littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Rebellion is for Losers

She grinned from ear to ear, admiring her wavy blonde hair and her soft pink dress in the mirror. Today was the day she was going to meet the prince who she was arranged to marry.

She’d heard from her mother that he was a little bit older than her, but he was handsome and kind. From her father, she heard he was powerful, and had wide tracts of land.

She placed her tiara on her, forcing herself to calm down enough to gracefully float downstairs to meet her parents.

He arrived at a little past ten. He had a goofy grin that was out of place with his regal attire. His hair was black and curly, and would’ve made him look ordinary but for the style, all trim and smooth, like he was wearing a silk wig.

He had high, soft cheekbones, and a small gold crown that could’ve matched her own. It was like destiny.

“Royals of the court, I present Prince Benedict.”

Even his name was regal. She melted.

Her mother lead her out towards him. She felt butterflies. “I am Queen Margaret. This is my daughter, Princess Elizabeth.”

“It’s a pleasure,” said Benedict.

She learned more about each other at the lunch table. He was 35, and she was 23. Not a bad match, to be fair. And he was rather handsome and approachable. She’d never met someone so kind.

“I love the court politics,” she told him. “I hope to one day make my country proud as queen. The only thing I’m looking forward to more is marriage. It’s such an exciting adventure, don’t you think?”

“You certainly strike me as adventurous,” he told her. “And you’re very loyal.”

“I need something to do all day. I can’t let myself become idle or I might get lazy.”

“Oh, I think you’re in no danger there,” said her mother. “You’re so ambitious.”

“Maybe you ought to slow down a bit sometimes,” suggested Benedict. “Sometimes the people want someone to relate to.”

“They want someone to look up to.”

“See, this is why you’d be such a good match,” interrupted her father. “You fill each other out so well. For the good of the kingdom.”

When they were together, she was so respectful. He never pressured her. It was in moments like these she knew her father was right.

They were just destined for each other. She couldn’t wait for the wedding.

Yes, I know it’s a bit Tangled meets Benedict Cumberbatch, but whatever. I like this one. A response to a dare: create a non-rebellious princess.


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Friday Fictioneers – Deserting Home

Copyright - Janet Webb

There was no going out tonight. Not here, not ever again… I couldn’t even take my writing. I left my dress hanging out over the balcony, and my notebook there on my bed.

I felt a tug from my heart as I left my bedroom for the last time. We could take nothing with us. It was too poisonous, the radiation already exceeding the Ukraine.

I was just a teenager. I didn’t want any of this. Leaving everything I knew and loved. My mama held me in her arms. Within hours, the streets would be empty.

Time to leave… Chernobyl.

For Friday Fictioneers.


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Writing is like Exercise

I was recently rewriting my About Me page, when I started thinking about hobbies I enjoy. One of them, which I didn’t mention, is Boxing.

Recently, within the last two months, I’ve started eating healthily and exercising. I now go to the gym and I have a personal trainer named Jess. I often do boxing exercises when I work out with Jess; I find it motivates me, I enjoy it, and I’ve always carried a store of anger with me that it lets me express.

Exercise also helps me in my writing, if for no other reason than my characters live active, dangerous lives, and working my body helps me put myself in theirs.

But I’ve also begun thinking recently that, although many writers don’t do a whole lot of exercise — indeed, for a while in my own writing, I’ve used the fact that I’m a writer as an excuse why I didn’t have to exercise — the two activities aren’t so different.

Both require discipline of sorts. Both are beneficial; one to the mind, and the other to the body. I’ve even begun to think that the two things together are important to the whole, that a person needs both to be a satisfied or balanced person.

Balance, I’ve thought for a while now, is important in anyone. Not extremes, which makes you biased and closed-minded, but a medium between them.

Of course, I believe that bias is inevitable in any person. No matter who you are, I believe there’s always something to overcome. But the point is, in the case of brain vs. brawn, of athletes versus writers, there need not even be a contest.

If books are soul food, then exercise is just as important for movement. That feeling in your muscles… is life speaking to you. And that’s just as important as the words you use to describe it.


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Trifecta – Gas

jeux-de-miroir-bordeaux-1_l.jpg

The bomb went off in the square. Children and mothers scrambled around in the fog, looking for each other.

Slowly, the toxic air began to invade their lungs.

Mass murder in the Vatican.

Image prompt taken from Trifecta.


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Trifecta – Hack

His joints strained under the pickaxe hacking at stone. “I’m tired of safety… I have to move… I’ll be dead too.”

Alan stopped him. “I love you because you’re different. Don’t do this.”

Prompt taken from this weekend’s Trifecta.


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Daily Post: Dystopian Writing Challenge

From the Daily Post , inspired by this source.

She stared out the barred window with a sigh. With her hand over her pink triangle, she watched the wind blow through the green, tear-shaped leaves. It was strange how the architects of this building could manage to make this hospital look so modern, yet so restricting.

This wasn’t an old fashion; it seemed hate was the new black. Or it had been, since Hitler took over the world. She took little consolation in the fact that the world’s population was down since the war that changed everything; in fact, it was a burden.

