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Apr. 24th, 2010

Sprint Mod


The Afterlife by Pamela MacLean

The Afterlife

 Sometimes it’s not about living. Sometimes it’s about the discoveries you make in death.

             “It’s the things you learn in death that will surprise you,” a voice said behind me. I had thought I was alone.

             The funeral home stood empty and quiet in a way that was quite ominous and foreboding of the upcoming services. Nobody moved in the room, but I could hear distant voices, telling me that we were not alone.

             “I thought they weren’t allowing anyone in until the viewing,” I replied. I had been hoping for privacy in the moments before the mourners spilled in.

             “They don’t know I’m here,” he replied, taking a seat in the front row.

             “Do you have no respect for the privacy of others?” I asked, anxious to know how he had found me. I thought I was hidden from all.

             “I have the upmost respect for others. Unfortunately, privacy is no longer something you are privileged to. There’s no where you can hide now, especially from me,” the man said, looking around.

             “I don’t understand,” I replied, searching for answers to the many questions that had recently piled up.

             “Privacy is a right, kid. And it’s not something that is given to all, especially one such as you.” He spoke in riddles, which only seemed to anger me.

             “Seriously? This is a really bad time. Perhaps you could come back at another time?” I asked, hoping he’d bite. “Maybe a time when I’m not waiting on a funeral to begin?”

             “I could, but that wouldn’t be as convenient. Here, I know you’re not going to run because you really want to see this thing through.” He stands from the chair and walks over to the coffin. I had hoped they would choose a closed ceremony, but my mother had opted for the open casket. He peered down into the coffin, running his finger along the edge of it as he turned to face me. “It’s creepy, isn’t it?”

             “What?” I asked, wishing he’d just leave.

             “Looking at a dead body you’re so close to.”

             “What would you know about it?” I asked, hoping to deter the conversation from my own mixed emotions.

             “I’ve been in your spot,” he said quietly, flipping the switch on the CD player. Remembrance music filled the room. “I’ve stared down into my own coffin and seen the serene expression of a dead man. I’ve been the ghost searching for his way.”

             “Did you find your way?” I asked, wishing he was wrong about the ghost part. I had actually been hoping that him seeing me meant that I wasn’t a ghost after all.

             “Eventually,” he said, sitting back in the front row. “But, it took a while. There were certain things I had to discover before I was able to move on. Certain things I had to be guided through.”

             “Such as?”

             “Well, it’s different for everyone. Some people hold onto a loved one or a trinket, while others hold onto things more complex. There is no easy way to predict what ties each of us to this Earth. Only you will truly know,” he says, looking around. My family is starting to gather outside of the room, as the clock ticks closer to the hour. “All I can tell you is that you’re destined for great things. And I must be going.” He stood from his chair and walked to the door, pausing for a moment when he came to my family. I could hear him telling them that they could enter the room and to let him know if he needed anything. He was a human who could see me.

             I watched as my family poured into the room. They were a large bunch, comprised of my parents, stepparents, three sisters, and one set of grandparents. They almost filled the room by themselves. If many more people showed up, the room would be a crowded mess. I walked to the door and peered down the hall. I could see the mystery man standing at the front counter of the funeral home, working on a computer. I looked back and forth between this man and my family for a few moments, debating whether or not to stay for the memorial. Curiosity won out and I headed down the hall, not making an ounce of sound.

             If the man was surprised to see me, it didn’t show on his face. He simply looked up and nodded at me. He didn’t say a word as he walked into an office behind me. I followed, not knowing if that’s what he wanted. He sat behind the large mahogany desk and stared up at me.

             “What can I do for you, Mr. Daniel Stoor?” He looked around the room as he spoke.

             “I was wondering if you could answer a simple question for me,” I said, suddenly uncertain. If knowledge is power, then this man was much more powerful than me, for he certainly held all of the knowledge in this room. “At least I think it’s a simple question.”

             “We’ll see after you ask it Mr. Stoor.”

             “Were you once a ghost?” I asked him, trying to be straight forward.

