littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Friday Fictioneers – Starting Over

Copyright -Douglas M. MacIlroy

I woke to the worst disaster in history.

My heart jolted as my eyes opened to the inside of a tent.

“I think she’s awake,” said someone just outside. Dad? He poked his head in, smiling. “You awake? It’s almost one.”

“You dragged me camping?”

“A storm hit early this morning. You wouldn’t wake up, so we had to carry you. The cyclone destroyed half the coast; we had to move inland.”

“Where are we?”

“Come out and see.”

I poked my head outside. Fields all around; there was a horse behind a rabbit proof fence.

“Great.”

Flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers.


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Trifecta – Infect

There was no chance the aliens were going to allow anything to infect the Milky Way. It was a sanctuary; one that was highly guarded from the outside space.

This was an important zoo; and there was much documentation on display at the visitors’ capsule. Andromeda housed it; but humans, the one species testing their barriers, could never know that they were being kept captive in this spacial zoo. It was for their own good.

They sent probes far into space, exploring their world, discovering Andromeda. They were the most fascinating creatures, the smartest of their kind, but they were not ready for the outside world.

“They will never find us,” a mentor of the latest apprentice zookeeper taught him. “Their technology is far too basic, and they are just beginning to explore space. They’ll never reach our capabilities, but they are capable creatures.

“Eons ago, we discovered life. We documented the ages as the dinosaurs evolved into birds, and we watched the mammals rise… but we knew that we could not interact with them. We have to be responsible and let them live out their lives on their own. If we were to interfere, their lives could be drastically altered.”

“Why can’t we just study the animals?” asked a student.

His mentor smiled. “We have never interfered with any of their lives. Know this; even though they have the capability and proclivity to destroy their own planet, every animal is different. They’re fighting to save themselves.  The planet is getting warmer by the decade. But even if the humans die off, there will be other animals to take their place. Hopefully, none as destructive, though.”

“Hmm,” the student seemed worried. “I hope they pull through.”

“Yes,” the mentor agreed. “That is the hope of all zookeepers who keep the guards. But even if they do, there is a long road ahead of them to understanding the world around them. If one day, they do evolve to our level, I’d happily greet them.”

Prompt taken from Trifecta.


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Trifecta – Trapped

All she could hear was the dull thud of stone behind her and the dirt as she rolled it under her shoes absently, so faint it could’ve been her heart beating.

She huffed.

The hunger came and went. It was day two down here. It was about time she got rescued, wasn’t it? She looked down at her left foot, the one that wasn’t moving. The one that remained painfully still, the one revealed from her shoe, caked in dry blood.

She couldn’t climb out of here. Hell, she couldn’t even walk out of here. When she heard echoed voices yesterday, she had screamed for help. She was beginning to think she would die down here.

She looked down at her bloodied foot. It would hurt to stand up on it again. It would bleed. Even if she favoured the other foot, it was going to kill. She squeezed her eyes shut, imagining that blood oozing out again, picturing the pain. She didn’t want to, she didn’t want to, she didn’t want to!

She opened them.

That was no good. She could think about it.

She couldn’t do it. No.

Then what? That gentle thud came back to her again. It was starting to irritate her. “Go away!” she shouted to whatever animal was doing it. She was beyond rescue. Which was why she had to rescue herself.

“Okay,” she said, breathing in again. She could do this; she had to.

Dragging herself along to the cave wall, she pushed up to stand with her right leg. Her left soon joined in.

“Aah!” she cried, feeling the burning of her blood. She rested against the wall, squeezing her eyes against the thought, instead following the course of the cave in her mind, following Jonathan in her mind. Where had he gone? Had he found help?

Soon the darkness of her mind closed in on her imagination self, and her eyes popped open. No, that wouldn’t happen… it couldn’t.

There was a crash. “Anna!”

Prompt taken from Trifecta (and inspired by my last flash fiction).


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World Building: Australia’s Forest Mountains

What is the dominant note of Australian Scenery? That which, is the dominant note of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry—Weird Melancholy. … The Australian mountain forests are funereal, secret, stern. Their solitude is desolation. They seem to stifle in their black gorges a story of sullen despair. No tender sentiment is nourished in their shade. In other lands the dying year is mourned, the falling leaves drop lightly on his bier. In the Australian forests no leaves fall. The savage winds’ shout among the rock clefts, from the melancholy gums strips of white bark hang and rustle. The very animal life of these frowning hills is either grotesque or ghostly. Great gray kangaroos hop noiselessly over the coarse grass. Flights of white cockatoos stream out shrieking like evil souls. The sun suddenly sinks, and the mopokes burst out into horrible peals of semi-human laughter. The natives aver that when night comes, from out the bottomless depths of some lagoon the Bunyip rises, and in form like a monstrous sea-calf, drags his loathsome length from out the ooze. … All is fear-inspiring and gloomy. No bright fancies are linked with the memories of the mountains. Hopeless explorers have named them out of their sufferings—Mount Misery, Mount Dreadful, Mount Despair.— Marcus Clarke, “Australian Scenery,” Australian Tales, 1896

Found at The Literary Piano.

