New Contributor, pianolover1114, “The Lonely Star”

Hello Everyone. You might remember me from the writers room. I am pianolover1114. Jinx has been kind enough to let me post on her blog occasionally. I am her younger brother, 13 years old and have been writing for 5 months. This was for inmon and was loosely based around all of them except the mask one but the original was off of I never breathed. so without further ado, The Lonely Star

The Lonely Star

I never breathed. Not that I died before I had the chance; no, I’m  actually immortal. Destined to view life from above without partaking in it. To give beings life but not having life of my own.
But I am not without love. Love. So tragic, so painful. It is impossible to feel the warmth of love without feeling the cold of heartbreak. But is it worth it? Is it better to always have pain and joy or to never have either?
It is amazing how something as small and seemingly insignificant as a human, can cause such pain to something as big as a star like me.
I nearly burst with pride when they first started out. I was a life sustainer! But I wept when they were foolish enough to destroy themselves in evil when the waters came. But they came back. From where I don’t know. But I do know, that I got a second chance.
I was as happy as they were when they made technology. I sustained life that could make light come from nowhere; could make heavy objects float in the sky and even send objects to my sister, the moon! Nonetheless they still found a way to break my heart. They were cruel enough to destroy each-other because of race.
That was it. I couldn’t deal with the anguish. I still gave them my warmth, but I couldn’t give them my love. All they did was became so evil that a clean heart was a stench. Then they would repent from their evil. And then I would forgive them. But how could when they act like a sow returning to her mire?
My back turned on them. How could i bear to watch their despicable
ways? So instead, I imagined. What would it be like if I couldn’t feel pain?Would my existence be better if they were perfect? Do they know that I care about them, or even that I have consciousness?
I shut them off from me. It was lonely. I spent many millennia dreaming. I used to have a dream. What if I could be with the other stars, where we all hated affliction, where we were perfect? But alas, I couldn’t. And even if I could it wouldn’t matter. I was too afraid of experiencing pain to see the good. I couldn’t love anything. They were like disposable men to me. And it turns out what I was really  destined for-was to be a lonely star.

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The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

 

The surprise highlight of my morning!

My morning was just recently given an awesome boost when I checked my blog to find that Tobin Elliot over at Left to Write gave me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  Thanks so much, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

So, following the rules, here’s seven things about myself,

1. I’m a Christian and my faith is very important to me.  I accepted Christ when I was 5, and since then I’ve spent a lot of time growing in my faith.

2. I’m the oldest of seven home schooled kids and every one of my siblings is simply awesome.  Being that our ages range from almost 16 (me!) to just turned 2, we are all very…..uniquely strange in comparison to each other, but we also seem to all be clones of each other.  It’s an interesting dynamic.  =)

3. I’m obsessed with the Beatles.  Along with a few other bands I LOVE the Beatles.  Ever since I was about four months old, my parents could always get me to behave by playing their music.  I love the uniqueness of their music, and the artistry in it.  It fascinates me.

4. I can’t stand writing. It’s miserable, hard and kind of painful.  Why do I keep doing it?  Because there’s a difference between writing because I have to, and writing because I NEED to.  If there’s inspiration involved writing is beautiful and amazing.

5. Many of my friends call me Bria because I write her so much.  What’s sad is that it doesn’t even phase me, I respond the same.

6. Writing aside, my best talent is in computers.  It’s not that unique, I’m part of the computer generation after all, but I’m pretty good with them.  My hobby is in graphic/web design.  When I was 12 I taught myself HTML, although until maybe a year ago I was barely able to work well with it.  I do a lot of photoshopping, photo manipulations, and some other various stuff in graphic design.

7. I’ve only been writing since Christmas.  Well, *really* writing that is.  I’ve been on on off dreaming up ideas, writing three pages of them and scrapping them since I was 8.  But until Christmas I never wrote anything worth reading and my mom thought the only reason I would try was that my brother would occasionally try.  Now look at me!  I’m so obsessed and addicted to writing I can’t go a day without scribbling *something*.

