Another poem. The assignment was to write a ten line, ten syllable poem. I broke the patter at the end. Our teacher was all about that sort of thing.
After the Car Crash
She sat in a rocking chair, my mother
with a bloody face. She rocked. And I hid
behind the skirt of my aunt, just a child,
too small to know that my fear hurt her so.
I whimpered as I first beheld the cast,
those blood red eyes, capillaries busted.
Beside me, my family, putting on
a show of being unaffected by the blood and bandages.
I’d never screamed at the sight of her before.
I'm not a poetry person. Well. What I mean to say is that I'm not a poet. I love reading poetry. Writing it is another matter altogether. It was funny to find that my poems were some of the longest submitted for Creative Writing. Not that that means much. None of my poems were longer than two pages.
This was the second poetry assignment I handed in. It's been revised a little but still needs a lot of work.
Friday, Before a Three Day Weekend
It takes three attempts to wake you
not including the time your eyelids flutter in response to the shrill claxon of your alarm clock.
By the time you’ve brushed your teeth,
pulled a comb through your wiry hair
slipped on the shirt, stockings, skirt,
(Roll it twice. You’re not a prude, but you aren’t a whore, either.)
and hush puppies,
your ride has abandoned you.
They don’t allow food in homeroom.
No bagels, no cereal, no coffee.
miserable old women who punish far more than they preach
and just need to loosen up.
Or get laid.
You put your head down on a desk,
signal to everyone that you don’t want to talk
and you wait for the day to begin as visions of being somewhere else – anywhere else – dance through your head.
After an Our Father, mumbled and lacking enthusiasm,
The Nun glares at you for refusing to participate in The Pledge.
There'll be hellfire to pay after the morning report. A good scolding,
the same old tired speech you've heard at least twenty times before.
You roll your eyes in response to her look
and smirk at a friend when the Nun turns around.
You are herded through your classes.
(Best part of the day.)
By the end of it all, you are exhausted.
And what have you learned?
How to sleep with eyes open.
How to pretend you know what the fuck Mrs. Whatshername is talking about.
The proper enthusiasm you need to make a teacher think you care
or have read the assignments
or have done the homework.
You can think of at least fifty different ways you’d rather spend your time.
At least twenty-five of those would be more productive than this.
And when that last bell rings, sweet release,
you fly out of the classroom,
down three flights of stairs,
through long hallways,
(Weave your way through the crowd, but don’t bump those bitches who like to start shit.)
into the locker room
where you toss your books into the locker,
grab your jacket,
and get the fuck out of there.
And when you’ve made it past the sea of plaid and are walking home
for the first time all day
This was the first assignment I handed in for Creative Writing this term (Fall 07). There were no real restrictions, save that we had to make it at least 7 pages in length. It's still very rough. I wrote it in one night and didn't proof it much.
The class received it well enough and I like it well enough. Probably won't ever touch it again.( In TransitCollapse )
Natasha came from an Role Playing Game I joined early summer. It's fizzled out by now, but I still like the character and her family enough to keep them. I'll be uploading some of her posts to this journal. Just to have them kept in one place.
Natasha is a werewolf. She lives in a world where humans are enslaved by immortals. She's unhappy with where she is. And she cannot remember her family. Her earliest memories are of being alone in dumpsters and drinking out of dirty puddles.
There'll be a few more of her entries coming up before I move onto her other family members.
It was surprising just how quickly the bar could empty out. It took hours for the place to fill to capacity, but less than thirty minutes for it to become desolate, empty, forgotten. Leo remained, sitting behind the bar with his eyes down, locked onto the pages of an old novel Nat had nicked for him from the library. The fat cat was a fan of romance novels, the cheap ones, with busty women and muscular men on the covers. On the day Natasha found this out, she couldn’t help but laugh.
“Figures,” she said quietly as she watched his cat eyes scan the pages, “Big, proud man-cat like yourself getting off on ancient human texts about sex and sentimentality.”
“Shh!” Leo waved her away, “I’m getting to the good part.”
Natasha sighed, shook her head, and hopped off of her chair. It was her job to clean up after the customers had left for the night, but she just didn’t feel up to it. There was something about the grayness in the air that filtered in through the dirty windows. Something about the sound of falling rain against the roof. Tonight wasn’t a night for working.