I know I haven’t talked much about any of the characters that constantly walk around in my head. The above quote, a reference to the setting of the novels I’ve spent years trying to write, speaks powerfully to their mood.

The story I’ve been working on at the moment is about a girl named Dawn who lives alone with her father and adoptive sister. Her relationship with her father is abusive, and she dreams of running away. When she finally does, her life begins to unravel until she ends up alone, molested and tormented.

And then she discovers she’s a vampire.

The story’s about her quest for revenge, and her search for a better life.

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Image from Serena Lawless’s tumblr

This image evokes Dawn’s home very strongly. It’s a panelled, two-storey home in a remote area of Australia’s forested mountains. Stilts hold up the front of the house, which is painted green. Dawn’s room is on the second storey, overlooking the forest below.

The view looking up through the trees illustrates the downhill path she took away from her house, and the time of day she finally escapes.


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BlogFestivus #8 – Blitzen

Blitzen was going to show them all what a blitz he really was. He was going to have fun, and they’d all miss out.

But this heat…

He might have to travel down further south. Summer was too hot for a reindeer to have fun in for too long. But Blitzen was determined to outplay the other reindeer. Soon they would be begging to be his friend.

He caught a glimpse of a flashing hoof. No… he wasn’t going to let Donner watch over him again, as if he was still a foal, and an orphaned one at that.

All he wanted was to have fun. But mother figure Donner was going to ruin it all for him.

He ran off at a gallop, determined to lose his trail. But Donner was out of hiding now, chasing after him quickly. Donner was gaining ground just a bit, but all Blitzen had to do was outlast him in this heat, and he was home free.

Maybe he could visit the beach when he slipped past Donner. No doubt the humans would love him wherever he went here. He could go shopping, and they’d be all over him.

He could have a real adventure here, and Donner was ruining it.

Donner was edging up his side. They were taking up the entire sidewalk now, the humans simply gawking after them.

Blitzen veered onto the grass, relief for his aching hooves.

Donner caught him that moment.

Eighth entry for BlogFestivus

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BlogFestivus Participants:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2  – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

 Apprentice, never master– Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.


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BlogFestivus #7 – Donner

Donner didn’t care for humans. He was much more of a social reindeer, but he didn’t even look at the humans watching him feed. He knew there was nothing to fear from them, and he’d much rather be socialising with other reindeer.

He had flown here looking for the reindeer. Soon he would continue his journey, once he was finished here.

He knew this was the one time of the year that the reindeer had off. Too many elves at the North Pole, no room for the reindeer. That was fine, because most of the reindeer liked to travel.

But in days, the reindeer would have to head back.

Donner ran across the field away from the humans. A few tried to chase him, but he soon outran them, and soon the humans were gone. Donner started ascending into the sky then, sure that he was out of sight from the humans and continued searching.

He was sure, at least, that Blitzen could use his company. Even out here, he always missed the fun. Now that Rudolph led the reindeer, Blitzen was the loneliest reindeer.

Donner hated some reindeer missed out like he didn’t. Since he had nothing to do out here anyway, without all the other reindeer, he would find Blitzen and keep him company…

The weather was getting hotter. Donner honestly didn’t understand why Blitzen would choose Australia of all places to spend his holidays.

He was almost there…

Stupid reindeer.

Seventh entry for BlogFestivus

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BlogFestivus Participants:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2  – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.


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BlogFestivus #6 – Cupid

The first thing Cupid saw was the flash of golden stars. Elated, she knew it must be her love, Comet. She burst into the air, chasing after him.

The trail broke every now and then, and she had to peer over the trees to find him. The first reindeer she spotted though, wasn’t Comet.

It was Vixen.

Shyly, she emerged from the canopy, letting Vixen approach her. Bucking her head, she found Vixen acting her usual frisky self. But she also knew what a tease Vixen was. Perhaps it was time to show her what love could do.

Cupid took off, stopping every once in a while to make sure Vixen was following and eventually plunged into the trees, satisfied that Vixen was pursuing her.

