Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Posts tagged ‘Romance’

Free writing + Too much Zombie fic = Da hell?

Be still my heart.

I always thought the apocalypse would start with a bang. Brought on by some trigger-happy politician too long mired in a corrupt office to see the world as it could be.  The signs were all there; our historical decent into madness. The world wars, the horrors of the atom bomb; the desire for bigger, better weapons of mass destruction that hinted humankind had learn nothing. Then there’s recent war against ‘terror’ that seemed to fight terror with terror… But my point evades me. Let’s just say, if the planet turned to a thermonuclear wasteland over night I would not be the least bit surprised.  Instead we have… drum roll please… Zombies. Rambling hordes of the undead with an insatiable desire for flesh. A geeks paradise. And my, Susan McCloud, that’s me, personal hell.

So, there we have it, it’s hell on earth. And what am I doing at this very moment? Helping the panicked gits whom brought this doom upon us by being a lab-rat for the ‘cure’. Admirable, right? I wish. Truth is I’m because I have to be.  Found a lump on my breast half a year back, and well you can guess from there.  By the time I had started chemo it was already wrecking my organs. So what’s a girl to do when she’s dying and desperate? Sign up for medical experimentation, apparently.  Ended up on the ‘Fountain’ project with the aforementioned gits too busy playing god to recognise potential disaster staring them in the face.  How were they playing god? Haha… The fountain As in the Fountain of Youth. I know, right? Trying to cure death… Experiments which my wrecked body was perfect for. If it worked, it showed the value of such a product, and if it failed… Well, I wouldn’t be a liability for very long.

Of course, it all went horribly wrong.  There was an accident with one of the early serums.  It had been injected into a chimpanzee, Z, whom promptly became a rabid terror. Didn’t die though, oddly enough.  Something in the small margin of DNA difference protected the shit-flinging bastard from the biggest side effect of the scrapped drug.  Then Some radical animal rights activist, with delusions of grandeur, broke in with the intent of sabotaging the project in a publicly humiliating fashion by releasing all test subjects into the streets. Insert some Z face-munching and a impromptu escape into the night and you have the idea.  Authorities had Z and the others test subjects rounded up by the following day; but by that point the damage was done.  The real panic started when the activist’s shambling corpse was found in an abandoned warehouse downtown. It hit the news like a flash bang and then the arse-covering began… as did the human trials for a cure.  Bringing us full circle to me, egomaniac extraordinaire, the crash-test dummy.

I was not eager, to put it mildly.  There I was, hooked up to medical equipment getting the run down on procedures from the one man on the premises I could remotely stand by that point, (infecting the local population did nothing for my level of trust in their competency) trying not to ponder the irony of trading one horrible death for another.  Matt must have caught on to it too, because his final words were, “Don’t worry, I’ll look after you.” Said with that care-free smile too. Sweet, adorable, nerdy liar. We both knew he was mucking about in uncharted waters, but I swallowed my inner cynic.  Matt had been a great source of support during my time with the project; I would allow him some trust.  Putting on an air of false perkiness, I replied “How could I be worried when I’m in such capable hands,” then swung my legs in the sterile, medical bed. I proceeded to make myself comfortable, (because I was going to die comfy, god damn it), only to be startled by his warm hand on my shoulder.  My gaze met his, and I’d like to say it was electric but Matt’s smile was only there for professional necessity.  Those beautiful green eye spoke volumes of gratitude and… regret? Sorrow?  With my face straining under the first genuine smile I had managed since the C-word, I said, “I’m a tough cookie. Besides how could I have been go could I put anything but smile on such a handsome face.” Smooth, real smooth. Flirting on my death bed.  One thing about the shadow of death, it removes your inhibitions and at least I was flirting and not downing, snorting or injecting illicit substances; well medical ‘miracle’ serums excluded.  Of course, my ill-timed flirting failed.  It was in his eyes.  Whatever else he was feeling had only been reinforced by my words.  I swiftly placed my hand over his, filled with sudden determination to live in spite of everything.  Matt was always good at reading my posture, I noted a spark of hope in his expression as a response.  Then, because death waits for no one we were interrupted by one his colleagues via the intercom.  “If you’re just about done, perhaps we could be getting this procedure under way.”  I rolled my eyes at the reproach in the feminine voice. God, of all people to oversee this, they had to pick her. In better times I would have called her my rival but with the differences in out position she more like a callous boss whom is intent on quashing me like a bug.  Today she might well succeed.  Matt removed his hand to activate his mic.  “Hold your horses, Louise, must I remind on the particulars on human dignity that we must maintain?” Ah-ha, there’s another reason I liked him. Matt put the humane in human experimentation. Strict moral compass, god-complex aside. Louise’s response was venomous, “I’m fairly certain the codes of conduct outline the difference between humane treatment of subjects and unprofessional relationships.” I repressed a snicker, I knew the shrew was just jealous, but the slightly embarrassed look on Matt face was priceless. And interesting. And worrying. All at the same time. Had I had more of an affect with my mostly harmless flirting then I realised? If so, this was a bugger of a time to find out. The expression was gone before I could ponder it. “I’m starting now. Start quantine lockdown on this room. Set to my access code,” Matt stated in an eerily cold tone.  I’d never seen him look so… hard.  The intercom crackled, the pause ominous.  “… Are you certain? If something goes wrong only you will be able to get in or out.”  I froze, as the awareness of the danger Matt was putting himself in hit me.  Before I could protest Matt commanded, “Do it.  If something goes wrong follow quarantine procedures. I recommend the same for other subjects. This thing is too dangerous to allow to spread any further.”