             “I told you that I once stood where you did. Don’t you suppose that made me a ghost?” His eyes were wistful, as though remembering another life.

             “I think so, but I’m not certain of anything when it comes to ghosts. Until two days ago, I wouldn’t have even thought they existed.”

             “And you were right to think that,” he said, glancing behind me. A couple of my friends had just passed by the counter on their way to the service. “Ghosts don’t exist for long usually; so, they don’t really have enough time to make their presence known.”

             “How are you human now?” I asked, holding out hope for a remedy for my current plight.

             “Some ghosts – a very select few – are chosen as guides for the other ghosts. They are known as spirit guides. Once they have passed their time as a ghost, learning all there is to know about their abilities and ways, they are granted the title of spirit guide and their humanity is restored to them. It is a lengthy process that takes a few years at least. However, the reward is well worth the wait.” He watches the desk behind me, as though waiting for someone to arrive. Or perhaps, he is just making sure no one is watching him talk to himself.

             “How does one become a spirit guide?” I asked, holding out hope for myself.

             “There are two things that go into a spirit guide. The first is that a spirit guide must be destined from birth to die early. The younger a spirit guide is, the longer he or she will be able to guide others when humanity is restored. He or she must also prove to be loyal, cunning, and free from earthly ties during spirithood. It does nobody any good if the spirit guide is looking for pieces of his or her old life instead of helping new ghosts move on,” he said, getting up as an elderly couple comes to the desk.

             “Do you know ahead of time who is destined for spirit guide?” I asked him as he headed for the door. I watched as he turned to face me.

             “I don’t know, but I do know the signs to look for.” He looked at me for a moment longer before heading for the desk to help the couple. I stared after for a few minutes, wondering if I was one of the elect few who qualified for spirit guide. I certainly fell into one of the categories and certainly I could work my way into the other category.

             I allowed these thoughts to plague my mind as I headed down the hall to the memorial. I could see people spilling out into the hall as the turnout for my service was much higher than I ever could have anticipated.

Apr. 21st, 2010

Death Note



Hey guess what!

We've got a contest coming up! Its going to be really fun and super easy. There will be first, second, and third place prizes...and I think they're really cool (because I bought them and I don't buy anything that I don't like). Of course, they're going to be related to writing. There's dragons and words and knots and SO much awesomeness.

More details on it next week.

Apr. 15th, 2010

nights final hour


Destined For Death

Benjamin Delacroix

It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” ~Epicurus

             “On nothing more than a whim, I set off seeking answers to the questions you put in my head. A need to know whether I am the only being who helps people along grew inside me and I had no choice but to follow that need.” The quick air whistles by and no one says a word.

            “Let me tell you where I’ve been; what I’ve done. Let me try the best I can to communicate the things I’ve experienced over the past week.” No one says a word and I shrug. The morning sun is growing higher in the distant horizon. The dawn of day has come.

            “You said those words, wondering whether there were others like me, and for one reason or another, I knew I had to know. Contemplating my actions that entire night, I made up my mind to seek the truth. By morning, I was waiting at the road for the trash truck. It just goes to show, Miss Ivy Mae, that being a ghostly spirit as I am is not without its benefits. Climbing aboard that trash truck, I knew it would take me as far as the edge of town. From there, I hitchhiked so to speak. Hitchhiking isn’t exactly the right term for it as no one passing by could see me or my thumb, but that’s what I did; jumped right into the passenger side of some old man’s car. Almost seemed like he knew me too because he started telling stories about when he was just a boy and proceeded to tell me where we were headed: two towns over where his father was. The sad look in his eye was enough to tell me that he wasn’t going for a friendly visit but to say goodbye.”

            “You go ahead and frown all you want, but it’s one of those inexplicable, unavoidable things Miss Ivy; neither you nor anyone you know can escape death. So there I was, guiltily thinking how fortunate the passing of this man’s father was for me. This was a chance, an opportunity to see if that town had someone to fill my role – someone to help along those destined for death.”

            I can see her shaking her head in disapproval. What was I thinking; trying to gain out of someone else’s grieving?

