momebie: (Tony Stark Robots Sorry)
My name is KL and I am a compound fracture. Fractured because I'm nothing more than a fraction of a sliver of the sum of me, and compounded because I carry with me the ghosts of every sliver I have been and will be. It is impossible to define an object in one moment of time. By the time you're finished writing it that thing will have moved on and become something else. If for no other reason than the seconds have worn a little bit more of it away as you were trying to catch it. Everything is a little less possible every day. I am saddled with a little less possibility every day.

Less pretentious rambling under the cut. )
momebie: (Angel Sanctuary setsuna torn)
“It’s not what I expected,” David said. He dangled one of his feet over the edge, kicking gravel as he did so, causing it to disappear soundlessly into the abyss below.

Rene pulled his right hand from his pocket and used it shield his eyes from the way the mid-afternoon sun was reflecting off the beiges and blues and reds of the stone canyon walls sprawling out in front of them. “It’s big. Huge. Grand, even. Goes on for fucking ever. What did you expect?”

“I just expected it to look more real. There’s no depth to it. It might as well be a backdrop.”

“There’s depth to it. Maybe you’re just ill-equipped to see it.”

“You’re honestly telling me that your eye can perceive where all of those walls and ridges and towers stand in relation to one another.”

“I’m good with walls.” Rene shrugged.

David pulled his foot back to solid ground and teetered for a moment, shooting his arms up and out to maintain balance. Rene watched him out of the corner of his eye, just in case it looked like he might go in. Not that it wouldn’t serve him right, the miserable idiot.

Rene had been perfectly happily unhappy in Denver. He’d hunkered down into settling for a quiet, unassuming life with no passion, just like everyone else he knew. He had beat back hope and hidden his journals. He’d let his poetry turn into shopping lists of benign compliments. He challenged no one and nothing and he was going to live a good long life because of it if his liver didn’t give out first.

Then David rode into town on his loud motorcycle with his loud mouth and his bright, vivid photographs of parts of the world Rene had always wanted to see and ruined everything. Rene might never forgive him for that. It was yet to be seen. The most important thing, the most painful thing, was that Rene was writing again. With my pictures and your words, we could rule the world, David would say. The idea of that scared the shit out of Rene.

And now here they were with three forty ounce bottles of beer, two pairs of jeans, and jacket between them. Here they were fighting for the keys to the car and over who got to choose the radio station on the hour. Here they were unshaven and hungry and tired, but still able to give sun bright smiles to pretty blondes at gas stations. The road fell away behind them and life rolled on and on and on.

Rene looked into the Grand Canyon and strained to see the floor of it as if he was down there. What would it look like, if he honed in on the smallest part of something so vast? It was the question he asked himself before he sat down to write anything. Seeing so much of the states was ruining that precision, making it harder to focus. How did you describe one beautiful thing when everything was beautiful?

David clapped him hard on the back of his neck and knocked him off balance. He reached and grabbed the tail of David’s leather jacket, trying not to fall in. “What are you thinking?” David said.

“Nothing. Impossible to think with you around.”

“So you say.” David slid his arm around Rene’s shoulder and knocked their heads together. “Isn’t it more than you’d ever hoped for?”

“I had hoped for nothing, so yes.”

“You’re so young to be so dead inside,” David said lightly.

“Not dead, quietly alive. Hope kills, David. Hope makes the fall ten times worse.”

“How’s hope treating you now?”

Rene lifted his eyes, searched the horizon for another sign of life--a bird or a mountain goat or a fat little squirrel. Something that would make him feel less like they weren’t the only two people in the world. If that feeling welled up inside of him and was knocked down, god only knew what would happen. Maybe he’d write great, miserable works of literature. David would be so proud to have spawned them too, regardless of the pain involved.

“The same way she always does,” Rene said.

“The mindfuck then.”

“The mindfuck.”

David squeezed Rene’s shoulder and pulled away. Rene could hear the crunch of David’s boots against the gravel and dry desert ground as he walked back to the car. If there was a more addictive drug than hope, Rene didn’t want to find it. As it was, the fall still might kill him.

This post was written in response to [ profile] therealljidol Exhibit A, Week Five Topic: This is your brain on.... Concrit and comments are welcome.
momebie: (MCR Gee red)
T-12. The museum was silent and dark, except for the anterior storage room where Essa was putting the finishing touches on the artifacts that were going to be placed on view in the morning. Only the standing corner lamp was flicked on, but the room glowed with a bright orange burnish as the light from the Oota Dabun pushed away the late night shadows. Essa inspected its casing. A frisson ran down her spine as she ran a white gloved finger down the electrically tinted glass and searched it for cracks or signs of mistreatment.

The Oota Dabun was a legend that had recently become real. A slow burning star that had been trapped at the center of the Earth during its formation and then violently birthed through a volcano hundreds of years before Essa was born. It had been passed down through clans of native peoples all over the American continent, never housed in the same place twice. Those chosen to be caretaker for the star were blinded for the privilege, and it wasn’t lost on Essa just how incredibly lucky she was to live in a time when the star’s light could be contained and viewed by anyone. It was nothing short of a miracle, and was often billed as such in clumsy handbill copy.

Come and see the star. Confront the beauty of space.

Essa completed her check of the star’s casing and pulled her hand away. There was a flare of light, suddenly. The star looked like it was bubbling at its core. She took a step back just as a wave of light stronger than any recorded in the observation of the Oota Dabun rippled outward from its core and stretched across the lab. Essa put her hands up in front of her face. She could swear that something physical hit them as the light passed her, but when she pulled them away everything was as it had been.

“Losing it, old gal,” she muttered to herself. Essa wrote up her final report and left for the evening.

T-7 The rash sent her to the emergency care center at one in the morning. She’d been out for drinks with a friend from grad school, Cara, when her palms started to itch. She scratched at them absentmindedly until Cara became annoyed by what seemed like a nervous tick and grabbed her by the wrist, inspecting Essa’s hands. They were swollen and red, creased with white where her nails were digging into the skin.

“What did you get into this time?” Cara asked, motioning to the bartender for their bill.

“I don’t know. Maybe there was some turpentine on a work station. I don’t remember catching my hands in anything though.”

“Turpentine does not do that,” Cara said, signing the bill and dragging Essa out to the car.

The emergency care center doctor was also unimpressed with the assessment. “Do you have any allergies?”

“None that I know of,” Essa said, sitting on her hands, letting the paper pulled across the bed crinkle underneath her skin and do some of the scratching for her.

The doctor left the room and returned with a tube of white cream. “I want to try this first. Hold your hands out.”

Essa did as she was told. The doctor slathered the cream over both sides of her hands and her arms up to her elbows. There was immediate relief from the itching. The redness and swelling also died down almost immediately, which seemed to perplex the doctor, but he didn’t voice his concern. He merely set his mouth at an uneven dip and told her to come back if the swelling returned.

She let Cara drive her home.

T-5 Essa woke up in the middle of the night and she was freezing, though her skin felt hot and she was drenched in sweat. Her skin felt more than hot. She felt like she was melting, and her vision was blurred. Bright, white floaters were swimming in and out of view as she dropped out of bed and crawled to the bathroom.

Once kneeling on her tattered old mat she used the edge of the tub to pull herself up and was startled almost immediately by a bright orange light appearing behind her in the full length mirror hanging on the back of the door. Her hands, still sticky from the cream, lost their purchase and she fell, knocking her head against the hard edge of her toilet. Essa closed her eyes to stop the room from swimming and pulled herself up again.

Without looking, she flicked on the bathroom light and leaned in close to the mirror above the sink. When she opened her eyes again she was confronted with the orange glow. It was coming from her. Her pupils shone as if someone had shoved fairy lights into ping pong balls, the deep red veins were visible against the sclera, and the sweat on her forehead was leaving a dusty golden sheen on her skin.

She wanted to scream. There was panic climbing up her throat. She tamped it down, deciding this was a nightmare, and turned off the bathroom light before unsteadily making her way back to bed. The bed sheets were rolled into a tight cocoon and she shoved her head under her pillow, trying to escape the frigid air.

T-1 When Essa woke again she was fine. She didn’t feel tired, her hands were their usual shape and color, and nothing about her was glowing without the aid of a good foundation. Chalking it all up to nightmares and tequila, she tried to find something in her closet suitable for unveiling a star.

T-0 She’d gotten a slower start than she’d intended, so Essa was practically sprinting across the downtown streets on her way to the museum. The signal said WALK, so she went without looking, trusting the traffic more than she would have normally.

Later she wouldn’t know how to explain what had happened. She was standing in the middle of the road when she heard the car horn blare. She looked up to see a red sports car lumbering towards her and she threw her hands up, unable to make her feet move. Right then everything around her stopped.