“… Understood. I relay that to other personnel.  But… No… Never mind, I’ll be here to run any tests you need.” Matt swirled back towards me, face unrecognizable under to grim mask of professionalism. This was a side of him I never liked; that part of him that made him exactly like git-clones he worked with; but, hey, it takes bees to make honey.  I refused to let my resolve waiver as he prepared his syringes. Kill or cure. 50/50. At least that’s what I told myself.  Pro: might live. Con: spend after life brain-munching. Pro: saviour of the know world. Con: death, deathy, death, death. Trepidation’s a bitch, but hey I have nothing to loose; I’m dying anyway.  “Susan, are you ready?” Matt asked, depositing his payload on the steel table next to the bed and leaned in to meet my gaze.  I resisted the urge to jump up right there, it would dishonest to ignore the fear coiling in my belly. I tilted my head, smart-arse, knee-jerk reaction ready, “Sure, darlin’, just don’t mistake the poison for the placebo. I’d hate to get all melodramatic for no reason.” My smirk threatened to injure my cheek muscles.  Then I noticed how watery Matt’s eye appeared. Crap.  You idiot, Susan.  Matt, you bigger idiot, you should have passed my case too someone else if it affected you this much.  Instinctively my hand found it’s way to his cheek.  “Matt… are you sure you want to be here?” Matt gently removed my hand, aware as I was of the cameras, and gave it a quick squeeze before releasing it. I pulled it back almost defensively, though god knows who I was defending. Him? My own pride? I was never good with displaying emotion and as necessary as his actions were, the slight rejection hurt.  Not that I’d let that show. The smirk was back, bigger then ever.  Matt looked away, slouching ever so slightly. “… No one should go through this alone… And I…. … Let’s begin. We covered the drug earlier, but first things first I’m going to give you a sedative, okay?”

“Hmmmmm, a sedative, I think I can li… deal with that.” I replied as he lined up the syringe with the drip connection and pushed the plunger.  I felt his hand on mine, “Really… Matt you are too kind for this… line of… work…” There was the brief sensation of pressure on my lips. What a nice last thought….

 

Author Notes: Sooo one hand I’m really pleased with how this turned out given it started as a free writing exercise.  But I have too say: What the hell is this?!  It starts out as a zombie fic, easily explained by the time I spend on the zombie genre, but then… Romance?  What in the world brought that on?  Is it a compatible mix?

Playing hard to get

ski

Quick edit: This is my 100 post apparently! Woo!

Today photo and prompt has been borrowed from Adrian Lilly.  By chance I had been re-reading an older short story (Bring me a souvenir) of mine with plans to rewrite it, as a result I had a vivid image of my female lead’s reaction.  I just had to write it.  It had to be done.