* * * * *

Okay, that was strangely revealing on me….now that I think about it.  Now that’s out of the way, I don’t really have 15 people that I can think of right now…..gosh I’m pitiful at this.  I’m calling the excuse of a ton of homework and not enough time and doing only 10 people.  I’m sure I’ll miss someone that I want to send it to, but I can’t work on this right now.

1. BeKindRewrite – Your blog is amazing, I’m always referring to it to find stuff out about writing.

2. Kay Camden – More awesome writing and fantastic tips!  Your blog is fun to explore.

3. Jeremy Thurston – You’re a great writer, I can’t wait to see your book in stores someday.

4. My Words Whisper – Love your blog!  Your stories are so much fun to read.

5. Scribbla – Your ‘scribbles’ are so full of talent, they amaze me.

6. Indigo Spider – Wow.  That’s all I can say.  You’re a superb writer.  Your stuff just amazes me.

7. Marantha Janelle – Your blog is fun to read through and you always have encouragement when I need it.  Thank-you.  =)

8. Find An Outlet – Your blog is always full of something new that’s interesting and I love reading your InMon posts.

9. Mike – Your writing is awesome and your short stories, flash fiction, and everything else are so cool.

10. Billie Jo Woods – LOVE your stories!

The Whispers

A preview of my new short story, The Whispers.  I’ve been working on it awhile, and some of you probably read some of it in a previous blog post.  I decided to finish it tonight and ended up using a couple of this weeks prompts at Inspiration Monday to complete it.

Since it is over 1,000 words long I chose not to post the full version in a blog post.  Instead, you can find it here.

A taste of The Whispers

Once upon a time, I used to have dreams.  Now all I have is piercing blackness. So comforting but so ready to destroy me. It cloaks me in the darkness that hides me from the people that could be my accusers. They cannot blame what they have never seen. His men will not find me here; in this place I am safe.  They cannot find me.

But the Whispers can. There is no hiding from the Whispers. They know what I’ve done, they tell me so. Always whispering. So no one else hears them. But to me, they scream louder than thousands of bells tolling together. They scream, ‘He’s dead and he’s never coming back.’ and worse they tell me, ‘You killed him.

I cannot escape them. They have too many ways to attack, sleep will only bring their nightmares, but wakefulness is just as bad.  So I resign myself to hate the Whispers. I’ll loathe them the way they abhor me. They must hate me. Why else would they spend so much time haunting me?

The back roads always thought they were his, twisting and winding their way through the city, they were his kingdoms and he ruled them well.  No one dared travel his road and managed not to be forever changed.  If they travelled down his road then they met him.  They met him then they thought they were more than disposable men.  But I knew better.  They were always just temporaries to him.  He told me too many times, that a good leader made everyone feel important, but no one truly mattered.  I knew he followed that policy with everyone, even me.  And if he did, that meant I didn’t matter.  But I let myself think otherwise, to read into his careful treatment.  I let myself believe that he must have cared a little to take me in, and more to let me tag along with him, when I only caused him trouble.  Then on my honest days I would tell myself the torturous truth. If they were only disposable men, those who were so much more useful than me, what could I be beyond a pet?

The way he glared at any of his men that looked at me wrong, and wouldn’t let anyone near me, I read into it as big brotherly protection.  Now I see he only wanted me to feel that way.  He wanted to buy my loyalty.  I hate him for it.  I hate him because he succeeded, and even though he’s gone, I still want to follow.   So the Whispers tell me why I cannot.

The Amazing Thing About Reading (and writing!)

There’s something about reading that has fascinated me since before preschool.  Perhaps it’s the oldest child complex in me, or my love of stories, but whatever it is, I love reading more than any other activity beside writing.

Reading is actually a very personal experience, whether we realize it or not.  As a writer I know just how much of me goes into my work.  If you take the time to read one of my short stories, even if you don’t notice it, you are seeing the world through my eyes for a moment.  The same goes for any other book, even without paying too much attention, when you read an author’s writing you are essentially encountering them in a very personal way.  I don’t think I’ve ever met an author that can not show themselves in their writing.  How they interpret the world is what makes their style unique.