Instinct taking over, Nat walked quickly towards the front door and locked it tightly. This would prove to keep away any stray stragglers looking for a buzz in the early morning hours. Nat wasn’t in the mood to have to act as a bouncer and keep the dangerous wandering drunks from entering Leo’s place.
She wandered around the small room, then, weaving between chairs and tables, kicking at a dirty napkin on the floor. She hated the mess people left behind. Natasha continued in this fashion for a few long moments, fiddling with her hair as she went and messing with her clothing. And then, before she even knew what she was doing, she was sitting in front of the piano. It was an ancient thing, often dusty, often overlooked by the customers. It was rare to find someone who could play it well in the ghetto; usually it was touched by silly drunks or creative drunks or maudlin drunks who longed for a sad, melancholy tune to fill the air.
Natasha looked down at the old keys for a moment, noticing how some were chipped and how all looked weathered. She slid the chair up closer and hesitated for a second, holding her hands above the keys. And then she began to play.
It started slowly. The music was some long forgotten tune, a melody that registered somewhere in the back Nat’s mind. The fingers stretched and the tune grew into a song. It was a thoughtful song, a heavy song, and its notes hung in the air. Natasha closed her eyes. She’d learned to play long ago on this same piano, on nights just like these. She had learned on her own and she had certain songs memorized. This one, though, was different. This one seemed to rise out of Natasha like a long forgotten memory.
“You’re getting really good at that one,” Leo whispered softly, his eyes still on the novel.
Natasha let her fingers wander across the keys, let the song play itself. And once she was done, she rose silently, moved the chairs in the bar around until they seemed neat enough, and retrieved her jacket from a hook.
“It’s raining out there, kid. Where you going?”
“Don’t know.” Nat puts on her jean jacket and flips the hood of her sweatshirt up so that it’s covering her head. “Feel like taking a walk.”
“Well,” Leo looked up and shot her an annoyed look, “Make sure you get back and get a good sleep tonight. You haven’t rested in a while. And tonight is not a good night to sleep outside.”
Nat rolled her eyes, “Thanks, mom, I’ll keep that in mind.”
“You know you love me,” Nat grinned at her feline friend and promptly walked out the door, letting it shut heavily behind her.
It wasn’t that Nat didn’t care for Leo. Out of all the people she knew, Leo was one of the good ones. He had given her more help than anyone else she knew. He offered her work whenever he could, he often kept a room open for her above the bar, and he always lent her an ear. If Natasha loved anyone in the world, it was probably Leo.
But there was something about Natasha, something ingrained deep into her, that forced her out on rainy nights and that made her be a constant smartass to even her closest friends. Nights like these made the bar seem too small, too confining. Nat longed on nights like these to be out, to smell the air and feel the rain. It was nights like these that reminded her just how alone she was in the world. She loved the grey, rainy nights. She hated them, too.
It was a light rain that fell in the darkness of the short hours before sunrise. The streets were mostly empty. It was dangerous for a young girl to be out on her own in the city. But Nat didn’t really care. There was a recklessness to her, it came with having no one. She was free to walk, free to fight, free to steal, free to do whatever she wished. But the solitude chained her, too.
A cold wind blew suddenly and Natasha pulled her jacket tight around her thin body. She shook her head in an attempt to shake away the raindrops and heavy thoughts. A smile was on her face by the time she finished. Her thoughts were changing; she focused on the sound of the rain and the lovely feeling of being out in the night air. She’d go back to Leo’s. Eventually.
Before then, she’d stalk the night and let the rain have its way with her. The smile remained on her face. And her eyes focused on the path ahead. But there was a soft piano tune still playing somewhere in the back of her head. No matter what she did, she couldn’t shake that away.
Fandom: Astonishing X-Men
Word Count: 860
Note 1: Warning! Spoilers for Astonishing X-Men up to issue number 13.
Note 2: The dialog is taken straight from the comic. Because I couldn't improve on Whedon.
Part 1: A Memory
They'd met in secret on a glorious sort of day. One of them was a liar. The other, a ghost. But that didn't mean they couldn't enjoy the strong wind that blew through the trees and the lovely yellow-orange shade of the sky. The sun was setting and would soon give way to night. If Emma ignored the giant Sentinel that overshadowed their meeting spot, she would have thought it a nice place to walk and think and get away from the world.
