short story

Avengers New Year

I really didn’t want to do a fanfic for Liam’s Short Story challenge, but this was the first thing I finished.

I hope to finish an originally one shortly, and get it posted January 1st as well.

But just in case, here is…

Avengers New Year

* What is this strange tube-like structure?” Thor asked.

Tony looked up, ready to yell at Thor for touching another electric fuse or half finished arc reactor models. He was surprised to find Thor actually held a harmless trinket he’d quite forgotten was there.

“Oh, that’s a slinky.”

“A slinky?” Thor asked, stretching the twisted object out. Tony snatched the slinky away from Thor who was about to tangle and/or break it as he answered.

“Yes. A kids toy. Doesn’t do much, just for entertaining brats.”

“Was this yours as a child then?” Thor asked.

“Yeah, I used to play with it before I realized there were more important things.”

“I remember that day,” a new voice said, entering the conversation. Pepper walked in with a grin on her face as she observed the mass of, well, massive people in her living room. “That was last week, wasn’t it?”

All the boys burst out laughing, except for Tony who scowled at Pepper.

“Very funny,” he muttered, and he went back to his tinkering.

“Would you all be quiet!” Natasha snapped. “I’m trying to watch the ball drop!”

“The ball won’t even start dropping for another two hours, loosen up!” Clint laughed, and he took another sip sparkling cider from his glass. It had been agreed by most of those present that the alcohol should be held back until Midnight. Needless to say, Tony was not one who had agreed.

“I can certainly say New Years Eve has become a much bigger deal to folks since my time,” Steve Rogers remarked as he looked out the window. The group were in Tony’s  New York place for the holidays, and Tony being Tony had insisted on an excellent view of Times square. Above the buildings the crystal ball waited to count down the last minutes until the New Year.

“Everyone is always in a mood for a party, Cap,” Tony remarked. “Always on the look out for new holidays and a new excuse to not go to work, or complain about going if you have too.”

“My family used to eat black eyed peas and greens every New Years, for good luck,” Clint remarked, watching some new break out artist perform in Times Square on the tv set.

“We do not celebrate New Years on Asgard,”Thor shared, as he swiped the slinky back from tony. “We celebrate the anniversaries of battles, and kings Could someone show me how children find a ball of metal entertaining?”

“What about you Bruce, any New Years traditions?” Natasha inquired of her friend, as Steve lead Thor towards the stairs, Tony following after insisting on seeing to the safety of a childhood memento.

“Not really,” Bruce said, spinning the sparkling cider in the glass he held. “Just a family dinner, and stuff. Haven’t done that for some years now,”

“Neither have I,” Pepper replied, taking a seat on the couch next to Natasha.

“Well, then this is a treat!” Clint proclaimed. “All of us who never celebrate anything get to have fun on the last day of the year!”

And with that decleration, a great clash came from up above, and three Avengers tumbled down the stairs, busting holes In the wall and splintering the banister.

“Thor! You don’t chase the slinky downstairs! You let it go and then catch it!” Steve shouted, rubbing his head at the bottom of the stairs.

“My apologies, I don’t think I fully understand this game,” Thor said, rising from the wreckage.

“Shhh!!! That ball!” Natasha shouted.

Sure enough, the ball was beginning to move, as all of New York counted down the last minute of 2014.

Pepper hurried to prepare the wine glasses, full of real wine this time, and Tony moved to help her. Thor went to watch the “magic box” with Clint, Natasha, and Dr. Banner. Steve stood by the window, and looked out, watching as the real ball moved slowly down wards.