Your main character is asked to go skiing by a new love interest. S/he doesn’t want to admit s/he’s never been skiing. What does s/he do?

Playing hard to get.

I realized my mistake as soon as the words left my mouth. Of all people to tell why on earth did I tell Cameron. It was my first week off since my return from England and, like a fool, I let him know. The biggest miscalculation? Giving him two weeks notice. If I were going to let my tongue slip, it should have been one my first day off. Then I wouldn’t be in this pickle now.

Most men would ask their girlfriends if they wanted to go on a ski trip first. Not Cameron, no. He just rolls up, drags me into the car and springs a surprise ski holiday on me. Not only did I not have time to pack, I had to beg Mum, as Cameron careened down the highway, to care for my animals for a week on short notice, and cancel reservations I made at a spa. Now I’m up to my ears in nagging about irresponsible travel – like I didn’t get an earful of That when I returned from my short pilgrimage. And to think she actually likes Cameron. As for Uncle Tom, he was totally going to get his ears boxed later. He was supposed to be keeping Cameron nicely contained way, way down in Sydney. What the hell is he up too, letting one of his managers fly the coop for week at the drop of a hat? Cameron, of course, was too absorbed in enjoying flying down highways to notice my grumbling and three hours in I gave up resisting and took a turn at the wheel.

I hadn’t been to the Blue Mountains before, so I can’t say I hated the idea. I also never actually got to see snow while I was in England so that was worth putting up with Cameron’s self-absorbed demands for a bit. When I finally saw the ski lodge, I was reminded that Cameron actually had reasonable taste. The facilities were modern, warm and comfortable. The scenery had been worth the 14 hours of driving and, well, Cameron’s hilarious reaction to the caravan park more then made up for my abduction. He was still not good at living the poor life. I vowed to take him camping one day; but first I had to perfect my filming technique so I could immortalize the chaos. However, I had to get through this ski trip first.

Cameron has always been surprisingly detailed orientated. I was mildly annoyed that he had brought clothes for me; they were to his taste not mine. However, I still don’t whether to be impressed or irritated that he had managed to outfit me with a complete compliment of cold weather clothing and ski gear with out checking my sizes. Afterwards I suspected Mum of helping him out; yet another reason to be irritated over her lecture on the drive over. But if that were the case, then Uncle Tom was in on it too. I did not want to touch that thought with a 10 foot pole. By the time Cameron had finished unpacking we had everything we need for the week, and them some. It was almost a shame, really, that he had missed one important detail: I’d never skied before in my life. He never asked, and I didn’t tell him.

This bring me to my current predicament, freezing my rear off at the top of a ski run. The idiot that I am, I still hadn’t told him. Cameron had actually been trying really hard to make this a romantic trip; if I so much as saw wine again I would puke. Cameron’s conceptions of a ‘normal’ holiday activity was also hopelessly skewed. I had tried to broach the subject the night before, but all that earnt me was 101 tales of his various schoolmates’ escapes and sinking feeling that I could never fit into his circle. A second attempt brought the realisation that to Cameron the notion of someone not learning to ski was alien, so I gave up. Now, here I am, stood on top of a steep looking ski run that Cameron joked was meant for beginners. There was a ski instructor behind us giving pointers so it may not have been the sarcasm I took his words for. I stared down the slope, the very idea of sweeping down that slide made icicles form in my underwear. And there Cameron was asking me what was wrong? Seriously? Isn’t obvious from the look of pure terror on my face?? This is where I snapped. Cameron received the full brunt of my shoulder as I pushed him down the slope, shouting after him “I can’t ski, you bastard.” He, however, was clearly an expert as he managed to right himself from the dangerous spin downwards into a graceful curve around the run. I gritted my teeth in annoyance, spun around and stomped with great difficulty to the instructor; who had been watching the whole incident with a raised eyebrow. I didn’t even have to explain, he simply started with the basics and by the time a forlorn-looking Cameron made his way back up via the ski lifts, I was shooting down on my own.