"Why me?" Emma Frost repeated the question because Cassandra Nova hadn't answered right away. The wind was blowing Emma's bleached blond hair about. She didn't bother to raise a hand and mess with it. Her attention was rather set on the madwoman who sat in front of her.
Cassandra smiled. It was a smug sort of smile. Cassandra had all the confidence in the world. It was fairly disgusting. "Because you're a predator, Miss Frost." Emma wanted to wipe the smile off of the old woman's face. But she didn't. Cassandra was right.
"Because," Cassandra seemed to be having fun with this. She was clearly amused by this whole thing. "At the end of the day, you will do what's best for you." Cassandra went on, explained what was to be done. Emma only half paid attention to the words. The difficult thing about having conversations with psychics was that there was always more than one conversation going on. Cassandra was having a grand time speaking out loud and sharing her plans with Emma. In her mind, Emma could feel Cassandra's mental voice. It was practically squealing in delight.
"I own you," it said. "And there's nothing you can do about it."
Part 2: Ballad of Fallen Angels
The long night had finally come. Sunset had given in to darkness. The trap was set and there was only one thing left to be done. Emma was a predator, after all. It was time to hunt.
There was an unusual heaviness in her steps, a reluctance. Emma was only very rarely hesitant. But knowing what she was about to do- to the only man she'd ever really loved no less- made her pause. Emma felt guilty. And dirty. And useless. She was being played by a group of people she didn't care for at all. She was about to betray the X-Men. Her X-Men. She wasn't even sure why she was doing it.
She sighed, her hand on the doorknob. For a moment, Emma closed her eyes and imagined herself somewhere else. She imagined herself a good person, an honest person. She imagined herself beside Scott. She imagined being wanted (truly wanted) and loved. A Headmistress that both students and teachers looked up to and revered.
Emma scowled because she'd never be that woman and she'd never live in that world. She would always be a liar, always a whore. She'd never be good enough. After tonight, she'd deserve every awful thing that had ever or would ever be thrown her way. She didn't want to admit it, but she ached.
The voice was soft, sexless, and full of a deep sort of knowledge that the other members of the Hellfire club lacked. There was none of Cassandra's or Shaw's arrogance in the tone. No airiness of Warhead. The voice belonged to Perfection, Emma knew. For a moment, she didn't turn to the cloaked figure. She simply stared at the door, hurt in her eyes. Once she buried her own emotion, she turned. Slightly. She didn't respond.
"The others don't, of course." Perfection didn't move. Not even his cloak swayed. He looked like a statue. "Not even Cassandra," there was a slight change in pitch. Clearly Perfection didn't exactly care for Ms. Nova, "the great psychic, truly understands what's going on with you and Summers." There was a pause. Emma hung by the door, her eyes averted to the carpet for a second. She knew what was coming.
"You really love him."
Emma smiled then; it was a soft, sarcastic thing. Her blue eyes searched without Perfection's cloak. Met nothing but darkness. The smile faded. Her eyes lost focus a bit. She opened her mouth. The words came out strong:
"With all my predator's heart."
The two of them stood there for a few silent seconds. Perfection was irritatingly silent. Emma was still. With guilt. Or remorse.
And then she turned. And she grasped the doorknob once more. She didn't have to look over her shoulder to know that Perfection was gone.
Emma turned the knob and took a deep breath. There would be a long night ahead for her. There was work to be done. There was a mind to be broken. She opened the door. Took one step inside the room and saw his shoulders tense through his sweater. Emma wondered how she could love him so much. If there was anyone in the world who didn't fit with her, it was Scott Summers.
"Darling?" Her voice was soft. If he had turned, he would have seen the storm in her blue eyes. "I wish you'd come to bed..."
One of the best parts about summer is that I have enough free time to write. So this is, gods willing, the first of many updates. I wrote this during finals week, posted it up for Heather (she requested it). Fixed it a bit before posting it here.
Word Count: Approx 770
Note 1: Written for Heather. Done in about 30 minutes before class. Edited up recently in 15.