She blacked out for a moment, her sight going dark. Her whole body felt as if she had inhaled all of the oxygen in the city. Her lungs held on to it for a beat, making her feel impossibly dense. Then everything returned to normal speed and she felt a release. There was a woosh and a crackle in her ears and light erupted from her.

Everything was suddenly as white as it had been black just moments before. It blinded her to look at it ebbing outward, so she could only imagine what it was like for anything on the other side. She began to shiver again, as her skin crawled, impossibly hot. The front of the car started to burn away as it was stopped in its tracks centimeters from her. No one who witnessed the occurrence would allow themselves to believe it.

It would be touted as a miracle.

Come and see the star. Confront the beauty of space.

This post was written in response to [ profile] therealljidol Exhibit A, Week Four Topic: Ultra Deep Field. Concrit and comments are welcome.
momebie: (Architects Derek/Amelia Run)
Those of you who have been around these parts awhile might know this story, but they might not know it in quite this way.

It was after dark when my classmates and I trickled into the warm fall night, laughing and talking loudly, chasing each other around and feeling an itch to do something brisk and drastic. It was partially because we were teenagers and burrowed deep in that mythic age of boundless energy and waking nights. It was also because we had just spent three hours sitting on the floor of a doctor's den, crafting flowers out of small pink and white bin liners. In the month we'd been working on our float for the homecoming parade we'd made close to 700 trash bag flowers and we needed at least 500 more. Our float won the spirit vote every year and this year was going to be no exception. I still remember the fake vanilla smell and the dryness of my fingertips.

We were all a little disappointed too, to tell the truth. Every homecoming there was a war between the senior class and the junior class and we had been prepared for junior operatives to come by and try to take us unawares. We had eggs and paintball guns and water cannons at the ready, but we were left undisturbed. So it was with extra nervousness that I made small talk with the boy I liked as we headed to our vehicles.

"Sucks that nothing happened," he said.

"I know," I said.

His friend offered no comment, hanging back with his hands in his pockets.

We stopped between my car and his truck, standing safe in the warm yellow glow of a phosphorous street lamp as our friends drove away, gazing out into the darkness surrounding the house rather than make eye contact. "Hey," he said. "Do you wanna do something?"


"How about a high speed car chase?"

I think I'd meant to make an excuse, and I remember feeling like my knees were going to buckle. Still, something about the straight way his mouth was set and the light in his eyes confused my response. "Yes, I'm in."

He played it cool then, getting into his truck and letting his friend in the passenger side. I was shaking so hard at that point that I fumbled extra long with my keys and worried that they'd lose me off the bat. I was later told that he was shaking too and saying 'I didn't expect her to say yes' over and over to his friend. We all do stupid things when we're young.

We managed to make it out of the subdivision before we got too wild, but five minutes later I was flying down the beach road, pushing my 10 year old Honda to 95 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone, flying past tourists in slow, lumbering sedans with northern plates. I was still shaking, but now with exhilaration. The island where I grew up isn't a big place. It's about five miles by twelve miles, and we only actually drove over about a quarter of it in our adventure, staying off the two busiest roads and sticking to dark clusters of neighborhoods on the north end. The streets were well-worn grooves to us by this time, even though we hadn't been driving for more than a couple years. We merely followed the paths we knew by heart and trusted the stagnant nature of the place to keep us safe.

When you're eighteen you're invincible, so even as my car slid sideways into a sandy lot in an empty subdivision newly under construction, I didn't once think about hitting someone or something. I didn't stop to consider how much a speeding ticket would cost if I was gunned pushing 100 miles per hour on surface streets. I only thought about my steering wheel and the Nine Inch Nails blaring in my tinny, stock speakers and the traction of my tires and keeping up. We probably drove around this way for close to half an hour, but it was only that slide that nearly made me lose him.

He finally stopped his truck at the top of the Eighteenth Street hill and got out. It's the highest point on the island at a staggering 17 feet above sea level. When I had parked and joined him in the middle of the street we were literally standing at the top of our small world. It was then that the night fell in on me. I hadn't noticed any of it before, too distracted by his presence and my itch. It was clear out. There were stars upon stars above us. The air was warm and wet, like it usually is in Florida in September, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Yes, I'll blame that on the air.

"I need to take my friend home," he said. "But good try."

"Thanks," I replied, trying to be cool about what I'd just done, as if I often spent my week nights doing stupid things with stupid boys. I didn't want to show my hand. I didn't want to be seen as excitable or overeager, even though he probably knew pretty well by then that I was both of those things. "I'll see you at school then?"

"Yeah," he said. And we parted ways. I spent a good amount of time after that aimlessly driving around the island and trying to calm my nerves enough to go home.

The funniest part of this story, the part worn smooth from telling, is that on my way home I got pulled over and given a warning for 'reckless driving'. It happened when I flipped my turn indicator and accidentally rolled my hand along the arm, briefly turning on my brights. I turned them off quickly, but was signaled over by a cop I hadn't even seen who thought I was warning other people that he was there. A neat trick, considering it was close to midnight and there was no one else on the road. I gladly took it though, and laughed giddily on my way back to my parents' house. Reckless, I thought, if only he'd seen me just minutes before.

So that's the part of the story I tell, but it's not the part that's the most important. The part that's the most important is that I said yes impulsively to something I knew I shouldn't do, something dangerous and stupid, and it changed my life. If only I could remember that more often as I grow. It would keep me from stagnating like home.

This post was written in response to [ profile] therealljidol Exhibit A, Week Three Topic: Shenanigans. Concrit and comments are welcome.
momebie: (NNoD Caleb smoke)
On the ground in New York City it was 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Where Grant was standing, with his toes over the edge of a 51st floor apartment, shoes crunching in the broken glass of the shattered floor to ceiling windows, it was much colder. The wind whistled through the empty spaces around him. He pulled up the collar on his black military jacket, huffed warm air over his chin, and looked down into the remains of what used to be Times Square. Or maybe it still was. Just because one civilization had left it behind didn’t mean that its characteristics would change until some other group came along and made it their own. It was going to be a while before the plants took the cities over so completely from neglect.

It would be the plants. The people of Earth had tried, no one else was coming.

And because Grant lived the kind of life that could never, ever depend on his conjecture, someone chose that exact moment to enter the apartment, tripping his makeshift alarm and causing an unholy racket along with ruining his poetic train of thought. “For the love of all that’s holy,” he said, turning around. “Can’t anyone ever, oh, it’s you.”

Nell was caught in a shadow box, the dark door frame she was standing in surrounded her as the golden doors of the elevator across the hall behind her caused her silhouette to pop in the near dark. She was wearing a grey peacoat and black pants, and had a semi-automatic rifle trained on him. He slowly pulled his hands from his pockets and spread his arms outward like broken wings.

“I killed you,” she said.

“You tried. It was a commendable effort, since I not only had to recover from the bullets, but also from the infection and dry socket I got when you removed my three gold teeth.” Out of habit, he ran his tongue over the empty spaces where his back left molars had been.

“I needed proof. It was that or your hand.” She stepped forward, lifting her foot over the spent trip wire.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “You can’t prove the teeth were mine, but fingerprints are unique. I wouldn’t need a hand if I was dead. Why the sudden swell of sympathy for the nearly dispatched?”

Nell lowered her gun and threw the strap over her shoulder. “I’m soft on ya, Gee, always have been.”

Grant relaxed, dropped his arms, and took a few steps toward the center of the room. It was for safety, just in case she decided to rush him and fling him from the window. “Always were a crazy bitch,” he said.

“You know any sane people in our line of work?”


“You got anything to drink?” she said. “I’ve damn near climbed a million stairs to find you. My lips are chapped to bleeding and my throat feels like I’ve swallowed the oysters, shell and all.”

“No water. I’ve been rationing a bottle of top shelf whiskey for a week now.”

“That’ll do.”

He could feel Nell’s eyes on him as he crossed the room to the small apartment kitchen. Grant turned his back on her to pull the whiskey bottle from the over-the-stove cabinet. He poured the makeshift water into the bottle’s cap and turned to hand it to her.

“Didn’t these people have any real glasses?”

“Rationing means small sips.”

“Selfish prick.” She upended the cap in her mouth and hummed low in her throat as she swallowed. “That hurts all the way down.”

“Being selfish is one of my charms. Another one is that I’m not shooting you in the head right now. I’m a gentleman that way.”

“You wouldn’t expend the energy without an order and pay upfront.”

“For you I might make an exception, one of these days.”