Cupid wasn’t going to let her have her way like she was used to with the other reindeer. Teasing wasn’t just the domain of lust; it was what love was made of. It wasn’t just a way to control others; it was a way to make them fall in love.

Cupid was named not just for her passion for match making, but because of the skill she possessed to make anyone fall in love with her. It came naturally to her.

And she did it actively. Comet was the only one she truly loved back, though. She lived to teach lessons in love. And she lived to be loved. Comet was content with that.

Cupid made her move.

Sixth entry for BlogFestivus

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Participants of BlogFestivus:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2 – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.


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BlogFestivus #5 – Comet

Comet was too fast for his own good. He was as fast as Dasher, but without the attitude. The one thing Dasher and Prancer had in common was their need to show off.

Comet had heard that Dasher had even mowed some kids down, that’s how headstrong he was. Comet much preferred the quiet rustle and chirp of the woods, where he could race off without worrying about getting in trouble with the humans, let alone Santa…

Comet was so fast, that he often left a trail of pixie dust behind him. Luckily, his body never ran out of the stuff. It was as if a pixie was living eternally on his back. If so, he’d be impressed by the pixie’s ability to hang on at such high speeds.

He loved the thrill of never knowing what might happen to him next. Leaves and branches whizzing by, Comet always preferred to run through the air than on the ground.

Although, Comet had to think that if Dasher was amongst humans, he’d have to. If people knew magic reindeer existed, soon enough they’d started tracking down Santa.

Comet wasn’t running aimlessly through the air. He was missing Cupid. Comet and Cupid were usually inseparable, but now Comet had lost her.

If Cupid could spot his trail of pixie dust, she’d be able to find him again. If not, then Comet at least hoped that his sharp senses really were picking up Cupid straight ahead.

Fifth entry of BlogFestivus

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Participants of BlogFestivus:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2  – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.


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BlogFestivus #4 – Vixen

She and Prancer would be the ultimate power couple, Vixen thought. If she wasn’t too busy flirting with all of the other reindeer she deemed worth her time.

Rubbing her body down another healthy reindeer, her body hummed with desire. She was a real Vixen. Just as the other reindeer gained interest, she galloped away, forcing him to chase her.

She may not have those big manly antlers, and Santa’s pulling crew may be a boy’s club, but she was living proof that she could be discounted for nothing.

She shot into the sky, leaving the poor young reindeer stuck on the ground, helplessly watching after her.

Her habits were going to get her in trouble one day. Or they would, if she ever pulled that stunt with the other magic reindeer. But she was smart, and she was careful. She was trouble, not the other way around.

She looked down on the reindeer on the ground. He was alone in the wild, and young too. He didn’t have a pack… he’d be lucky to survive out here. The least she could do was give him a little action.

She heard a bell ring, and she turned her head. There were other magic reindeer close by. She looked around, through the temperate forest, before she caught sight of an antler bobbing up for a second before it lowered into the trees for a moment.

She followed. There was a better adventure ahead.

It’s…

Fourth entry for BlogFestivus

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BlogFestivus Participants:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2  – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.


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BlogFestivus #3 – Prancer

Prancer liked to show off.

He wasn’t as headstrong as Dasher or Dancer, but he certainly was enough of a show off that he deserved to be up the front when pulling along Santa’s sleigh.

The fact that he was behind the two reindeers that led the way each year was a hit to his inflated ego.

He was the one with the shiniest coat, the most graceful gallops — even in the air — and he also felt he was the most charming of all the other reindeer.

He made the girls giggle where he nudged them, licking bare palms and exposed fingers, nuzzling people as he walked smoothly through the winter cold ground, the snow chased away from this town.

Little girls loved him. Little boys wanted to ride on his back, and he allowed a few at a time to do so, moving calmly around the space.

Teenage boys weren’t so impressed with him (no doubt jealous), but they stuck around with their girlfriends, enamored with how cute he was. Occasionally, he would step on those boys’ feet, knowing instinctively how you deal with rivals.

The older people just seemed content to sit and watch. He was glad for it; he was Santa’s gift to the world, after all. He encouraged some of the more curious of them the feel his fur. It was smooth, soft and beautiful; the smoothest there was.

It was clear that he was the most superior reindeer.

Third entry of BlogFestivus

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BlogFestivus Participants:

Blogdramedy

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

FiX It or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2 – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know. (Yup, that’s me.)

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Diary of a Sensitive Soul — Immie, blogging from the U.K. (Why am I feeling Bruce Springsteen?)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

k8edid — oh, yes. She did.

The Day After – A musing wannabe.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.