When James dreams, he is assaulted by the sounds and smells and sensations of childhood. He can hear his mother’s voice in the kitchen, singing an old country tune about a two-timing man with devilish blue eyes softly to herself. He can smell the sweetness of something baking in the oven; it is probably another apple pie, his mother loves making those. He can feel the soft breeze caress his chubby cheeks as he plays with his favorite old toy, a green-grey dinosaur that is missing a leg and has an arm that’s only hanging on by a few plastic strings. James’ mother always tells him that they need to buy a new one but James refuses to give up on the sorry looking thing (which he calls Abe when he is alone in his room surrounded by his toys).
There is a voice somewhere, deep in the back of Sawyer’s head around this point in the dream. It is small and it is sad and he can barely hear it; it tells him only one thing and it repeats itself over and over. “Only a dream,” it says, wistfully. It reminds him that he is no longer a boy, that the child’s hands that hold the dinosaur are no longer his. Little James is dead. The man, Sawyer, remains.
And it happens then, just like it always does. There’s a shout and a bang. The pie in the oven is burning suddenly and the scent of the scorched pastry hangs heavy in the air. His mother runs in, her cheeks red and her eyes wide. She says one word, “Hide,” and James obeys. It is a little boy that releases the old plastic dinosaur, but it is a grown man who hides under the bed, trembling like a leaf in a storm. Daddy is coming, Sawyer thinks to himself and his stomach is filled with that familiar heavy dread. He can do nothing in this dream. The voice reminds him of this.
There are two gunshots, one after the other. And then nothing. Sawyer knows they’re dead without having to check, and a part of him wants to get up and get help anyway. But he’s trembling so badly and the fear’s taken such a hold of him that he cannot move. He can only stare as the red pools before him and the scent of burning pie is replaced by that of death and of blood and of an innocence forever lost. And the poor soul under the bed, not quite James but not quite Sawyer, sits transfixed and frightened. Unable to cry, unable to speak. There is only silent horror and the knowledge that even though years will pass, the memories will always be enough to reduce him to a shivering, useless thing.
Sawyer’s eyes snap open then and for a moment, all he can do is breathe and stare up at the beautiful blue sky. The sound of oceans waves and wind blowing through the trees is all that he hears, but it does not calm him. Sawyer wills the dread away and tells himself that he’s sweaty because of the weather and nothing more. In the back of his head, he reminds himself to stop napping in the middle of the day. And then he hears her.
Instantly, a smile brightens his face. It does not quite reach his eyes, though. The fear is still there and it takes him all of his control to push the ugly thoughts aside. “Looking for something, Freckles?” He cannot see her completely; the sun is so bright that he can only make out her silhouette against the baby blue sky.
“Have you seen Jack?” There’s something in her voice, but he does not catch it right away. Heavy with the weight of his dreams, he is not as sharp as he normally is.
Sawyer rolls his eyes, “Y’know, it does something to a man’s ego when a pretty woman like you always comes here looking for someone else.” When Kate fails to come up with a sarcastic remark, Sawyer knows something is off. “What is it?”
“The hatch…” Kate’s eyes are wide. “There was shooting. We need Jack. Now.”
“Who?” Sawyer is sitting up, suddenly alarmed.
“Libby. And Ana Lucia.” She looks down for a moment, unable to finish the thought.
Sawyer rises to his feet. “I saw Jack go down that way earlier,” he points Kate in the right direction as he begins for the hatch. There’s that familiar feeling of dread growing in his stomach and the echo of two shots rings in his ears.
I do not want to give anyone the impression that I've given up on this journal because I have not posted anything new here in a while. I've been behind on a lot of fiction I've intended to write, actually. And that makes me sad. So I'm updating right now. But I'm really not in the mood for fiction tonight. So, something else...
-Check out my user info
and tell me what you think of my little intro graphic. I'm curious.
-Just wanted to let everyone know (because I can) that I entered the latest challenge at iron_author
. I will post up the stories I wrote when the winners have been decided. (And in case anyone is wondering, I'm competing against three others. And I don't think I'm going to win. But there's always next time.) More on that when things are decided.
-Question: Anyone know of some good writing or fic communities? I'd like to join more. Jeri, I know you have some up your sleeve.
Right. On to bigger and better things...( The Question:Collapse )
Have a goodnight, everybody!
Also, just want to say: Thank you LJ gods for creating the auto save feature. I'd be really angry right now if not for it.