Nell held out the cap and smiled, stretching the skin tight over her chin and cheek bones. He remembered her as a beauty with a glow in her eyes. The last time he saw her she had been fuller in the cheeks and chest, her dark hair flowing around her shoulders instead of cropped to above her ears. Living was treating her worse than death ever would, but that didn’t quell the urge to run his knife across her tan, ropey throat.

“More,” she said.

Grant nodded and poured again, and again, and again. She took shot after shot and tossed them back like she was trying to extinguish the flame in her gut. He thought about how vulnerable he felt with his toes sticking out into the air. He’d spent an hour that way every day, just contemplating jumping, but not being able to.

He was afraid death wouldn’t take him. He was afraid Nell would. He was afraid of the morning light. He was afraid of his next job, which was the only one of the four that he could successfully hide from, as long as he had a stable supply of forgotten booze to claim.

The last drop dribbled into the cap and Nell had to practically lick it out with her white, dehydrated tongue. “What else have you got for me?”

“I think there’s a mini bar on the next floor up,” he said. “A cavalry line of cheap vodka just waiting to be taken.”

“So let’s walk the plank.” She tossed the cap toward the open window and frowned when it fell just short of it.

“Let’s, mate,” he said. He moved past her, then spun around and snatched the rifle from her shoulder. Before she could grab for it he brought the butt of the gun up into her nose and knocked her out cold across the once-white carpet, now grey with mildew. She had been right about not being worth the energy, but that didn’t mean he didn’t always catch exactly what he was after.

This post was written in response to [ profile] therealljidol Exhibit A, Week Two Topic: Throw back the little ones. Concrit and comments are welcome.
momebie: (Bleach Szyael Insanity yay!)
Am I crazy? Indubitably. There, this is going to be the easiest prompt of the whole competition!

I feel that, without a doubt, I am most certainly a crazy person. This opinion of myself though, is often met with resistance by the people around me. (As are many of my opinions about myself, such as the ones pertaining to my looks or my social skills or which Hogwarts house I'm in, but that's a whole other post.) Crazy is, it seems, not as crazy does. Instead, crazy is as crazy is perceived, and everyone's measure is different. So what is it that makes me crazy and why is it that we can't agree on a set identifier?

The term crazy gets a bad rap in the current online social community, for good reason. It's a dismissive catch-all term that lacks as much in precision as it does in empathy. What we call crazy are the thoughts and behaviors in others which we don't understand. The people on Hoarders, for instance, or the two women who are married to the Berlin wall. They are crazy. There is something identifiably deviant about these people when measured against the accepted social markers. They become too attached to things we don't think a person should be attached to, for starters.

This is where crazy gets slippery, because often those people don't think that they're crazy. It feels right to them to create these attachments. It would almost be crazier to deny the heart what it wants, which I think is a sentiment a lot of us can agree with when it's targeted toward other people or really nice shoes. Their neurological makeup does not understand why a person shouldn't fall in love with the Berlin wall, it merely does.

This line of thinking brings us back around to me and my brain, which feels guilty and awkward and deviant for the things that happen in it all of the time. Sunday I had a panic attack over the smell of a stranger's cologne. It triggered a negative response to a specific memory and my body reacted physically as if it was still in that situation. That made me feel crazy. It was a reaction which I mentally identified as being deviant when related to my current physical state of safety. I mean, other people don't stop breathing as they're leaving movie theaters. The Last Stand wasn't good, but it wasn't so bad it robbed me of life.

When I voiced concern over my reaction in relation to my mental state, several people who know me assured me that I wasn't crazy, that I'm still not, because they could identify with my reaction. It wasn't deviant. I'm not crazy because they understand me, and they're not crazy. This attitude, of course, does not take into account my personal discomfort with my own mind, which is really what makes most of us feel crazy when we do.

What about the people then who don't feel uncomfortable with who they are, but who make us uncomfortable? Much like in Catch-22, if you can identify that you might be insane, then you are sane enough to hide it and perform your duties. You think you're crazy, so you can't possible be crazy. Congratulations! But that is little comfort to the people still fighting the battles they disagree with and who want nothing more than to escape from them.

So, am I crazy? I still think so. I want to believe it's unnatural to feel at odds with the simple facts of who you are on a daily basis, but the truth is it's not. This pervasive cultural discomfort makes finding a corroborating diagnosis of insanity difficult, regardless of your symptoms. Unless you fall in love with the Berlin wall, in which case, keep that nonsense over there, thanks.

This post was written in response to [ profile] therealljidol Exhibit A, Week One Topic: Am I Crazy? Concrit and comments are welcome.
momebie: (Sisyphus has never had a gf)
Hello out there, old and new Idol friends. My name is KL, nice to meet you. I am a lot of things-30, ginger, late for everything, still mentally lazing in bed-but there are more things that I'm not. The things that I'm not are way more interesting than the things that I am, so I suppose I'll start out this mini-season by disabusing you of any notions that I might be a cool or somehow useful human being. So a few things that I'm not, to get us started.

1. I am not a librarian.
I do work in a library, surrounded by books. I've always wanted to be left alone in the room with the books and now here I am, though not quite alone. It isn't what I thought it would be, but then, it's not quite the way I'd intended to get here either. That's the way with most of life, I find. In my current position I work in the library at a publishing company and spend a lot of time faffing about with spreadsheets and very little time actually helping editorial look for books. I would like to eventually go back to school and get my masters in library science so people will hire me to research things properly (or perhaps some sort of curating thing, I haven't decided yet), but for now I merely muck about in databases and try to convince other publishers to give us free books. Weirdly, that second thing is easier than the first most days.

2. I am not a superhero.
Though I spend a whole lot of time thinking about them. And reading comics about them. And writing poems about them. And pretending to dress like girly, teenage versions of them, because if there's one thing Bucky Barnes would approve of as a character it's me getting my nutella all up in his peanut butter.


I'm actually not a hero at all. What I am is a villain, and my name is KaiLor. Which sometimes leads to hilarity when baristas call me so I can pick up my hot chocolate-with extra darkside-or my friends inform me that I am also a planet from the Star Wars universe. I don't wear spandex, but I do wear masks.

3. I am not an poet.
And how. The two things I would very much like to be regardless of money or fame acquired, are a poet or a philosopher. The first because I have a great respect for poets, even though I'm just recently learning to truly admire their work. I wish I could be as bald as they are. Sometimes I think in a poetic manner, but getting it out of my head in a pleasing form is really hard. And I'd like to be the second because, hell, I already spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what it means to be alive, or to be awake, or to be free, or to be wearing green sweaters. Might as well get some use out of it. I'll never really be either of those things, but I'm no stranger to dress up, so sometimes it's nice to pretend.

4. I am not a giraffe.
I don't care what my friends tell you. I'm also not Gerard Way, Jessica HAS seen us in the same place at the same time before. She will lie about that, you have to be careful.

5. I am not with the band.
Except for when I am. Some of my friends and I did help a band we have friends in shoot a music video last summer. But mostly I'm just skulking around dive bars in my cardigans waiting for something to strike me. Preferably a chord or a line, but there have been stray beer bottles and feet. It's a hard knock life for southern hipsters with questionable music taste. I'd explain more, but Deadmau5 just dropped the beat and I think he needs some help picking it up.

Wait here, I'll go do that.
momebie: (IT Crowd Moss Hang On)
This is my bid to play in LJ Idol: Exhibit A.

I have not deserted you all, by the by. I've just been busy and confused and haven't known what to say. A real post about writing and possibly some fic to follow later this evening.
momebie: (Mighty Boosh Vince Still My Heart)
So, it happened. I was voted off in the Second Round poll. But I feel like placing 18 (based on the vote tally at the closing of the poll) in an original pack of 250 or so is a pretty awesome thing. It's definitely better than I thought I'd do by, ooooooh, 200 or so. That's not a unique feeling for the competition though, and since I don't feel like I have a lot of unique feelings I'm just going to focus on myself for the time being.

Here are some numbers that I find interesting, because sometimes Em rubs off on me (oh baby):
Entries: 23
Fiction: 20
Entries in the BDESFN 'verse: 3
Entries in the Steampunk 'verse: 3
Entries in new 'verses: 14

That's a lot of new head canon, guys. When I go back and look at the last several years of writing--the three since I started working with the Steampunk characters in particular*--I look at a lot of empty space. I look at a lot of time spent feeling inadequate and unable to relay the worlds in my head to people outside of it. I look at a lot of time sat in front of blank documents and a lot of half finished stories that I just lost passion for before I got to the editing stage.