When we write we are basically just stimulating others imagination, using what I like to call mind control to insert whatever thoughts, emotions, or points we want to communicate to others.  My brother heard I was writing this and commented to me, “A good book is like good music; it makes you laugh when the creator laughs, cry when he cries, and with just a few well placed notes, or words, he can make you feel however he wants.”  (bear in mind he plays piano about 3 hours a day).  He had a point though, it’s just what good writing should be.  Our goal in writing is to communicate to others the emotion we feel.

For me, I tend to feel the author’s emotion and it sticks with me well if I can translate it to real life, even if it’s a book like Lord of the Rings that has very little ‘real world’ in it.  I honestly don’t know what it really is, but it’s this amazing thing that makes me think, act, cry, dream, and live as one of these characters long after I read the book.

So, your turn, what makes good writing that sticks with you?

Austin

This piece is dedicated to my cousin, Austin.  Currently he is in the hospital, with such severe health problems that all the doctors and specialists could do for him was drug him with morphine and he is starving to death right now because his stomach cannot digest anything.  I never got it right, even though I really wanted to.  It proved to be a little out of my reach to write fiction based on real events.  But it’s decent at least so I thought I’d show it to you all anyway.  It never got a name, so really this is just it.

~~~~~

Danielle pressed her eyes shut, making a futile attempt to shut out her surroundings.  It was all too familiar, the doctor’s grim voice, Shane’s hand gripping her own and seeking the strength they both lacked, even the beeping of those horrible machines that kept her poor baby alive.  Why me?  Why me and why him?  Her mingled thoughts and prayers cried out so many times of late.

“Mrs. King?”  The doctor, a soft spoken woman in her fifties, rubbed Danielle’s back comfortingly.

Danielle looked at her with red eyes encircled with black and blue from lack of sleep.  Her voice choked as she whispered, “Is he going to make it?”

* * * * *

Danielle and Shane were typical parents with a typical child.  At just under a year old, Maks was bursting with happy energy and always ready to play.   His excited babbles were sprinkled with new words every day and Danielle had made a point to record every one of them.  She knew someday she’d be so happy she had.

Maks had been perfectly healthy, until that thrice cursed day, a few days after his one year well child exam.  Then suddenly she and Shane noticed, he wasn’t chewing his food anymore.  He no longer babbled incessantly, reciting the names of colors and foods.  Something had gone terribly wrong.

* * * * *

The doctor hesitated and Danielle knew instantly, the answer she would receive.  The words from her lips still shocked some part of Danielle that until then, had refused to believe.  “I’m sorry.”

How could this happen?  Why God?  Why do you have to take him?  Can’t you let me die in his place!?  She begged silently.  After so many years of pain, you choose to take him now?  If you had to take him why not when he was one?  Not now, seven years later. 

Smoky blue walls.  Maks wanted to be in the room with the smoky blue walls.  He didn’t know what to call them.  But when they moved him out of this room he immediately screamed.  Danielle still remembered the pangs of motherly instinct and love that had miserably shot through her body that day. It was the only way he could communicate with the many attendants that care for him.  It wasn’t fair to him, how could things have gotten this bad?

Now her baby’s body was slowly shutting down.  He’d never get to play like the other kids.  I promised him he would play with the other kids.  He should be playing with other kids.  Instead he had spent a life attached to tubes and wires.  Tubes and wires that kept him alive.  And before that was the drugs.  So doped up that he had no hope of interaction with her or anyone else.

She had never believed that people really do rip their hair out in grief and frustration, but apparently she was doing it because when she next stopped crying long enough that the tears cleared and she could see again, she was holding two handfuls of her hair.  But what else could she do?  Her son was dying.  He was dying the slowest most painful death in the world.  He was starving to death because in order to give him a feeding tube, the doctor has to put him under.  To put him under meant to put him under forever.  There was nothing they could do anymore.  She would have to watch as they drugged him once more.  This time with morphine.  Morphine to ease his passage.