            “You mustn’t shake your head at me like so, Miss Ivy. Consider, my everyday features death and dying; there must be some reason for it. I believe it has been to desensitize me so that I may view the situation without bias and judgment.”

            She continues to shaker her head, just as I’d expected. This time, her stare is more effective as I begin to feel guilt over finding a personal benefit from this man’s loss. In truth, I do feel guilty, but my excitement over having found answers and sharing my journey is overwhelming, leaving no room for remorse.

            “Let me continue before you continue to judge me. We, the old man and I, arrived in town and he drove by the cemetery. It looked like there was already a big event taking place in the graveyard, but the old man just continued down the road. I stepped out from the car, knowing that this was where I’d find answers. Also, it was beginning to get dark and I thought it best if I didn’t suddenly appear in the old man’s car, visible to his eyes. As soon as I’d stepped out of the vehicle, I noticed something and knew my answer. The people in the graveyard had the slightest tint of transparency about them; in a word, Miss Ivy, they were ghosts. Clearly, there was not a Benjamin Delacroix hanging about their cemetery. I had my answer – about that town anyway.”

            She nods slowly, finally taking in the first part of my story and its actual meaning. As anticipated, she wants to know about other places. Ivy points out that what I’ve described was only about one or two days, but that I’ve been gone for almost a week. Where was I?

            “Clearly, that discovery led to other events. What was I supposed to do, leave twenty-seven ghosts floating around the cemetery? Two more days I stayed in that small town, solving people’s problems and helping them leave this plane. So that leaves three days of the week that I went missing and I’ll tell you what, Miss Ivy, they weren’t much different. Two more small towns and plenty of new faces that needed to move on to newer places. The biggest difference between all the towns was how I got from one place to the next. From the first small town to the second, I travelled by train. That’s right, by train. In fact, I was sitting on top of the train.”

            I can picture her eyes going wide until she realizes that I can’t be blown off the top of the train if I’m not corporeal and if I were blown off it wouldn’t matter. She calms down and I just smile, waiting to finish my story.

            “I tried to ride a horse to the edge of that town, but the horse good spooked – probably by my presence – and started running in the other direction. Instead, I rode on the handle bars of a child’s bike. From that second town, I went to the third and I got there by a crowded bus. Without an empty seat, I climbed up and sat down. I am fairly confident that the man I sat on didn’t even notice a difference. Later, after some passengers got off, I took my own seat only to have a young woman sit on me. It’s been an adventure of transportation and you haven’t even heard the best part yet.”

            She looks at me, her eyes questioning what could be next and I smirk. I’m sure once my story is finished that we’ll have a serious conversation about what all of this actually means, but, for now, I’m enjoying reliving my journey.

            “Once I’d made these discoveries in these three towns, I reached a conclusion. Miss Ivy Mae Carter, I’m not sure if there are others out there that help people move on like I do. If there are, there must not be one in every town; either that or the ones in the towns I visited have gone missing and no one’s reported it yet. Since I took this trip and realized that there aren’t set people like me out there, I’m not sure why I’m hanging around like I do. The point is, I realized this and the first thing I wanted to do was tell you, Ivy. I wanted to rush back to my bone yard and tell you all that I’d seen and done. So, I picked a fast mode of transportation and rushed back. I came home on the back of a motorcycle Ivy and I could almost feel the wind on my face.”

            The sun is fully overhead now, it’s near mid-day and I’m still anxious to tell my story to Ivy. Talking to the flying wind and practicing my speech just doesn’t match up. I’m riding on the back of a motorcycle, trying to feel the wind on my face, and wishing I’d learned how to use a phone so I could hear her voice again.

*For more on Benjamin Delacroix and Ivy Mae Carter, please visit twotowrite.blogspot.com

Apr. 6th, 2010


A little late!

part of a larger work.Collapse )

Mar. 22nd, 2010

Blood the Last Vampire


The Dryad

This is my attempt at creating a fairy tale. I've tried my best to stay true to the voice that most fairy tales were told in. I hope you enjoy reading the story by me and the art by Inertia K. Please check out her gallery on DeviantArt and her website. ~ Shianan

Dryad's Dance by Inertia K


Once upon a time a young girl sat with her tutor each spring and in through the autumn beneath a cherry tree. The girl loved the sweet aroma the fragile blossoms gave on the gentle wings of the spring winds. She often savored the memory of the summer fruit while her tutor went on and on about her history lessons; all dates and places other impossible things to remember.