!0, 9, 8…. Tony and Pepper returned and passed out glasses… 5,4,3,

Steve took a deep breath as the fireworks started.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Never Alone: A Short Story

Okay, I’m taking a chance. I’m posting a story nobody has yet seen. I’ve asked for no feedback, I’m taking a risk and releasing it with out showing it to anybody first.
I hope it’s not to bad…

Never Alone

She sat at the window, rain pounding on the street outside, and tearing at the glass to which she pressed her face. The cool glass fogged around where her forehead met the clear surface, and she not only heard the great clap of thunder that roared from the heavens, she felt it vibrate within her very being. The oppressive nature of the weather was a twin of her soul, and behind her glasses the tears fell like the rain without.
The silence of the house reminded her of all she’d lost, and all she’d become.
A broken statue, battered by the elements of time, standing forever helpless in the wake of a great darkness, but unable to prevent the chips from forming in her skin.
A lightening bolt seared the sky, and she saw once more the flashing light, she saw the sparks of a gun, she heard the crack of a bullet slicing the air… she squeezed her eyes shut and curled further into herself, as if she could shrink into nothing just by willing it.
Far off in another room, a clock was steadily keeping count of the seconds, each tick dropping like a stone into a pond, leaving ripples, yet unnoticed by all.
That was her.
She was a ripple.
A mistake that was never meant to be.
A little thing in the face of a great and terrible universe… a universe that cared little for broken hearts.
Another thunderclap, and she flinched. She wasn’t supposed to be alone. The doctors had said she was dangerous, and that she could not be trusted. They were more right then they knew.
On the floor bellow her lay a knife. a shinning sharp blade that could pierce skin. That had pierced skin. It lay there waiting for her to break. Waiting for her hand to grasp its handle and to bring it up for the last burst of pain she would ever have to bear. All she had to do was reach down. All she had to do was let herself go…
So why did she find it so hard to?
She’d had no problems throwing the stone at Alison Blake… the cheerleader who’d done nothing to her but beat her and taunt her until she was broken…
She’d had no problem pulling the gun on her stepfather when he’d attacked her mother….
She’d had no problem throwing Jeff Bergusson down a flight of stairs when he had gone after her sister…
And David… David had been an accident… it was an accident…
A sob unbidden and unwanted crept from her lips, and her heart ached a little more as she buried her salt-wet face in her jeans.
You are a monster, she thought in horror. You have no right to this life.. no right…
And her hand began to creep down slowly…
She felt the cold handle of the knife as her shaking fingers clutched, and began to bring it upward…. and then the knife was gone. It was slipped from her hand so gently she never even noticed the transfer until it was complete. Her head shot up in surprise, the tears staining her cheeks as she desperately searched for her route of escape… only to find it in the hands of a stranger.
“Are you looking for this?” a quiet and gentle voice said from the opposite corner of the room. She looked towards it, and find herself looking into the eyes of a man unlike any man she’d ever seen. He was so different… he looked like a man, he spoke like a man, but he was certainly not a man. He was not human at all.
“That’s mine,” she sniffed, looking at her knife held in this stranger’s hand. The stranger looked down at it, and then back at her, a sad smile on his face.
“No it is not,” he said. “It was never meant to be yours, and it never will be.”
“What are you talking about?” she snapped, growing angry that this stranger should dare question her.
“Life has not been kind to you,” the stranger said, ignoring her challenge, “but are you so desperate that you will give in to its tortures? You are not alone. You have friends, and they do not want to see you give up without a fight.”
“What friends,” she cried,” I have no friends. No one dares speak to me. They are to afraid I’ll stick a knife in their back. They are probably right.”
“No, Jessica,” the stranger responded gently. Jessica’s head shot up at the sound of her name, a name no one called her by anymore.
“How do you know me?” Jessica asked, immediately suspicious of this new development.
“Oh Jessica, I have known you since before you were,” the stranger told her kindly, a soft smile on his face as he looked lovingly down at her. “I have been with you from before you came to earth, and I will be with you long after you leave here. It has hurt me to see what you’ve had to go through, but we are only allowed to interfere when the circumstances grow desperate. There has never been a more desperate time for you then now.”
“How can you know me, how can you say you’ve been with me all this time, I’ve never even seen you before!” Jessica protested.
“No, but you have felt my presence now and again,” the stranger said, taking a step closer to her. “When you were small and afraid of the thunder, I dimmed its roar so that you might sleep soundly at night. When you cried by your father’s grave I stood by you for comfort. When your mother lay dying, I was there with you at her side.”
“But that’s impossible,” Jessica replied, dumbfounded that this kind of story would be even proposed to her.
“Ah Jessica, it is more true then you know,” the stranger answered, “I have been charged with guiding your soul through this dark world, and I fear your path has been darker then most. But you must not give up now. Your mother is waiting for you, but it is not your time. Your father is praying for you, but it is not time for you to join him. All those you’ve sent before you have received their just reward, and the Father bears you no ill-will.”
“But what you are saying.. it’s ridiculous…” Jessica stammered. She was dreaming… she was hallucinating.. she had finally cracked…
“You are neither sleeping nor insane,” the stranger.. who apparently was an angel it seemed… assured her. “Jessica, your past does not have to define your future. Your slate can be wiped clean and you can live the life you were destined to live. Do not let the brokenness of your spirit steal all strength of will from you. Fight this shadow that covers your soul.”
“But I have done such terrible things…” Jessica protested, the tears coming afresh. Her angel, for it was her guardian angel, knelt down before her and wiped the tears from her eyes.
“And your Father will forgive you, as he forgives all who truly repent their sins,” he assured her gently, as the sobs began to shake her small and weak frame.
“But why, should he care for me? I am nothing,” Jessica asked.
“Because you are his daughter, and he does not abandon his own,” the angel told her. Jessica blinked once to clear her eyes, and when they opened again the angel was gone. The knife he had taken from her lay on the coffee table before her. After staring at it for some minutes, Jessica slipped out of the window seat, picked it up, and carried it back to the kitchen to put it away. Someday she would succumb to the call that all life succumbs to in time, but it was not going to be that day. She had fallen far from the lighter road, but now a hope had been restored in her that she would find it.
Alison, David, John… they would no longer haunt her every moment. She could move on. she could forgive herself in time, because HE could forgive her… it would take time and healing but she could. And someday she would… because she had a life ahead of her. A life worth living. Because she was not alone. She was never alone.