Paper Towns (Guest Post!)

This is another guest post (I have too many talented writer friends!) by a good friend of mine. I hooked her on Inspiration Monday and we get this!

Paper Towns

Moss, damp with rainwater, squished beneath our feet as we darted through the trees. It was at the log we halted, sitting on its soft wood. My fingernails scraped at the bark watching it crumble and stick to my fingers.

“What should we do today?”

I looked over at Maeve, her honey colored curls littered with bits of twigs and leaves. Not that she would care.

I shrugged as I bent my head over my notebook. Maeve watched interestedly as I scratched at the white paper, leaving gray lines with my pencil. The lines swirled in graceful loops as I drew her, Maeve. I traced the delicate mouth, the perfect nose, the twin, azure eyes that now watched me, filling in their long lashes. Then I drew her hair, making it fall in soft ringlets about her face. Maeve was always fun to draw.

“Corann. Corann, listen.” She wasn’t watching me anymore. Already she had moved on to another one of her wild ideas. “Let’s build a place. A place for us. It can be out of paper.” Her voice was excited, the way it always got when she was thinking of something fantastic.
I glanced up from my drawing, observing her delighted leap as she stood up.

“A paper town. You can draw it.” As usual, I waited for her to calm down so she could explain. Finally she did, but the rosy flush on her cheeks didn’t fade. She bent down and flipped my notebook to a clean page. “Draw the houses first. Towns need houses. They need to be tall, majestic, elegant. With lots of windows and carved doors.” Closing her eyes she imagined the place, then opened them to see if I was sketching everything she was describing. I was.

“And a town square. It must have a well, no a fountain. A fountain with water bubbling out of the top, cascading down the sides. The light can catch it, making the water sparkle. And there can be little coins glinting on the bottom of the fountain, under the water. Gold ones, the rich people throw in to make wishes. Oh, and the people!” She exclaimed. “There must be people. They can wear long, flowing robes of scarlet and green and indigo and yellow as bright as the sun. The women can wear silver jewelry, dangling from their wrists and ears and necks. The men can wear turbans around their heads.”

I scribbled furiously, then stopped. “Turbans?”

She cracked an eye open to look at me. “Yes, like in the East. Lots of cloth wrapped around their heads.”

I drew the turbans on the men. “What else?”

Maeve sank onto the log beside me, inspecting my picture. I had filled the page with everything she had described, the houses, the fountain with the coins, the elegant townsfolk.

“Oh, Corann, it’s perfect!” She whispered.

I smiled as she closed her eyes again. “New page.” She ordered.
“Now draw the forests around the town, the mountains, the valley it lies in. The trees are full, green and leafy. Snow lies on the mountain tops, white and shining. In the valley, a little stream bubbles down from one of the mountains. It winds its way through the valley, then disappears into the depths of another mountain. The sky is blue, cloudless, with hawks that soar on the mighty winds above.”

I drew each individual feather on the hawk’s wings, making it look as if it were flying effortlessly  across the paper. A raindrop plopped onto the sheet of paper and I glanced up at the beginning downpour.

Quickly, I flipped the notebook shut and stuffed it into my backpack. Maeve didn’t move from her place on the log, letting the rain slide off her nose and splash onto her dress. She still looked completely lost in the world she had been describing. Then her eyes fluttered open. Seeing the rain she lifted her hands to the sky, smiling.

“Maeve, let’s go. We’ll get wet.” I said.

“I’m already wet, what’s the point?” She asked.

“You don’t want your school books to get soaked, do you?” I pointed out.

“Oh, of course not.” She scooped up her backpack and slipped her arms through the straps.

Heads down, we dashed through the pouring rain. When we reached the road, now a shallow, muddy river, we waved to each other, me following one fork home, she the other.