She just wanted somebody to love. Why did it matter so much that it was a woman that she would love? Even without Hitler, the world remained in the hands of the Nazi party. And most people, people like her, were too afraid to rebel. He’d killed everyone who rebelled.

She was just determined sick, stuck in this institute, and hidden from the world.

She rubbed her knee, imagining someone else there. Anyone else, someone to help comfort her through these bittersweet times.

No one was coming to rescue her. No one.

“Come on…” said the nurse at her side, forcing her to her feet slowly.

“What?” she replied, reacting slower than her body, already standing up.

“We’re rounding everybody up to go outside…” the nurse said.

She smiled. That nature, that freedom that she’d dreamed of just moments before… it was coming. Was there a hero out there after all?

As she squeezed out the front door, and unusual pressure enveloped her hand. She looked down at it, to see her other dream come true. Looking up to the person holding it, she smiled back at the face that greeted her.

“We can do it, just me and you,” said Val. She squeezed her hand. “I’ve always loved you.”

She almost melted, but remained firm on her feet even while her chest fluttered like warm caramel. “Me and you,” she said.

They weren’t free. As they reached the front garden, the staff chained the arms and legs of every woman there together, as they sorted everyone into lines. Val and Zoe stood beside each other.

We’re not leaving, she thought. Till death… She never thought it was possible… But now that she knew how Val felt, after all these years, she couldn’t go.

Not now, not ever. Not even if it meant…

A line of gunmen lined up against them. Heavily uniform, red armbands on each left arm, rifles casually at their sides.

Something must have happened. The world wasn’t willing to keep them alive anymore. Just a bunch of old dykes, no one cared about them.

She wondered if these same gunmen had been on duty all days, killing sick people like her. She imagined all the gay men in the hospital, the ones she’d met and talked to each day. Bullets splatting their blood, heads knocked back, brains flying.

It was a disgusting thought. She squeezed Val’s hand tighter.

She squeezed back. “Don’t worry, Zoe. I love you.”

And that was enough to distract her. No more did she think about bloody bodies. Now all that was on her mind was all the things she never got to do with Val. All the kisses, all the touches, all the rest of it…

And in her mind, she smiled back again, telling Val she loved her. Zoe was only too aware she didn’t, had never gotten a chance to fall in love with Val,  but if she had, it would’ve been enough.

She could’ve been happy, just with that. Instead spending her last days mourning for the life she lost long ago; the one she never even had. Turns out it was up to her, all along. She wished she’d known that before.

The gunmen raised their double-barrels onto their shoulders, ready to fire.

She took a deep breath, counting along to herself. 3… 2… 1…

A jolt of black wracked her. She began to fall.


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Trifecta – Dwell

He rubbed her back as tears poured from her eyes. He soothed her in Japanese. It was making her really wish she had chose to call her parents instead of talking to him.

But she wanted answers. And maybe it was a bit naive to expect them from him, but his appearance was so comfortable, thinking of her rescuer. She had told him all about her kidnapping, had confided in him. He had offered different avenues of help, but right then, she could care. Didn’t he see she just wanted someone to talk to?

He was a good listener, though. And really, she couldn’t stay mad at him for long.

“Please speak in English,” she sobbed.

“Sorry,” he said. “Habit.”

For a moment, she choked on a smile. But she was crying for a reason, and she couldn’t help but dwell on it.

“Are you smiling?” he asked playfully. “Are you happy?”

She frowned. She knew the answer to both of those questions was ‘no’. “The guy who saved me… looked just like you, you know.”

“You told me.”

“Ah.”

He paused, looking at her. “Is that why you’re crying?”

“I’m crying,” she began, “because even when I call my parents, even if by some miracle they can afford to come to Japan to save me just as he did…”

“What?” he prompted her.

“They won’t tell me why. They won’t give me answers.” She turned to look him in the face, tears openly falling. “They’ll never tell me why those people would want to kidnap me, even if they know.”

“Do you blame them for what happened?” he asked.

“I… I don’t know!” she cried. “I don’t know who to blame! I might as well blame them!”

“Don’t say that,” he replied. “You shouldn’t blame your parents. You should respect them.”

“Respect them?” she cried. “My dad is an ex-military general, and my mum grew up in the streets. He was dishonourably discharged, and then he met her. What respect?”

“Meet them.”

Prompt from Trifecta.

Parts onetwo and three from the series so far.


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Friday Fictioneers – Airport

copyright-Rich Voza

She picked at the crust in her eyes. When she woke up at four this morning, she had been so bleary-eyed that she’d had to wipe at her eyes just to open them. It had been hell getting up so early.

Now she was only picking at the smallest pieces still left in the corners. She probably didn’t need to, but the thought bugged her.

But here she was! 6 am, looking out over the airfield. Any minute now, she would be boarding the airplane, and she could finally sleep.

In five hours, she would finally reunite with her father. These past ten years had been more hell than this morning. It would finally be over…


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Trifecta – Worry

“Daijohbu? Ashi ga itai?” he asked. You okay? Does your leg hurt?

Caught in his arms, cradling his waist, she replied, “Yeah. Hai.”

“Byohin ni iku?” Go to the hospital?

“Hai,” she repeated.

Continuation of my last prompt for Trifecta.