Family

dining-room

And here we have part 3. Part 1 can be found here and part 2 can be found here.  The photo prompt for this one is borrowed from Friday Fictioneers. To give myself and extra challenge I also borrow a prompt (quote below) from Writerish Ramblings.

I like these weird POV prompts so…Write a scene in the point of view of a piece of paper that a love note is being written on. Or POV of the pen.

The abuse had to stop. His tip was cracking. It begun with a ‘slave'(?) she was ‘caring'(?) for. Then panicky passages, crippling his ink flow, about an ‘alter-ego'(?). Now she was just getting… Soppy! Whole passages in elaborate detail about a dining hall that her mother(?) had left laid for a celebration before the family met their (well-deserved) demise. The ‘slave’ cleared it of dust one day. She told (is this her idea of freedom?) him to clear all but two. Oh god! Don’t write that! ‘It seems I’ve been waiting for him.’ That’s enough! Promptly the pen rolled into a bin.

The blackout – Friday fictioneers

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Writing challengers, I’m Baack! (Okay, little hyper right now, please forgive me.) It’s a while since my last attempt at a challenge so I thought I would start off with Friday Fictioneers, a personal favourite, courtesy of Rochelle. The photo prompt provided is copyright to Jean Hays, for reference, and the word limit is 100 words. Perfect practise for concise, targeted writing. Actually wish I had started these challenges before my degree; would have helped so much with the assignments. Okay tangent over, on with the post: The Blackout.

Illinois, USA. Stacey stared at the sign. “What. The. Hell?”
Stacey paced, wide berth given despite the noon crush.
“Pockets… …!” Passport… Flight ticket?! Stacey held the last item up. “The hell?”
…I should check my phone!
No carrier… Ah! Latest text! Mum: Pull the other one, it has bells on! Eloping?!

… …
! I eloped?!
She strained to remember the day before. “So. Much. Alcohol.” Stacey shuddered.
“Stace, you okay?” Stacey iced up as a hand landed on her shoulder. She spun around to see… Her younger brother’s best friend, Ryan. “Well, at least I nabbed someone cute,” she remarked numbly. Nice; he should blush more often.

As you can probably tell I was experimenting with punctuation use here. It was fun.

The lion and wolf.

This one got re-written so many times. But I feel it was worth the effort. I’m actually kind of proud of this one now. Ironically, the inspiration for this was from a rather sad dream I had. Seriously, almost woke up in tears!

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Lion and wolf

Tip of an iceberg
Feelings unknown.
The lion roams far from home.

Lion, he spoilt the kit,
Left the fridge neat and labeled,
But forgot the food on the table.

The wolf howled,
Feelings flung to the moon,
For her, a bitter farewell.

Though the parting was long pass;
The lion roamed in the grass
And the wolf followed the moon,
Both believing their meeting inopportune.

The wolf watched an iceberg drift
lion’s feelings buried deep with in.
That which she would never know,
only descendants could ever show.

No longer bound
By love and label
The wolf left the kitchen table.

The kit, now a cub,
Grew wild and free,
Lion but a distant memory.

Ill-fated meeting
As planets aligned
Too different in nature
For paths to remained entwined.

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Butterfly Dreams: Visdare

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Today’s project is a poem just to make a change.  The photo prompt simply did not inspire a story.  The Visdare challenge can be found here.
Butterfly dreams.
Splash of paint upon canvas.
Imperfection. Start again.
Beauty of the model transcendent;
ethereal, surreal now reaffirmedly real.
Aphrodite. Venus.
The elusive muse.
Beckoning with her beauty.
Charming in her form.
In her cage, so inviting,
With hope she is confiding,
Despairing not in her devotion
To the love that gave her life.
Timeless, she waits
Ageless in her patience
Waiting for the dreamer.
Essence of purest love.

End.

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I’ve written this piece as part of Visdare 48.  Original photo source here.