It was another few minutes of sprinting through the warm rain, splashing mud onto my sneakers before I reached home. The door slammed behind me as I kicked off my shoes, leaving them on the porch, and stepped inside. A sweet odor drifted past me, coming from the kitchen. Grandma was baking. It was baking day after all. Tonight, the three of us, Grandma, Grandpa, and me would have freshly baked pie after dinner.

I slipped out of my backpack, bringing it into the kitchen then dropped it on the floor as I sat down at the table. Grandma was there, her hands dusted with flour rolling out the top for another pie. In a pan on the wooden tabletop lay the bottom piece of the crust. Its filling was red and gooey. I dipped a finger into it and licked off the filling. Cherry.

“Have a good day, Corann?” Grandma asked. Her voice was pleasant to listen to. Soft and gentle, never rising with anger, always the same. No surprises.

“Where’s Maeve?” She continued, glancing up and noticing her absence. Maeve usually stopped by afterwards. But not today.

“She’s leaving remember? To visit her aunt and uncle and cousins. She had to pack.” I said.

“Oh yes. That’s right.” Grandma replied absently, patting the dough with her soft hands.

I stood up, grabbing my backpack strap and heaving it off the floor. “I’m going to do homework.” I said, leaving the kitchen and climbing the stairs to my room. My room, with its one window, bed covered with one of Grandma’s quilts. The desk was littered with paper. My paper, my drawings. They were pinned up anywhere they would fit. On the walls, the door, some had spread to the window, stuck there with tape.

I dropped my backpack on the bed, listing to the springs creak as I sat down. I pulled out my books, flipping through the pages until I found the homework assignment tucked in between them. Staring at it, I chewed my pencil eraser, then spread the paper out flat and hurried through the list of math problems. Then I pulled out my notebook. Opening it, I studied the picture of Maeve, then flipped to the drawings of her paper town. Our paper town, she had said. Our.
I lay back on the bed, staring at the drawings until Grandma called me down to dinner.

We sat at the table, an array of food spread before us on the checkered tablecloth. Roast beef and gravy that melted in your mouth, fluffy mashed potatoes, and buttery green beans. There was bread too. Thick, warm slices of homemade bread that were so soft and sweet when you bit into them. Grandpa said grace before we dug in, heaping our plates with the delicious food and again for seconds. Then Grandma disappeared into the kitchen for the pie. She brought the thing out, it’s crust golden and oozing cherry red juice. I ate two slices, both with a scoop of ice cream on top.

After dinner, I helped Grandma wash up, scrubbing the plates in the sink full of lukewarm water and soap bubbles. Whenever Maeve stayed for dinner, she would scoop up a handful of bubbles, spreading them onto her chin and sometimes mine. We would hobble around the kitchen then, pretending to be old men until Grandma came in with a dish towel and scrubbed our beards off.
A few days passed, the rain rolling away as the sun moved in. The mud puddles dried up, cracking as they faded from dark brown to tan.

I visited the log every day, though Maeve wasn’t there. It was a nice place to draw, just sitting there, watching the birds and things then capturing their likenesses on paper. I drew many pictures, some of the violets, their deep purple petals reaching up for the sunlight. Some of the creek that trickled nearby. I drew one of a rabbit, crouched in the grass, its tiny pink nose snuffling as it searched for food.

But the log wasn’t as cheerful without Maeve. It was a quiet, peaceful place but lacked the magic she seemed to lend it with her presence. The log was a log, not a fire-breathing dragon or a ship tossed in a tempest. It was what it truly was without her. Nothing magical.

Finally the day came when Maeve was to return. In anticipation I tapped my feet against the cold concrete of the train station, waiting to hear the wail of it’s whistle. Then there it was. It screeched and steamed into the station, a huge black metal beast. I stood, Grandpa beside me as the one passenger got off.

A little girl with honey colored curls tied back with pink ribbon that matched her pink dress. She wore spotless white stockings and shiny black shoes and carried one carpetbag, clutched tightly in her hands.

I had expected to see the girl in the blue sailor’s dress, matching hat cocked to a jaunty angle. I had expected to see the honey colored curls tangled and wild from the breeze. The socks slouched and stained with dirt, shoes muddy from splashing in puddles or dusty from racing down roads.