Let me know what you think! Like it? Despise it? Think it’s a crime against humanity?
Tell me!

Memories: A Short Story

Here we are! Another original short story for you all!
I hope you enjoy. This one is a bit different…

Memories

“The details are a little fuzzy…”
“That’s alright.”
The bright light was lowered a bit, and I could see the shadowy figure sitting behind the desk. I didn’t like him.
“Just tell us what you remember,” the man behind me prompted. It wasn’t that I couldn’t tell them. I most certainly could. The problem was I wasn’t going to tell them. What right did they have to my memories of that night? That night when everything I knew to be true was stolen from me. The man behind the desk was leaning forwards.
“We can help you, you don’t have to be afraid to speak.”
“I’m not,” I snapped sharply, and I could sense the anger gathering in him.
“You were walking with your boyfriend…” the man behind me said slowly. He was eyeing his partner in the interrogation. I smirked. At least one of them was smart. I tossed my head as I answered.
“My fiancé, actually,” I corrected him. “And yes, we were talking about the trip he was going to be taking to Chicago.”
“I see,” the smart one said pleasantly. ” You must have been excited, but do you remember..”
“We were in the middle of the park, out of sight of anyone,” I interrupted. I was going to speak for myself, and not have words drawn out of me like a puppet. “I didn’t notice anything strange, but Henry was nervous. I wasn’t sure about what.”
The two men were listening carefully now, hanging on my every word. I relished in it.
“And then something happened?” the one behind the desk said slowly. “What happened?”
I scrunched my face, pretending to think hard. I saw them waiting, not even breathing. This was going to be fun. I shrugged, and looked at them rather confused.
“I don’t remember,” I said, cackling like a witch inwardly.
“Are you sure?” the man behind the desk, Mr. Bad Cop, demanded. “You remember nothing? Not even a color?”
“Black maybe,” I said, a bit unsure of myself. Or at least I made sure they thought I was. “I think I got knocked out…” I shook myself, and looked at them squarely.
“Where is Henry?”
“I’m afraid…” the nice man began when Mr. Bad Cop cut in.
“He is on a business trip.”
“In Chicago?” I asked, innocently sounding enough.
“Elsewhere. I’m afraid he was needed for a more urgent situation.”
“But he’ll be back soon?”
“Of course,” Nice Cop said comfortingly. “In the meanwhile, I suggest you get some rest. Things were rather crazy last night I’m sure.” He helps me up and leads me to the door under the stern gaze of Bad Cop. I step outside, and the door closes. At least, it almost closes. There’s just the smallest crack, and I’m able to listen to them easily.
“Why did you let her go?” Bad Cop demanded.
“She doesn’t remember a thing, all she knows is her Fiancé disappeared last night,” Good Cop answered, sounding patient, as if he’s heard this tirade before.
“She is a potential theat. If she remembers anything about…”
“She won’t. She is traumatized, and wants to believe her Fiancé is safely in another part of the world and will come back home to sweep her off her feet and down the aisle. She doesn’t remember a thing.”
Behind the door I grinned. They were wrong. I remembered everything.