The pair huddled together in the ruined remains of a once beautiful house. Evidence of the disaster that had rocked world was littered around them. The very foundations of the house had be rent by the turbulent upheavals; lives of privilege now reduced to refuse scavenging. The girl shuffled to draw the dirty duvet closer, pressing into her male companion. “Do you think they’ll find us?” She asked, trembling. In response he drew her closer, resting his chin in her greasy hair. She flinched at the icy chill of his dog tags. After awhile he said, “I know where to be. It’s classified, but state secrets are meaningless now.” Venturing a hand into the icy chill she reached up to stroke his cheek; sensing a need for comfort. Of course, he would never tell her they were never coming. Tomorrow he would simply take her to the launch site.

Too much Sangria.

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This weeks Friday Fictioneers photo prompt!  Though truthfully, this one I already had written as part of a larger story; I just saw the prompt and remembered it.  As always, if you like what you read, have a browse around my works – I participate in many other writing challenges. ^_^  This one comes with an advisory of mature content.

It was the parched throat and the sickening taste of bile that awoke Kylie. Head throbbing, Kylie dragged herself upright, leaden from overindulgence. Blinking blearily into the room, she became aware of three things. This was not her room, she was not alone, and she was completely naked. Kylie peeked at the figure next to her with excited trepidation. Tall, slim, nice rear. Blonde hair with crushed gel spikes. And then a face that was most definitely not masculine. Clutched by foreboding, she lifted the covers to discover… Breasts… And that’s when she fell off the bed.

Sweet Brain Damage Chapter 1 Part 2

netball

Links to previous part can be found here: Sweet Brain Damage Contents page

Abigail kept her word. Kitted out in her netball uniform and stood in front of her open locker she discreetly made a few well placed comments to certain individuals who were guaranteed to have Tim’s name doused in mud within the hour. A shrill whistle indicated it was time to get out onto the court. Abigail shoved her mobile in her bag and jumped back just as the locker door almost slammed shut on her hand. Abigail did not have to look to know who had just attempted to injury her. She smelt peppermint shampoo. Abigail turned to her sister, Rose, with a placid expression. “Was my locker door in your way, Captain Rosie,” she said in deceptively sweet tones. Anyone listening would take ‘Rosie’ as a sibling pet name. It was, however, a pet name Rose despised with a passion. “You should be on court already, but if you have something more important to do we can always find someone else to play Wind Defence,” Rose replied with a daggered coolness. Abigail motioned to the locker room door, “After you, we can hardly practice without our Centre after all.” Abigail smiled, knowing her attitude was far more frustrating for her older sister then any payback.

Sweet Brain damage Chapter 1 part 1

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Today’s section of Sweet Brain Damage.  Check Contents page for previous parts.

The note hit Abigail’s desk the moment the teacher’s back was turned. Finally something of interest to read during their boring science class. Abigail was almost beginning to think she would pass out from a combination of heatstroke and boredom. ‘Come over tonight?’ was written in Hayley’s semi-legible scrawl. Hayley was one of Abigail’s best friends. She was a petite but plain-looking brunette with a sly smile. Abigail quickly penned back ‘Can’t. Have practice.’ A dissatisfied snort later the note flipped back onto her notebook. The sound punctured the rustling of paper with a dislocating sharpness. Abigail hastily covered the paper as the teacher looked questioningly in their direction. “Is there a problem, Miss Gretchen?” Hayley shook her head, not even phased by the intense stares that were now on the pair. ‘Blow off netball. Not like you enjoy it.’

‘Districts coming up.’

‘Come on! Ellen needs girl’s night in! Not same without you.’

‘Why, what’s up with Ellen?’

‘If you weren’t to busy being a NERD you’d know.’

‘Some of us have grade averages to keep. Ellen?’

‘She broke up with Tim. Caught him playing around.’

‘Jerk. Still need to go to practice. I will send out the texts though; his reps good are sewage.’

‘Thanks, wicked one, but still won’t forgive you for ditching tonight!’

‘Sorry, got to practice if I’m ever to beat Rose.’

‘The rivalry with your sister is unhealthy. Let you off tonight, but you’re coming out Sat.’

‘Party at Jamie’s? I’m coming!’

‘How shocking! Not in bed with books?’

Abigail drew a herself pulling a slightly rude expression at Hayley and ignored her until the bell rung.

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