The bottom line is that I LOVE creating worlds and I love research and I love getting to know my characters, but I have a hard time carving out which parts of the story to keep or not keep and actually sitting my ass down to FINISH things. Teaching myself to do that was one of my goals for this year and I think that's the greatest thing I've taken away from all of this. For twenty some odd weeks (roughly) in a row I sat down and made something happen. I tugged at my brain and things actually came out of it. Sometimes things I liked quite a bit. And that bit is invaluable. I'm going to try and take that training and run with it as I complete that first draft of The Steampunk this year (if it kills me) and get working on the BDESFN in earnest.

Basically, thank you Idol, you've given me a lot. I'm glad I let [ profile] bewize convince me to try this crazy thing. I'm glad I let [ profile] theemdash talk me out of quitting weeks ago. I'm glad to have gotten to know all of you. I think most of you who want to be friends with me have probably already asked, but if you do and you're feeling hesitant, please go ahead and just let me know. I don't bite until the third date. I like biting! It's like kissing but with a winner!

* My god, it's been three years since I started working on The Steampunk. And look what I have to show for it. This is my whole point.

In news altogether unrelated to writing, Brendon Urie is still in the universe being REALLY FREAKING ADORABLE and I almost can't take it. Like, just seeing him smile fills me to the brim with joy and I wish I knew why because it makes me feel seriously predatory and creepy when I think about it. BUT I MEAN, JUST LOOK AT HIM.

momebie: (Architect William)
Original fiction.
~1500 words.
The Steampunk-verse.
For [ profile] theemdash.


“Do you think I made the appropriate impression?” William fiddled with the lace at the end of his sleeve and looked about the crowded parlor room, scanning it to find Jon Henley. He’d wanted to please him. It was important to William to become someone important, which he fully believed Jon could do for him.

“I think you made an impression,” Edmund said.

He was rather brazenly wearing a smug grin that William felt was definitely inappropriate for the occasion. Then again, he admittedly didn’t quite know what was appropriate for the occasion, hence the question. Sometimes he hated everyone he knew.

“Smooth,” Nate said. He donned his hat and started patting about the lapels of his jacket, searching for his cigarette case. “Not quite as…worldly as you could have been, though.”


“I’ve found, in my dealings about the Opera house, that it is polite to kiss the knuckles of your betters when you greet them.” He found the cigarette case and pulled one out, tapping the tip of it gently on the smooth silver back absentmindedly. “Did you kiss him, Mr. Claxton?”

Edmund choked around a laugh and William felt his ears going red. The silk lining of his jacket suddenly felt as constricting as any male corset. “He’s not my type,” William said.

“It’s hardly about types, my good man,” Nate said. “And I’m off.” William watched him disappear into the crowd.

Edmund crowded in next to him and draped his arm across William’s shoulders. “I’ll buy you a whole bottle of that disgusting Sarmillian plum wine you like so much if you do it.”

“Once a man has tried to kill you with a priceless vase, it’s a little late for first impressions,” William said.

“Don’t you think it’s time we left for the evening?”

William looked at Edmund, who was still carefully composed and smug. “Sod it,” William said. He stalked through the parlor and out into the foyer, leaving Edmund behind. When he finally found Jon Henley the man was surrounded by other people. William stood at the edge of the group for a moment, composing himself. He then did something he had told himself he would never do and let a stereotype get the better of him. He flounced into the center of the circle, letting his cane lead the way.

“Mr. Claxton,” Jon said, eyebrow raised.

“Mr. Henley,” William said. He reached out and grasped at Jon’s naked hand, holding it firmly in his gloved fingers. “It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance this evening. I look forward our next meeting.” And there, in front of everyone, William brought Jon’s fingers to his lips and gave them a quick, dry kiss. Then, without looking up into Jon’s face again, he bowed his way out of the circle and shot for the door.

“Dandies,” he heard Jon say behind him, and the crowd laughed: quietly, politely, conspiratorially.

“I’d say you’ve left an impression now,” Edmund said, clapping his hand down on William’s shaking shoulder and wheeling him off the porch and down to where their horses were stabled.

“I think,” William said carefully, “that if I work for him, I’m going to become someone different than who I mean to be.”


It had been a whirlwind six months, working for Jon Henley as one of his Architects. William learned more than he thought there was to know about the way politics worked and how to get people to do the things he wanted. Edmund was still the deadliest blade in their group, but William had become the most graceful, and as such had made himself as useful to Mr. Henley as he imagined he could be.

And he was the most graceful. He prided himself in being carefully put together at all times. He liked the way Jon looked at him when he first entered the room. He felt petted and approved of whenever Jon would give him one of his slight nods. “Thank you,” he assumed it to mean. “You’re perfect.”

The fact that that woman had joined the group did not make things different. Her golden hair and her demure lips and the swell of her hips were nothing when compared to the sword William kept in his cane. Feminine wiles did not a conspirator make. So why did Jon now nod in her direction when she entered the room. As if she’d done more than sleep with Nate Ayre and frustrate that Dawes boy. Not that he couldn’t appreciate anything that frustrated Derek Dawes. But still….

William needed to do something drastic. He needed to get himself noticed again. And since carving her heart out and delivering it to Jon with the evening report seemed a little drastic, he settled on something a little more subtle.

“Mr. Claxton,” Jon said, as William entered the main drawing room on the airship. Jon was already seated, preparing for the unmooring that he had never really gotten used to.

William noted the distinct lack of an appreciative nod and straightened up. “Mr. Henley,” he said, stepping forward. He leaned in and grasped Jon’s forearm, pulling him forward in his chair. Then he swooped down and left a small kiss on Jon’s cheek.

Jon froze. William smiled and leaned back, releasing his grip on Jon’s forearm. There was a cough at the door and William turned, taking a step to the side, just in time to see Tom Bridgman back out of the room with a tip of his hat. William smiled at him. After all, there was nothing unusual happening, just a guard dog greeting his master in the appropriate manner.

The silence between them evaporated as the airship’s engines were cranked and prepared for takeoff. William watched as Jon slid back in his seat and gripped hard at the arms of his chair. “The report, Mr. Claxton,” he said in a tight voice.


They were drunk. Edmund disgracefully so, but William wasn’t far behind him. Technically they didn’t have nights off. The job of revolutionary wasn’t one that came with an office or routine, so in general it suited them to be as sharp as they could whenever possible. Some nights though, some nights you just needed to let your hair down.

The necklace at William’s throat was spinning, receiving a message. “You,” he said, pulling at the waist of the woman closest to Edmund. She giggled and fell back into him. He gave her his widest, most charming smile and said “do you have a looking glass on you, my dear?”

“You’re still the prettiest in the land, Will,” Edmund crowed, and pinched the breast of the girl in his lap. She shrieked compliantly.

“No,” William said. “I believe it’s the boss.”

“Ah, that familiar stirring in your heart, then?”

“Almost surely,” William said. The girl handed her mirror over and William took it over to the fire. He unbuttoned his shirt down to his stomach and pulled it and the lapel of his jacket aside, holding the mirror up so that he could clearly see his left collar bone. There they were, the familiar raised bumps on his chest in the code that only the Architects knew. Morse code for the devil himself. “I believe we’re being summoned,” he said.

“Let the bastard bring his arse down here where it’s warm and comfortable,” Edmund said.

“The bastard shouldn’t have to bring his arse anywhere.”

William turned around quickly, almost tripping over his heel. “Mr. Henley,” he said. “Jon.”

“Has this fine young man come to join the party?” said the girl in Edmund’s lap.

“I’ve come to join nothing. You are needed, Wilson,” he said to Edmund. “If you’re finished polishing your saber you can clean yourself up and meet Mr. Bridgman outside.”

Edmund frowned and stood, carefully pushing the girl from his lap. She gave a small pout, but he tapped the end of her nose with his finger and spared her a smile. “I’ll be back for you,” he said. To Jon he said, “you could use a little polish yourself, careful you don’t tarnish.” Then he stomped from the room.

Jon stared at William expectantly. Do something, William thought. You have an audience. What would get the greatest reaction?

“What a pleasure this is,” William said. He tripped forward toward Jon as foppishly as he could manage in his already disoriented state. “You are always welcome in our home.” With that William clasped Jon’s neck in both of his hands and dragged him bodily forward, laying a wet, welcoming kiss on Jon’s lips.

The girls clapped and cheered. Jon stood very, very still as William let him go and stepped back, grinning for all the world like a street mutt that had just found a bone.

“You forget your place, Mr. Claxton. And you do it often.”

William let his lips fall, drawing himself in and trying to look more serious. “You forget that you wouldn’t have your place if I knew mine.”