The girl loved the tree, and the tree loved her in return. She straightened her trunk and stretched her branches a little taller every time the girl leaned against her and sighed. Together they would watch the clouds drift by and the sun paint the sky in brilliant shades of red and orange.


The girl said her goodbyes each autumn and the tree shed her leaves like tears. She missed her immensely when her sap ran cold through her veins and the snow covered her in its crystalline grip. The winter months drug slowly by for the tree in her misery. Curled up in a ball, the living essence of the tree hugged her knees and wept until dormancy took over and she was lost in a blissful sleep, dreaming of the day when the girl would return.


Early one spring, the girl climbed up in the tree's fragile trunk and sat in the tree's thickest limbs and told her all about the wonders of the city and the spirit in the tree awoke, wiping the hardened sappy sleep from her eyes.


The city sounded beautiful, with all of its wonderful things to see and do. Oh! How the tree wished she could see the city! The girl kept going on about everything the city had to offer that the country could not give her.


The girl told the tree about how she had saved up enough money over the years and was finally going to be moving. This made the tree sad. It also made the tree angry.


The girl laid her head back against one of the tree's limbs and sighed. This time the tee did not stand up tall and reach her branches up toward the sky.


The girl told the tree about how this was her last visit to the country. She wouldn't be staying for the spring and summer. She had gotten a small apartment, even had her new address written down in the purse strapped over her chest.


She even told the tree about her new beau, and how she would always remember the three as the place she would come to when troubled. The girl said it was sill to talk to the tree and tell "it" all of her problems, but now she had someone else to confide i,k and she was to be married.


The girl said her final goodbye to the tree and climbed down. She glanced up at the last remnant of snow and ice dripping from off the branches.


"I would hug you again, Tree, but see, my new blouse is silk and you're all wet. And your bark might poke a hole in it. Its a shame I can't take you with me. My fiance loves cherry pie."


Then the tree shook with range and the last bit of snow toppled down. The ice cracked off in fine sheets of glass. The girl began to step away from the tree, but it was too late. The tree grabbed a hold of her, wrapped its limbs around her and tangled its tiny branches in her hair.


Deep down inside the tree the spirit shrieked in rage and in glee. Soon it was the girl who was laughing, the spirit of the tree looking out through her eyes.


"It seems, I shall see the city after all. You should have found a way to take me with you."


The tree reached out and cradled the barky cheek of the girl's face, and the girl will scream for as long as she is trapped in the tree's husk. Her face, immortalized in wood, sap and cherry blossom blooms.


Copyright © 2010 by Shianan Fae unless otherwise noted.

Mar. 18th, 2010



So Not the Norm

In this, our first month of sharing with you all, we have failed already!

Sometimes, things happen. Unfortunately, until they are able, our in-house sisters will be taking a leave of absence.

Until they are able to return to us, stay tuned to this community on the first and fourth weeks of each month for some really interesting takes on the same prompt.

This month's prompt is Fairy Tales & Legends.

Here's the schedule for the next three months. Hopefully, our dear resident sisters will be able to contribute, but if not, there's still much fun to be had.

March - Fairy Tales & Legends
April - Destined for Death
May - "Everywhere you go, perfection, follows you the wrong direction."
June - A Dark Enchantment

See you Monday!


PS - We are open to prompt suggestions if you feel so inclined to offer one (or two, or three, or...)!

Mar. 1st, 2010


Fairytales and Legends!

Hello, I'm J. F. Jenkins, and this is my attempt at writing a fairytale! I don't really have much more for a witty intro or anything like that, but I hope you enjoy it all the same. This piece is a spin-off of another work that's found over at my LJ.

Click on!Collapse )