So what did you guys think? Good? Bad? incomplete? Needs a full novel?
Let me know!

Plot Attack: A Short story

Alrighty now… this is a short story I wrote about five months ago. My younger sister who also writes was getting attacked by a plot cobra (see Erin’s Blog, Definitions. Sorry, I haven’t figured out links yet ;-P ) and was inspired.

Plot Attack

I felt the slick reptilian coils close around my head, writhing and slithering tighter around me, squeezing the very life from my being. Images, snippets of conversation, and names ran through my mind, unbidden and unwanted. I could feel the beast’s hold on my tightening, and I was oh so tempted to give into it, let everything go. Then there was a knock on my door. With a gasp, I found myself back in my own room, sitting at my desk with a pencil in hand. The knock came again.
“Come in,” I called, my voice a bit shaky. I set the pencil down as my sister poked her head into my room.
“Hey, Erin’s on the phone for you,” she said, looking me over curiously. “What are you doing?”
“None of your business,” I snapped, still a bit shaky from my close escape of my latest tormentor. With a shrug my sister closed the door again, leaving me alone. I quickly grabbed the phone from my desk.
“Hello?”
“Iris!” came the greeting from the other end. “What’s up?”
“It’s getting stronger! I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up…”
“Calm down,” Erin said quickly, “what’s happened? Isn’t the ink working?”
“No! And I’ve been using it since it was a bunny! Then it got bigger…”
“It’s a cobra now?”
“More like a boa constrictor!” I groan. “I can’t even get my math done without filling my notebook with names and notes… I promised myself I wouldn’t give in to it!”
“I know,” Erin says calmly, patiently. “Remember, you are an author. You can fight this. You will not start writing a new story till you finish at least the first draft of the one you are working on.”
“I can’t wait, Erin… When I tried writing my novel, I ended up writing IT instead!”
There was a silence over the phone as I waited for my best friend, and thankfully more senior author, to reply.
“This is serious,” Erin agreed after a moment. “There is something you can do, but it is very drastic, and only to be used in the most serious of cases. I myself have only used it once.”
“What is it?” I asked eagerly, desperate to rid myself of the story I knew I could not let myself write.
“There is a little shop no one goes to, not often anyway,” Erin explained as I jotted down her words eagerly. “It is on the main street of town, just a block from the library, right across from the Classic’s cafe and bookstore. You go in, and it will look like a stationary shop. But the owner is a specialist. You go in, and ask for a cure. The shop keeper will ask how serious your ailment. In your case I suggest asking for a cure for insanity. They will take you to a back room and talk you through the procedure from there. You won’t be tortured by your story again.”
“Thank you!” I cried in relief. “Do you mind if I call you back in an hour?”
“Not at all. Go rid yourself of your ghost story!”