This bit of fiction was written for the Second Chance Topic: No Man Is a Hero to His Valet at [ profile] therealljidol. I realize this is kind of ridiculous, even for me, so you know, let me know if you were amused. As always, all comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Sisyphus has never had a gf)
I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Oh, I had the usual string of dream jobs on hold: astronaut, paleontologist, famous author, etc. I just never actualized them in my mind as solid possibilities. I was mimicking the people around me, as all children do. Until about the age of 17 it didn’t occur to me that I might live through my senior year of high school. It’s not that I was suicidal—that came later—it was merely that the idea of being an independent human being, separate of the structures I’d built for myself, didn’t appeal to me. So I dismissed the thought. Time would stop.

Of course, time didn’t stop. In the last ten years I’ve gone from ignoring the idea of the future to dwelling on it too intently. I can’t sleep some nights. (I didn’t sleep last night, which is why you’re getting this instead of more fiction.) There’s a tag in this journal for ‘the dreaded future’ for a very good reason. The future terrifies me. It terrifies me because everything is going to change and I am going to have to be the one to make some of those changes and I am ultimately responsible for where I end up. That crushing responsibility, above all else, is what I believe in now.

I took a lot of philosophy and religion classes in college. It was the only way to productively work through my fear of free will and how it related (poorly) to my Calvinist theological upbringing. If things are predestined and predetermined, why spend so much time dragging myself through life? I still haven’t found a reliable answer to that one. My solution was to eschew theology altogether, which is a tailspin of a feeling if you were raised with all of the comforting, violent, gilded words of a specific religion.

At that point it was the existentialists that caught me. In them I found the desperate explanation of life that I’d been looking for. It’s all on me. Regardless of whether there are gods in the sky or the earth or the perfume ads they stuff into women’s magazines, I’m still responsible for myself. I have to create a meaning. I have to create myself every day. Every day. Sartre is my boyfriend and Camus is my mistress and even though it means that sometimes I don’t sleep at night, I’m most comfortable when living through the illusion that I’m in control.

And it is an illusion. The world is large and dense and sometimes it feels like it doesn’t matter how much of a path I manage to forge through the brambles, the Universe can come through and just as easily drown me out through no fault of my own. As a child I was taught that it happened to the people Noah didn’t have room for. It can happen to me. So even though I’ve built myself a world of lonely, commanding words, I have to leave room for eventualities. I’m not hedging my bets as much as it sounds like I might be, but in a lot of ways I still am and always will be a little girl, pretending to know what I want to be when I grow up.

There’s a tattoo I’ve been planning for several years now. And those of you who know me will raise your eyebrows and go ‘a tattoo? you want every tattoo’, which is true, but this one is special. This one I’m reserving for a moment when I take one of those large, startling leaps. Right now I go back and forth between deciding whether I want to get it when I move across country or when I graduate grad school. Both are things I’m feeling compelled to do. (Don’t you find that sometimes, as you’re making your way through life, certain decisions feel like they travel in well worn grooves in your soul? They come to you and you wonder in what life you’d ever choose the other option?) I haven’t settled on a design, but I know exactly what it will say.

Some marble blocks have statues within them, embedded in their future.

It’s a quote from the Alan Moore comic Watchmen. (Yeah, not only am I an insufferable pretentious douchebag, but I’m also an insufferable pretentious comic book geek. You all probably noticed that by now, though. I just really like Batman, okay?) I wish I could share the panel the line comes from with you, but I don’t have my copy on me and my quick Google search hasn’t turned it up. (Thanks to [ profile] edincoat it's now at the bottom of the post!) Long story short, one of the characters realizes time as being simultaneous, so he doesn’t feel he’s moving through it linearly so much as bumping up against events as they happen at all points. And I don’t have a giant blue penis, but sometimes, in spite of everything I believe about making me me, that’s how I feel. I’m a blank slate. I’m an ornate statue. I’m a weather worn, pock marked rock. I've blinked out.

I am already who I’ve made myself, and sometimes that futility will just keep you up nights.

This post was written for Topic 25: Uncarved Block at [ profile] therealljidol. I know there's been a lot of meta lately about fiction vs. non-fiction and how some people feel like they don't really get to know those of us who write fiction. I'd be interested in knowing if you feel like this tells you more about me than my fiction did. As always, I welcome all comments and questions.
momebie: (Cowboy Bebope Spike/Julia)
Original fiction.
~1500 words.

This entry follows directly after this post. Though, if you missed it, you might need some of the information from this interlude.

. . .

“There is something I do want to know, if we're done with the questions,” Mattie said.

The Or across the table put down her pen and crossed her hands over the pad, blocking Mattie's vision of the words that were written there. “Yes?”

“Who are you?”

“What do you mean? I'm Or.”

Mattie shook her head. “No, who are you really? Because if you were Or I'd be able to see your halo. Unless you people have learned how to hide parts of your souls along everything else you've fabricated.”

The Or looked down at her hands and smiled. “Why didn't you tell your male friend there was something wrong? Don't you want him here to save you?”

Do I need saving? )

This post was written for Topic 24: Bats in the Belfry at [ profile] therealljidol. Please let me know what you think. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Sisyphus has never had a gf)
Original fiction.
~1700 words.

Or crawled up onto the table and made herself comfortable. The pillow for her head always seemed to be a little too far away on its extendable metal arm, which kept her stretched and at attention even when she was lying down. The doctor joked that he would improve that in the next model. The Dolls that looked like her would be taller by just a couple centimeters. Not enough to be noticeable, but enough to make them more comfortable when they were being poked and prodded.

“And why should they have all the comfort when I'm the original?” Or leaned forward so that he could apply sensors to the base of her neck. “Shouldn't being real have some perks?”

“Ah, my dear, but that is a perk,” he said. “Being alive is incredibly discomforting. It's how we can tell ourselves apart from the Dolls.”

“About the only way if you get this to work.”

“Sit still,” he said. The doctor smoothed her hair back before applying the electrodes to her forehead. “Besides, they still won't have souls. We can't fabricate that. We don't even know if we'll be able to teach them to learn. They may just stumble around being the you from today. Be glad that's not a fate you have to endure. )

This post was written for Topic 23: Pass the Ammunition at [ profile] therealljidol. This week's piece is an interlude in the universe I've been working with. It's set in Or's point of view instead of Mattie's, but it's information you'll need later, I promise. Man, I cannot wait until I can revamp this whole thing. This week at LJI we have three way intersections! I'm working with [ profile] cheshire23, whose piece can be found here, and [ profile] basric, whose piece can be found here! Please go and let them know what you think.
momebie: (Inception JGL alone)
Original fiction.
~1700 words.
This week on LJ Idol is another intersection. This fiction entry has been written to correspond with the non-fiction entry that [ profile] comedychick has written. You can read hers here. I highly recommend that you do.

This story is another installment of the ongoing serial. It follows directly after the last LJ Idol post.

. . .

They didn't have to cover a lot of distance to get back to the headquarters, but Mattie had never been on a motorcycle before so the trip felt like it lasted for ages. The wind fingered wildly through her hair and coarsely brushed her exposed skin. She shivered and clutched tighter to Chet, burying her cheek into his back and closing her eyes. The sound buffeted around her and she let the landscape create itself in her mind. It was there, somewhere between flying and fainting, that she realized that this little trip into someone else's life could get her killed. She found that, when she really thought about it, this wasn't a possibility that scared her.

Mattie had never given a thought to the notion that she'd live even this long. )

This continuation of ridiculous fiction was written for Topic 22: Playing the Odds at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Death Note Light/L fight)
Original fiction.
1300 words.
This post can be read in conjunction with [ profile] yachiru's entry for this week, for she is my intersect partner. It's not integral, but you should read hers anyway, because she is rad.

One shot was fired, but after that all Mattie heard was the beating of feet on soft earth and the rasping double breaths that she and Maynard were taking. Maynard wasn’t keeping up as well as she’d hoped he would. She stumbled over a root, unable to see in the minimal moonlight that was dripping through the forest canopy.

“Stop. Stop!” She reached out and caught the trunk of a small tree to try and slow her hurtling body.

Maynard came up just short behind her and collapsed to the ground, his legs giving way. “I’m sorry, I’m-“

“You’re shot. Just stop. Let me think.” Mattie paced around Maynard. “We were close to the bridge, so we have to be close to the river, right? These greenlands would jut up against it.”

“I hope.”

“Okay. I don’t think they’re following us. Or if they are they’re being really damned stealth about it. Let’s head this way, make it to the shoreline, and then see what we have to work with.” She bent down to help Maynard up. With his arm draped over her shoulders they continued on to the west in near silence, which Mattie was grateful for. She didn’t feel like talking, and even if she did she wouldn’t have anything to say.

