair. Strands of black hair had crept out of her bun down her shoulder. She blew upward to get the bangs out of her eyes. “Can we go now? I’m damn exhausted. And she’s got more than she deserved.” Arms folded tightly, she glanced at the glass case where the girl lay. “We could’ve chosen someone else. She wouldn’t have survived long anyway—”

“Shut up, Cygnet.” The man ran his fingers through his hair. He leaned back, his eyes on the dark ceiling. “It’s done. I’m going. Now.” His chair shot back as he jumped up.

The third figure didn’t move. His gloved thumb traced a small circle on the glass lid.

“Galen?” The older man paused, his lab coat halfway off his shoulder.

Galen’s eyes gleamed faintly as he looked up. He still hadn’t removed his mask. “Sorry. Lost in thought. First time I’ve done something like that.” His faint shadow moved over the wall as he moved.

“Bit alarming, yes, the first time.” The man had his back to him. “You’ll get used to it.”

“Come on, Virgo.” Cygnet’s whine had a hoarse edge. “We still have to report—”

“Shut up, I said.” His fingers flew over the key pad; a second later the door disappeared into the wall. Red lights illuminated the corridor outside. “Half a minute and you’ll be caught,” he said to Galen. Coatless, they walked out and were enveloped immediately in darkness. The young man followed their retreating backs with the corner of his eye. He had thirty seconds before the room would sense an intruder.

In the unit the girl’s face looked grey. Intravenous oxygen meant she didn’t need to breathe normally, that her body was utterly still. Dead people looked like that. He drew close to the class, close as he dared. His palm hovered over its surface, not touching it. Two years since he had looked at her this closely, and she didn’t even know. He might have been examining the face of a stranger, for all that he remembered the details of her eyes, the way they slanted slightly, the dimple in her left cheek.

“What made you do it, Alis? Why did you run?” He spoke so close to the glass that it fogged, blurring his view.

The room began to hum. He made it out just as his thirty seconds were up. Halfway down the corridor he came to his senses. His mask, now useless, scratched his face. He tore it off and it floated ghostly-white to the floor. Her crime hadn’t been disclosed to him. It had to be something major to land her in the wing of the prison, the wing they chose their subjects from. Perhaps they thought she’d last longer than the others, when they eventually revived her. His head pounded with speculation. All that for someone he hardly knew anymore, someone whom he’d closed over. She was dead to him.

Before you go: should I continue doing Throwback Thursday posts? Do you enjoy reading what I’ve written in the past? 

 

~H

Flash Fiction for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #55: The Dryad’s Wound

150 words

Soaked with rain, I investigated the dryad’s wound. I had managed to alleviate her pain—a woodland melody played on a simple flute—but her bark had been lacerated. I needed to heal her. I didn’t know how.

“Hold on,” I whispered, gritting my teeth against the cold. My fingers were growing numb. But I had no time to think. The dryad’s body was growing transparent. Her color had diminished to a faint green tinge. Though I had healed other creatures before, I felt powerless.

Her lips moved. “Please…help me.”

“I’m trying!” I felt as if the rain was soaking through my skin.

“Human,” she whispered. The last of her color vanished. “Make me human.”

Make me human. I kissed her. Her hand crumbled as I held it.

Then a woman stood before me, clad in a green gown, hair studded with leaves. Her skin was whole. She was alive.

 
~H

Writing Updates!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

I could write more flash fiction today, but I thought I would share a few writing updates that have had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

1) In the past two weeks, I have submitted a set of poems and a short story to different magazines. My goal for November, in lieu of NaNoWriMo, was to focus on researching publication venues and submitting to them. I had one rejection, but I turned right around and submitted that story somewhere else. Opinions on writing are, after all, largely subjective, and one person’s rejection shouldn’t stop me.

2) Out of the blue at work the other day, I found a potential solution to a story-related problem with which I’ve been grappling for months. Context: as I’ve mentioned on my blog before, I finished the first draft of a book four years ago and never returned to it, except to marvel at how awful it is. That said, the characters and their stories are still locked away in my head, and I regularly think about that first draft and what I could do to improve the story. Well, that day at work, I think I found the answer. It involves combining two of the original characters to create a new, more dynamic and more compelling one. Combining these characters would also change the plot dramatically for the better. I have to admit, though, that I’m scared to work on this project again. I’m scared because I’m not sure I can write the story the way it is in my head. It’s been shut away for so long, I don’t know if it could handle being exposed to the world.

3) Writing gets easier the more you do it. So does submitting your work for publication. I know this is obvious, but writing regularly has made such a difference in how I approach writing. Each time I sit down and write, even if it’s less than 100 words (like this bit I produced the other day), I grow in my ability to write, to generate ideas, to come up with a story in the spur of the moment…the list goes on. And I’ve grown this much just through writing flash fiction. The practice of writing flash fiction is immensely helpful in learning to write concisely and edit concisely. You only have so many words in which to convey your scene, so the words must matter.

Anyway, those are my writing updates. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more stories from my weird menagerie of a brain.

~H