I had not expected to see this. This prim, polite girl in a frilly pink dress who greeted us with the faintest of smiles. Not the wide grin and tackling hug. Still this was Maeve, and I smiled.
The ride back was short, and soon we were dropping her off at her house, waving goodbye. We would see each other tomorrow, at school.

“Quite the little lady, isn’t she?” Grandpa said on the ride home. I nodded. Tomorrow though, we would splash in the creek, catching the little minnows with glittering scales. Rainbow minnows, Maeve called them. And that was all I thought about before I fell asleep that night.

After school, we went to the log.   I wanted to run there, kicking up dust in the road, but Maeve insisted we walk so as not to dirty her stockings. I obliged, though this seemed like an odd request. Who cared if the stockings got dirty? Not me. But I walked to please Maeve.

Once reached the creek, I stripped off my socks and shoes, inviting Maeve to do the same, and stepped into the water. The little minnows darted around my toes and I laughed glancing up to see Maeve perched on the edge of the log, looking at the water with distaste.

“Maeve! Come in! The rainbow minnows are here. Lots of them.” I cried out exuberantly.
She shook her head, the honey colored curls bouncing. “No thank you.”

“Why not, Maeve?” I glanced at her. This was unusual. Maeve was always the one first into the water, the first to capture a minnow with her bare hands.

“Aunty says ladies don’t catch minnows.” She said. “She told me lots of things about how to be a real lady.”
I stared at her, dumbfounded. “You never cared about that before. You didn’t care about ribbons and dresses and stockings. You liked frogs and mud and minnows and rain. Dance in the rain again, Maeve.”

She shook her head. “I’ve grown up, Corann. I don’t do those things anymore.”

I stepped out of the water and sat beside her, pulling out my notebook. “What about the towns? The paper towns?” I flipped to the page that held the drawings of the place she had described so vividly before she left. “What about them?”

“The towns? Why are you so childish, Corann?” She laughed lightly.
I didn’t find it funny. I didn’t laugh. Where was Maeve? The real Maeve? The one who danced in the rain.

“I’ve grown up, Corann. When will you?”

Tears began to well up in my eyes. So that was it. She had grown up. She had outgrown everything we used to do together. She has outgrown me.

I stood abruptly. “I have to go.” Shoving my notebook into my backpack, I scooped up my shoes and socks and ran. I ran away, through the trees with tears streaming down my face. I didn’t stop. Not until I reached the bridge. Then I stopped and pulled out my notebook.

My vision was blurred by tears as I jerked the paper, tearing it out. I shredded the paper town, letting the bits drift into the river. Our town, our paper town was gone. Along with Maeve.

A Life In Pictures

Just a quickly scribbled out short story.  =]

A Life In Pictures
His withered hands shook as he once again withdrew the shoebox. Each of his movements was careful, caressing all he had left. A bony finger traced a gentle path along the carefully scripted message on the lid. Every letter, every word, meant a world to him.

Slowly, he eased the cover off the box of memories, carefully placing it on the hospital bed beside him. Tears wet his old, dim eyes as he scanned the top layer of the box’s contents. Picture after picture filled it, each pertaining to a different memory. Some simply brought back a scent, a warm apple pie or fresh cut grass. Others might bring a feeling, the heat of a campfire, or her hand in his. But a rare few brought back entire conversations and extensive memories. These he placed at the bottom at the stack.

Below the life in pictures was only one thing: her locket.

His eyes were sad as he lifted it out, full of longing. The chain was cold as it settle din the wrinkled palm of his hand. Cold like her body had been.

He gripped the gold heart tightly as he replaced the pictures and put the box away. He would hold it just awhile longer while it warmed. That would be good. Then it wouldn’t be cold when his daughter came and he gave it to her. That was it. A perfect excuse.

He drifted to sleep slowly, dreaming of her, calling him. “Come, follow me now.”

She was so beautiful. She had no pain. He smiled, she was alive there. He wanted that more than anything. So he left, starting a new journey with her.