Maynard wasn’t large, but Mattie wasn’t accustomed to carrying people of any type, so by the time she heard the soft licks of running water her arms and back were almost numb. As they broke out of the tree line she saw that they weren’t far from one of the walking bridges. Unlike the bridges built for vehicular traffic, with their retinues of armed guards checking for paperwork, the walking bridges weren’t guarded by anyone. The powers that be assumed that if anything happened, the fisherman and loiterers would report it. After all, it’s just what good citizens did. Mattie squinted, trying to see into the distance. For now the bridge appeared to be empty. Mattie sent a quick prayer up to the First Diviner and hurried across the small beach and down to the concrete path underneath the head of the bridge.

“Fancy a swim?” Maynard said, as she propped him up against one of the concrete struts. He got half a laugh out before wincing and curling in on himself. “I may have been lying about being able to run.”

“So I noticed,” Mattie said. She cursed herself for not having thought to bring a phone, or even a jacket, as they left her apartment. She sat down heavily next to Maynard. “I’m all out of ideas.”

“If Or called ahead and told them that we’re coming, they might be anticipating our arrival.”

“Anticipating our arrival and sending out a search party are two different things.” She dropped her head into her hands. “Diviner’s Breath, what are we going to do?”

“Well I wouldn’t sit there like that, you’ll freeze to death.”

Mattie looked up. There was a stranger there, silhouette backlit by the light thrown from the lamps on the bridge, and standing just outside of the shadows. “It’s nothing,” she said. “We’ll be out of here before you even get your pole set up. You don’t have to worry about us scaring the fish off.”

“That’s considerate of you,” he said, stepping into the shadow so Mattie could make out his features. “I don’t want to impose, but your friend there? That doesn’t look like nothing.” He dropped down to one knee and slid his backpack off his shoulders and onto the ground in front of him.

Mattie leaned in to study him. She pretended to be taking stock of Maynard’s wounds. The man was in all black and about Maynard’s build, with short blond hair and pale skin. “I said we’re not going to bother you.”

“That’s good,” he said, his voice light. “I want to get this over with as quickly as possible.”

“I would hope that in return you won’t bother us,” Mattie said. She pulled her lips tight and tried to look down her nose at him in disapproval, even though he was hovering above her.

“Yep, I’ll get out of your hair. Let you get back to your little date,” he said. He pulled something from his bag and placed it on the ground between them. It was a grey, round disc, with buttons flush against its outer flanks and the word ZILCH clearly marked on the top in bold, white letters. “Just as soon as I fix your boyfriend there.” He pressed one of the buttons and the disc began to hum. A faint green glow crept out from under it.

Maynard coughed and Mattie instinctively reached up and brushed his hair away from his wet forehead. “Lean back,” she said to him, keeping her voice low. “I don’t think he’s going to hurt us.”

“He couldn’t do much more to me,” Maynard said. Mattie pried his fingers away from where they were gripping his shins and pushed him back.

“Hold this,” the man said, and passed Mattie the disc. She gripped it gingerly by the edges, trying to keep her fingers away from the light. “The name’s Chet, by the way.”

“Chet,” Mattie echoed. He tugged up Maynard’s shirt and slowly pulled the gauze away from the wound. The area underneath was a horror scene. Blood was clotted and clogged around the hole, and smeared around his abdomen and chest. Mattie looked away. “How did you find us?”

“Our special friend bugged you. When we saw that you had deviated from a path that would bring you to us, we set out to find you and bring you back.” He took the disc from Mattie and held it over Maynard’s wound. As she watched the blood started to dissolve. The hole even seemed to close up some. “I can’t heal him entirely here in the field, but I can get it started. We’ve got a ways to go since not all three of us will fit on my motorcycle. I didn’t expect there to be two of you.”

“She didn’t tell you about both of us?”

Chet didn’t answer. The light on the disc turned red and he hit one of the buttons, turning off the humming sound. He reached around to place it in his backpack. There was a soft beep. “Yeah, there’s two here,” she heard him say. “Send another cyclist.”

“What did she tell you?” Mattie had been told many, many times in her life that she shouldn’t push people for answers, but all things considered, she felt like she deserved to know.

Chet sat down cross legged next to Maynard and ran his finger lightly around the wound. “She said there would be a girl. She said you’d have tattoos. Important tattoos.”

Mattie self-consciously pulled at the strap of her shirt to try and cover her marks. “They’re not important at all. They’re willful.”

Chet leaned forward over Maynard, who was slumped against the strut with his eyes closed. Mattie couldn’t tell if he was paying attention to them or not. “Sometimes our will is all we have,” Chet said softly.

Above them Mattie could make out the sounds of an engine. It chugged for a moment and then stilled to silence.

“That will be the cavalry.” Chet got up and pulled his backpack over his shoulders. “Let’s go, sleepy pants,” he said, and pulled Maynard up to his feet. Maynard let out a soft groan, but he didn’t seem to be in as much pain as before.

Mattie hung under the bridge for a moment before following them up into the light. She felt like she was standing on the edge of a cliff. Any wrong move could drive her back into the hands of those who wanted her. She heard voices murmuring above her. “Here goes nothing,” she said to herself, and stepped out into the open.

This continuation of ridiculous fiction was written for Topic 21: Open Topic at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Yellow gun)
Oh hey! I didn't give up! I owe Em and Stevie cookies for telling me not to. It seriously came easier than I thought it would. This LJ Idol entry follows immediately after the last one.

Original fiction.
~1000 words.

Mattie helped Maynard climb into the back of the cab as Or pre-paid the driver and told him where to take them. “Are you sure you don't want us to take you to the hospital?” Mattie whispered.

Maynard shook his head. “This is the most exciting thing I've ever been a part of. You think I'm going to let you run off with that mysterious woman and have all the fun?”

“I'm sending you to a safe house outside the border of this node,” Or said, bending over and sticking her head into the back of the cab. “Hopefully our shooter is just after me for the time being and you can play clueless. If you're accosted tell them that I broke in, that I held a gun to your head, anything.”

Mattie nodded. “Yeah, we'll do that.”

Or stood for an extra several moments and looked at Mattie. She was hanging halfway out of the back of the cab in a way that seemed incredibly uncomfortable. Mattie found herself shifting forward towards Or, ever so slightly.

“Or,” Maynard said.

She tilted her head and squinted. “Yeah, sorry. I'm going. I'll meet up with you in a couple of hours. Do not leave the safe house under any circumstances.” She slammed the door and stepped up onto the curb. The cab pulled away.

Mattie watched the apartment blocks and houses as they went by. She thought about how she'd never really noticed them before, even though she'd looked at them all hundreds of times in her daily comings and goings. They suddenly seemed prominent, as if they were asserting their will onto the landscape. Mattie felt like they were trying to teach her something.

The cabby turned the radio on and it began playing an old Jazz standard. Someone's girl had done 'em wrong. She was the direct cause of his affair with the bottle. “Is there anything that women don't get blamed for?” Mattie asked.

Maynard scratched his chin and pretended to be confused. “I'm sure I've never blamed a woman for anything.”

“Except for when I dumped the coffee all over the floor.”

“I didn't blame you for that. Though, I suppose I should have blamed Or, which would have been about the same, all things considered. It was her that startled you that night, wasn't it?”

Mattie stubbornly stared away from him and didn't acknowledge the comment.

“You think she knows?”

“I think I could I could probably write a set of encyclopedias on the things she knows that I don't.”

“That's part of the attraction, isn't it?”

Mattie shook her head. “Not really.” Because it wasn't. Her infatuation had started so long ago that it wasn't possible for the two things to be related. Not in a way that made sense, anyway. Then as an after thought she said, “you won't tell anyone, will you?”

“You mean, will I rat you out to the people who apparently just shot me? No, that's not something you need to worry about. Not even if I could see your halo.” He squeezed her elbow and she smiled at her reflection in the side window.

The cab pulled to a stop outside of a warehouse building. Mattie looked at the cabby, confused. “This isn't outside the node.”

The cabby gripped the steering wheel and stared forward. “This is your stop, young lady,” he said.

There was a knock on her window and when Mattie turned she was staring down the barrel of a small handgun. It had an infinity symbol at the tip of it. She felt Maynard shift away behind her.

“Get on out now, girly,” the man behind the gun said. “I think you've got some things to tell us.”

“I don't have anything to tell you!” She locked the door. The man cocked the hammer.

“The thing is, precious, I think you do. But I'm not above shooting you or your boyfriend. Now don't let's be silly. Get out of the cab!”

Mattie heard someone choke and turned her head to see Maynard hovering off of the back seat, his arm wrapped around the cabby's throat. “Drive!” he shouted. “Drive now or I will kill you, and it won't matter how much money you've been paid!” The cab lurched forward and the man with the gun let out two shots. One of which shattered the back window.