Usually on such blustery days I would be shouting defiance to the wind, my creaky bike brakes, and various other offenders. Not that day. No, I was to relived I was so close to relief that all I could do was pedal faster and faster. Past the library I went, left on main street…. and then there it was. A tiny stationary store. I pulled my bike into the bike rack at the cafe across the street, and then walked across to the store. I pushed the door open, and breathed in the musty and welcoming smell of ink and paper. Agony seared through my mind as an image of troll drenched in honey invaded my consciousness. I walked as quickly as I could up to the deserted front desk and desperately rang the bell. a young man, probably about 20 or so, walked out of a back room and approached me. In a flash of pure torture, I saw him in armor battling the troll from before. This had to stop.
He gave me a welcoming smile that, I won’t deny, caused my heart to do a somersault.
“Hello, how may I help?” he asked, cordial as can be.
“I need a cure, fast,” I said quickly.
“Ah, what kind of cure are you looking for?” he inquired, and he pulled a form out from under the counter.
“A cure for insanity,” I said. He nodded, scratching a few notes down before going through the back door once more. I waited. My foot tapped against the ancient oak floor. At last, the young man returned, and nodded me through.
“Just in back please, miss,” he said, pointing the way for me. “First door on the left.”
I stepped into the back, shivers beginning to run up and down my spine. as I went, the hall seemed to lengthen, and then shorten, stretching out like a snake. I practically dove into the first door, at the very end of the hall. I was surprised by what I found. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t a dentists chair. The shivers grew more violent. I hated going to the dentist. I hated fillings. I pretty much hated anyone messing with my teeth, and that chair was a shining symbol of that kind of thing. Out of the shadows stepped a man. He certainly was no dentist, that I could tell. He was tall, and quite old. He had thin gray hair and a long French mustache on his lip. He looked down at me with cold gray eyes.
“You are in need of a cure for insanity, are you?” he asked, his voice gruff .
Having lost all ability to form my own words, I nodded. He motioned me to the chair.
“Just sit here, my dear,” he said. I sat down. He pulled a kind of apron around me, and then took a pair of glasses from a nearby table. He held them before me.
“These will pull from your mind any trace of the plot that so torments you,” he explained. “Whenever you finish your current novel, these glasses will be automatically shipped to you location. When you put them on, all memory of your plot will return to you, and you will be free to proceed in writing it. Do you wish to continue?”
“Yes,” I croak. The man nods, and places the glasses on my. I was jerked away from the world of reality, and into my own mind.
I saw the story, just as I envisioned it. There was the troll turning cows into jelly beans, and there was the knight who’s sword was made out of plastic, a magic plastic that could make anything dance the chicken dance with just one touch. Ah, and there was the talking pig who spoke 47 different languages from ancient Arabic to pig Latin. The final battle, between the jelly bean troll and the knight of chicken dances. I knew just how it would end. I knew it all. The knight was going to… wait, what was who going to do? Darkness enveloped my mind, and I fell.
When I woke up, I had the oddest sensation. I had been thinking about something… but what? It slipped from my mind like jelly from a half eaten donut. I couldn’t remember. The door behind me opened and the young man I had first spoken to entered.
“How do you feel?” he asked, as he took the apron off of me. I briefly wondered what had happened to the glasses I’d been wearing, but discarded the thought shortly after.
“Fine,” I said, quite cheerfully.
“Do you remember anything?” he asked me. I frowned, searching my memory.
“I remember there was something that kept tormenting me,” I said. “I can’t remember what, though.”
“Good,” he said with a grin. “Your plot will be shipped to you when you have need of it. Thank for you for using The Author’s Relief Plot Attack Defense program.”
I grinned back at him, and then walked back down the hallway. It was just a regular hallway this time, nothing weird or sinister about it, and I happily skipped out of the shop, racing over to the nearest pay phone. I scrambled for a quarter, and then phoned Erin.
“Guess what!” I cried as soon as she answered.
“You’re free?” she guessed.
“Yes!” I shrieked.
“That’s great!” she said. “Now that you are, how were you planning on getting your MC out of the vat of caramel?”
I froze.
“Ummm… what would it be called when you don’t know what to do next?”
“You mean writer’s block?”
“Yeah, I think I have that. Do you have a cure?”
A moment of silence.
“Yes,” Erin says at last. “It’s a pill called get-in-front-of-your-computer-lazy-pants-and-write!”