Maynard was thrown back against his seat and the cabby leaned forward into his steering wheel. “You touch me again and I'll have your balls,” he seethed. “I don't owe you nothin'.”

“No,” said Mattie, “we owe you. Now take us where you were supposed to.” She was thrown into the door of the cab as it took a sharp left turn. When she pulled herself back upright she could see another car gaining on them from behind.

“We're only a short way off from the bridge!” Maynard shouted. “We'll never get through clearance looking like we're evading the authorities though.”

The cabby took another sharp corner and launched Mattie into Maynard's side. Maynard yelped as her elbow hit his wound. “Stop,” she said. “Stop!”

The cab skidded to a halt at a red light. They were in the outskirts of the node. There were few buildings to hide in, but more wooded park area to get lost in.

“I can run,” Maynard said, guessing at what she was going to ask.

“Good,” she said. “We're going to have to.” Mattie scrambled with the lock on the door before she finally got it to pop up. She launched herself out of the cab just as the car following them came around the corner. It didn't have enough time to stop. Maynard was on her heels. There was a screech of tires and the crumpling, mangling sound of steel collapsing on itself. Without looking back, Mattie ran for the tree line. Her lungs started to burn as she gulped for air.

This continuation of ridiculous fiction was written for Topic 29: Whisper at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (SH Watson Deduce his case)
Original fiction.
906 words.

If you're keeping track, this bit of story follows directly after my last LJ Idol post.

. . .

Or was out of her chair the moment Mattie started screaming and had her hand clamped tight across Mattie's mouth in a matter of seconds. “Hush,” she said, letting the final shh sound linger. “Breathe. We can't help him if we lose our heads, and that will only get the rest of us into deep shit.”

Mattie nodded her head and swallowed down another shout. She was shaking, she realized. When Or released her she said, “is he dead?”

Or moved around the bed. She placed her fingertips to the side of his neck and leaned over his half open lips. Then she moved down and pushed his shirt up his chest. “I need you to go into my jacket and get the the metal cylinder.”

“Is it safe?”

“No,” Or said. “Nothing is safe anymore.” When Mattie hesitated she said “he will die if we don't do something. Go.”

Mattie dropped to her knees and crawled across the living room below the sight line of the bare windows. She pulled Or's jacket off the back of the couch and rummaged around in both outside pockets before checking the one inside the lapel. The metal cylinder in question was about the size of a magic marker. It was cold and smooth. She clutched it in her palm as she crawled back to the bedroom.

Or held her hand out and Mattie placed the cylinder into it. Mattie watched as she flicked one end around like she was unscrewing a cap, and then shook the thing several times. She passed it over Maynard's wound. The glow was dim at first, and Mattie was sure her eyes were playing tricks on her, but it grew stronger, and as it did a picture formed in the space above Maynard's body. It flipped and flickered, like it was at the bottom of a pool of water.

“Mirror imaging retinal activated guise elector,” Or muttered. “I tell it what I want to see and it maps and recreates the image using phosphorescent and electro-luminescent nanotech. The MIRAGE software is still being developed, but it's good enough for a bullet wound. Do you have any tweezers?”

“I-” Mattie tried to understand what Or had said, but decided it would be best to leave the epiphanies for non-life or death situations. “Yeah, yeah.” By the time she returned with them Or had used one of her pillowcases to clear up some of the blood and was manipulating the picture above Maynard's body with her hands. Mattie handed Or the tweezers.

Maynard inhaled deeply and choked. He had a coughing fit that made his whole body jump.

“Hold him,” Or said.

Mattie nodded and sat down on the bed next to Maynard. She rested her hands on his shoulders. “Hey, hey,” she said. “I'm here. You're going to be okay.” She pressed one of the pillowcases into his hand. “Squeeze this.”

“It hurts,” he said, and coughed again.

“Tell him to stop moving or I'm going to remove parts of his appendix instead of this bullet,” Or snapped. Maynard groaned and shut his eyes, but he held still. When she had the bullet she said, “the hole's relatively small. We should be okay if you have some gauze and a way to hold it down. Clean it with alcohol if you have any.”

“I might have some alcohol,” Mattie said. “Where are you going?”

Or was back at the computer desk, wiping the bullet down with some tissue and running her magic metal wand over it. “Look,” she said. “If we want to get out of here any time soon he needs to be fixed and we need to know where to go. I'm taking care of one of those things already.”

Maynard pushed against Mattie's hands until she let him sit up. “I can handle the clean up, I think,” he said. “Have to make up for that unmanly display.”

Or turned to look at him. “You might be okay, Waiter Boy.”

“How do you know I'm a waiter?” he said.

“You wear it well,” she said, and then turned back to her device.

Maynard looked at Mattie, who shrugged and took the bloody pillowcase out of his hand. “Your vodka's in the freezer, yeah Mat?”

“Yeah,” she said.

Maynard stood up and pulled his shirt over his head, wincing as he stretched. He left the room and Mattie waited until she could hear him banging around in the kitchen before she spoke again. “Know where we're going yet?”

“Hm,” Or said.

Mattie slid off the bed and went to hover behind Or in her desk chair. She was holding a small, yellow piece of paper in her fingers. The bullet and metal wand were set to the side of the keyboard. “What is that?”

“A prayer.”

Mattie felt her stomach turn over. “The bullet was blessed? They can't just shoot people anymore, they have to apply some apocryphal force to it all?”

“Not quite,” Or said. “It's a prayer of freedom. Whoever made this bullet, at least, wants to be set free. It's likely that we weren't the intended targets.”

“That doesn't make any sense.”

“You haven't seen Not Making Sense yet, kid.”

This continuation of ridiculous fiction was written for Topic 19: Mirage at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Cowboy Bebop Vicious bleed)
Original fiction.
~1100 words.

For those of you following along, I've finally named The Waiter. We're calling him Maynard. This follows closely after my last LJ Idol entry, which can be found here.

* * *

Maynard ran his finger across Mattie's collarbone, pausing over the small, round tattoo just below it. The touch tickled. She squirmed, pulling away slightly, and he took it as an invitation. His lips followed the line as his fingers pushed the strap of her bra down her shoulder. Mattie wasn't sure what she was feeling, but none of those feelings were sexy. Or needed. Or wanted. She just kept thinking about Or and her heavily lidded eyes and light skin.

“Mayn,” she said, and placed a hand flat against his chest.

Maynard stopped and pulled back. He propped himself up on his elbow and looked down at her. One of his fingers traced its way down her side, as if he was afraid to let her go. “Yeah?”

“I'm sorry, I just.”

“No, it's fine. It's fine.” He leaned in and kissed her on the nose. “I know I don't glow for you. I'm just trying to be the perfect distraction.” He nipped at her chin and she laughed, pushing him over as she sat up.

“It's not like I glow for you either.” She straightened her bra strap and sighed. “What are we doing?”

“Killing time,” he said. “Slow and easy.”

“Just the way it was meant to die,” she said.

“Is there something eating at you, Mattie my girl? You seem farther away this evening.”

“Nothing.” She sighed and flopped back on her pillow. “Everything. You weren't far off when you asked if I'd seen a ghost. I have. I've been seeing it for a week now, here and there. It won't leave me be.”

“Is there anything for it?”

“Not really. I've been...censoring myself since I was very young. Things happen sometimes that I don't know how to deal with, so I lose them. I make the decision to cast them to sea so I'm not weighed down by them.”

“Except they're never really gone, are they?”

“No, not really. I pretend I'm fine for long periods of time, until something floats to the surface and reminds me of who I used to be.”

“That sounds lonely,” he said.

“Sometimes loneliness is just a part of surviving.”

Maynard opened his mouth to answer, but anything he might have said was drowned out by a pounding on the door. “What the hell?” he said finally.

Mattie shrugged and tumbled out of bed, finding her balance as she went. There was more pounding as she made her way through the kitchen. “All right already!” She opened the door with the chain on, giving her two inches of space to investigate.

Or was on the other side. She placed her face right against the crack. “Let me in,” she said. “You have to let me in.”

Mattie didn't think she had to do anything, but Or seemed to be legitimately startled, which threw her. She closed the door, undid the chain, and then opened it again. Or rushed in and slammed the door shut behind her, redoing the chain and throwing the deadbolt.

When Mattie turned around Maynard was in the living room. “What is going on here?”

Or turned to look at him. Mattie was suddenly aware that neither of them was wearing very much. Or raised an eyebrow, but she didn't bring attention to what she may have interrupted. Instead she pulled off her red gloves and shucked her black pea coat, dropping her things onto Mattie's couch. “I'm sorry for the interruption, but I seem to have gotten into a spot of trouble.”

“Okay,” Maynard said slowly. He ran his hand through his hair and and looked helplessly at Mattie for a moment before returning to the bedroom.

Mattie stood in the center of the living room, her arms wrapped around her waist, and waited for an explanation. Or huddled on the edge of the the couch and looked Mattie up and down. The corner of her mouth turned up and Mattie suddenly felt warm.

Maynard returned then, and chucked a shirt at Mattie. “Right,” he said. “Who are you, and what's this about?”

Or waited until Mattie was clothed again before answering. “I'm being tracked,” she said.

“Tracked? You mean followed.”

“No, tracked. Like an animal. I'm sure they mean to kill me eventually as well.”

“What the hell,” Mattie said, echoing Maynard. “What have you done?”

“I haven't done anything, yet. But those fuckers are going to get theirs when I get to the bottom of all of this.”

“The bottom of what?” Maynard flipped his hand in Or's direction. “Mattie, what is going on?”

“I don't know,” she said. Because she didn't. To Or she said, “how did you find my apartment?”

“The same way I find everything. Research, Mattie, research. Please keep up, because I don't want to die tonight.”

“No one is going to die here,” Maynard said. “I'm going to turn the light on. All of us standing here in the dark is ridiculous.”

“No!” Or leaped up from the couch and grabbed his wrist. “No, don't. I don't want you to draw any attention here. Not until I can find out who it is exactly that I'm dealing with. Does either of you have a computer?”

“Yeah,” Mattie said. “In here.” She led Or through to the bedroom and turned on the old desktop machine. “I barely use the thing.”

Or sat down in the desk chair and then looked back at Mattie over her shoulder. “I find that hard to believe,” she said.


“Why do you have one of the Diviner's Marks tattooed on your chest?”

“That's not—”

“It most definitely is my business. Especially now that they're trying to kill me.”

"Why would the Diviner's be trying to kill you?"

Instead of answering Or slapped the side of the computer, which was being slow to start. “Come on!”

Out in the living room Mattie heard glass break. “What the hell?” she said again, her voice tighter in her throat this time. It seemed to be the only response she could muster to the mad alternate universe she'd just been dropped in. Before she could make it out of the room Maynard trundled in and collapsed against her. She swayed under his weight. It took a moment for the wetness between them to register. His shirt was wet. She pushed him away and saw that there was a dark, rapidly growing stain on the front of his shirt.

When she looked down she saw that the front of her shirt was now wet as well. The stain looked dark purple in the bluish glow from the computer screen. Maynard stumbled backwards onto the bed and passed out.

Mattie screamed.

This bit of fiction was written for Topic 18: Jetsam at [ profile] therealljidol. Thank you to [ profile] paragraphs for helping me name The Waiter. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (WS Bucky Awake)
Original Fiction.
896 words.

This follows pretty immediately after my last LJI two posts. If you missed them Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

. . .

They sat in the relative silence for a few moments. Mattie willed the Universe to give her more time and a sharper wit and fewer reservations. The world continued to happen around them in a more or less normal flow. “I don’t believe I’ve seen you around here before,” she said.

Or didn’t answer right away. Mattie appreciated the fact that she was letting the moment hang between them a little longer. She stretched into it. When Or finally answered the words were quiet and halting. “I used to live here, many years ago. I don’t suppose you would remember me. Now I’m back on business.”

“What kind of business brings you to a place like this?”

“I’m investigating a series of disappearances. One of the victims was originally from my jurisdiction, so the local IF have had to let me have the run of the town here. They’re not pleased about it.”

“Most people tend to be distrustful of outsiders.”

“Most people here do,” Or said.

Mattie stood up. She dropped her cigarette onto the ground and stepped on it, squashing out the hot orange tip. She was standing several steps below Or, which made her seem a full head shorter. Or was looking down at her in the same way Mattie’s mother used to look down at her if something in the house had gone broken or missing. The look wasn’t exactly accusatory, but it was curious, probing. It made Mattie uncomfortable. “This person who went missing, who was it? I haven’t seen any notices.”

“No, you haven’t. No one has. I don’t think it’s a person they’re really concerned with finding.”

“Was it a criminal?”

Or considered the question for a moment before she answered. “No. At least, not by our laws. Your city has some rather…interesting ideas about who is a criminal and who isn’t. It’s the only city that still has Idealism on the books as a criminal offense.”

“We do like our traditions.”

“Quite,” Or said. She dropped her cigarette onto the step below and moved down to where Mattie was, just above street level. The butt lay undisturbed, sending up a miniature smoke signal into the darkness.

Mattie quelled the urge to stamp it out. “Am I being interrogated?”

“No, but I wouldn’t mind if you answered some questions.” Or stepped in close and Mattie could almost feel the light from her halo. It made her delirious to think that this soft, gentle light that settled about Or’s cheeks was invisible to its owner. All she wanted to do was reach up and skitter a finger across the curve of Or’s jaw.

Instead she shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her jacket and said, “what kind of questions?”

“Do you remember an old man who used to sit on these steps? One with tattoos that represented the Diviners’ Trials?”

Mattie eyed the doors of the Diviner’s House. “I don’t think this is the place to discuss this.” She was much too old to be dragged into the Head Diviner’s office and whipped for associating with the wrong sort, but that didn’t mean the leaders didn’t have ways of getting to her.

“Your apartment then?”

“That’s forward of you. I assume you have a hotel room of your own, if you really don’t want to discuss it in public.”

Or shrugged. “It’s most likely bugged. Besides,” she stepped closer and Mattie had to force herself to stand her ground. “I know you have some questions you’d like to ask me as well.”

“Why would I have questions for a complete stranger?” Mattie said.

“And here I thought you were a bright girl.” Or stepped down onto the sidewalk and Mattie tried not to shiver at the loss of her light. She stood and looked up at Mattie for a few breaths, but when Mattie didn’t respond she turned and started to walk away.

Mattie watched her go, trying to force the words out. “All right,” she said, unsure of whether or not Or could hear her. “You can come by.”

Or didn’t turn around. “Ta!” she shouted, as she continued her retreat. Mattie watched as one of her red gloves flitted up over her shoulder in a quick gesture of dismissal. Framed against the dark of the street and faintly illuminated by Or’s halo, the color looked ominous. It placed a single welt mark on Mattie’s future.

She took a deep breath and exhaled, trying to calm her nerves. She didn’t know when she’d started gently vibrating, but now she couldn’t get it to stop. She was so preoccupied with cataloguing the various ways in which Or made her uncomfortable that she didn’t hear her waiter friend come up behind her.

“What are you doing out so late?” he said. “You look like you’ve seen another ghost.”

Mattie jumped and let out a short yelp. “Diviner’s Sorrows,” she said. “Don’t sneak up on a girl like that.”

He merely smiled and held out his hand. She pulled hers from her jacket pocket and gripped his fingers tight. More tightly than she’d meant to.

“Hey, hey,” he said. “Remember to breathe. You’re not drowning.”

“I don’t know,” she said. Mattie looked down the sidewalk in the direction Or had gone and imagined she could still see the shadow of her frame. “If I am, will you pull me out?”

This bit of fiction was written for Topic 17: Open Topic at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.
momebie: (Mighty Boosh Gayist)
Original Fiction.
~1,500 words.
Because the one from last week got fairly good reviews and people asked for more. It just gets weirder the further I go, kids. I hope it's still interesting to you.

The next time Mattie saw the halo she was sitting in the back pew of the Diviner's House watching the Choral Cantata of Hours. The Cantata of Hours was based loosely on the one original Diviner, who had found his way across the ridges of a great canyon in total darkness without falling over the edge. It was said that he had been blessed by the land itself with the ability to feel out the core of the earth. They said that he vibrated, the closer he got to it. Mattie didn't know how she felt about the mythology, but she was certain that she had felt a vibrating like that at times in her life before.

As she opened her eyes after the Diviner's Benediction, she saw a low, wavering glow out the corner of her vision. Mattie turned her head. It was the woman.

Mattie couldn't think of the woman as anything but her. She was the woman she'd seen the other day, but at the same time, she was also the girl Mattie had been so smitten with those fifteen years ago. Mattie couldn't reconcile these two people in her mind. Instead of trying, she turned back to the choir and closed her eyes again, nodding her head slowly in time.

* * *

The Old Man was sitting outside of the Diviner's House and Mattie hung back, not sure if she should risk entering. )

This strange little continuation of last week's bit of fiction was written for Topic 16: Open Topic at [ profile] therealljidol. Much thanks goes to [ profile] kyasuriin for making me think entirely too hard at 1 am. ♥ All comments and questions are welcome.


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February 2017

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