ImageI wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go with this picture. It took a little mindless retail work to get the creative juices flowing. I hope this is different than all the other wonderful writers posting to Friday Fictioneers this week. This image was also used a couple of years ago, long before I joined the addiction. It’ll be interesting to see how this stacks up to those posts as well. No pressure, right? ;) Oh, and photo copyright – Madison Woods

Okay. Without further ado and with hopes that I can keep up my flash fiction while also novel writing for CampNaNo, here it is.

 

Hide and Hide?

I was very close to losing my temper. We’d been at the exercise for almost three hours and I was no closer.

“It’s too hard. Let’s just move onto something else.”

“No, you can do this. You’re so close!”

“You said that an hour ago and I haven’t gotten any better. My blind Uncle Dave could spot me from across the street.”

“That’s not true. I could barely see facial features. One more try?”

“Okay.” I closed my eyes, harnessed energy, and visualized branches and leaves. “How’s that?”

“Umm. Maybe you’re right.”

“What? Why?”

“You have branches. And horns.”

“Damn!”

ImageI seem to be hit or miss with Friday Fictioneers, but here’s my next entry! I will probably be even more absent next month as July is another session of Camp NaNo and I very much need to start work on the cozy mystery series I keep threatening to write. Photo copyright – Mary Shipman


Starting Fresh

Cheryl worried about wiping away the remains of her childhood, destroying memories as sure as she was taking down the wall in the room. The home had been in the family for generations, each one adding to it without making major changes. Now she was breaking down walls, adding in modern amenities, throwing out old wallpaper and carpet. As much as she wanted to pass that down to the next generations, she couldn’t. For the sake of meeting damned standards of a neighborhood that built around her in the last twenty years, she had to gut everything and start fresh.

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Photo copyright – Erin Leary

The anguish was palpable, almost a physical presence. The fear, pain, and death of so many in such a concentrated area left an emotional scar on the land. And for what?

The fence marked the line, the hard-fought prize of too many battles. Neither side held the prize for long. Neither was ever willing to concede. But both sides, believing theirs to be the right cause, fought brothers, uncles, and fathers.

She’d come hoping to heal the scar, to put brothers, uncles, and fathers to rest at last. But the pain was too much, the souls lost too many.

Once again into the Friday Fictioneers fray! For anyone who hasn’t tried this yet, it is lots of fun and completely addicting. Simply take the new photo supplied each week and write a 100 word story, post it on your blog, and share with the group. They are a wonderful band of writers who are also very encouraging to a newbie. :) My newest addition follows the picture. And all of the other great stories can be found at the link at the bottom of this post.

Dash

“Hey, Andre! What’s going on? Why are we running?” He was getting too fat to run every time the herd spooked.

“I don’t know, Phillip. But it must be bad. Harold zipped by freaking out.”

“You know everything freaks out Harold. Robert’s last practical joke of crying wolf made us look like fools. Again.”

“What was that sound? Did you hear that?”

“It’s Robert laughing at us again.”

“No, it wasn’t laughing. There!”

“Nope…wait! Oh GOD! WOLF! WOLF!”

“You sure about it?”

“Yeah, look.”

Robert zoomed past saying, “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” He was missing his tail.

“RUN!”

melted candle

photo by Renee Heath

It was the one thing at the scene that didn’t fit with the crime. There were no cult aspects, no wax for torture. Hell, it wasn’t even needed as a light source. So why did every scene have a big white candle? The reason for the candles might hold the clue to the killer.

Why burn candles? Not light, not cult ritual. Wait? Ritual. That’s it!

“Hey, Carl. Weren’t the previous victims named Mary?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Son of a bitch! This guy is Catholic. He’s killing virgins and lighting prayer candles for them to the Virgin Mary. Sick, twisted bastard.”

CampNano2014-Winner-Vertical-BannerI know it’s been a long while since I posted ANYTHING here. Let’s just say life got very busy almost immediately after starting Friday Fictioneers. I will be joining in again soon. Between moving (again), finishing a semester of college, and trying my hand at Camp NaNo (also again) I’ve had very little time for any of my blogs. Two-thirds of that is over by May 3rd. And for the first time in the six years since I signed up, I actually won NaNo. I plan to do the camp again in July with a higher word goal and the main one in November. For now, all I have to deal with is my crappy day job and a new home study course from the National Genealogical Society, so blogging should be more frequent until the fall semester. I forget how much I enjoy blogging until I have no time to do it.

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photo by David Bowman
Gaia’s Wounds

It was the perfect spot, the one she’d seen in her dreams. The crater had every element needed for the spell. Saving the GPS coordinates, she sent the information to the group. Her sister witches would soon meet Sakura with supplies.

Everything must be set up and ready for the ritual before noon. Other groups around the globe were preparing for the same ritual to be performed at the same moment. It was the only way to begin to repair the human damage done to the environment. To fail meant certain death for all. Success only a short-termed solution.

Image

photo copyright by Sandra Crook

I haven’t had a chance to read anyone else’s story before posting mine. Hopefully this idea hasn’t been done too many times. :)

Buried

So many things I could’ve done.

“Don’t drive so close,” from my wife next to me.

“You really shouldn’t try to text and drive,” said my mother in the back.

“Is that bale moving? Hey, Dad, maybe we should take a different road.”

I hate back seat drivers. Always so much smarter than the person actually driving. But I sure showed them.

“Any idea how long it’ll take to move it all? It’s getting hard to breath.”

“Dad, my head hurts. I think I need to throw up.”

“Honey, are you even listening? Dave? Dave!”

No more worries for me.

I found a writing challenge that looks fun. Friday Fictioneers! Basically, the person running the challenge shares a photo each week and participants write a 100 word story inspired by the photo. Between work, moving, and homework I might not post a story every Friday. But I will give it a shot. :)
lvbydawne_2

photo copyright by Dawn M. Miller

Make a Wish

I waited impatiently as they brought out lamps for the estate sale. The Wish Lamp had to be there. I only needed it for one moon cycle. One wish could cure mom’s Alzheimer’s, could give her back everything she’d lost. Except Dad.

Aunt Ruth wasn’t supposed to inherit it, claimed she didn’t have it. Gram was clear it went to Mom. Aunt Ruth’s “streak of luck” was proof enough for me.

There it was in the last batch! Simple, black and only fifty cents.  The new moon was only two days away. Twenty-eight days and my mom would be back.

 

I’ve really been trying to get my confidence up about my ability to write something other than blog posts. Which meant I was revisiting my old fan fiction. I forget how much I enjoyed writing it until I read again and remember the joy of using words. Here’s the first story I put on paper and shared with the world. It’s a fan fiction for the show Supernatural, set shortly after the beginning of season three. It’s my favorite completed work so far.

ImageWhat If?

It started out as a stray thought in Sam’s mind. What if Dean never made the deal? What if he didn’t trade his soul for my life? It became an intense need to know. He even broached the subject with his brother. As expected, that was a bad idea.

 “Dean, do you ever wonder how things would’ve been if you hadn’t made the deal?” he asked hesitantly.

 “Why the hell would I do that?” in a tone that said the discussion was over. His voice conveyed anger, but in his eyes was fear. The question effectively ended not only Sam’s discussion, but talking for the rest of the night. Dean switched off the television, the lamp, and rolled over, his back to his brother.

 Sam almost wished he hadn’t brought it up. Their time together was dwindling, the year Dean had been given more than half over, and he didn’t want to waste it fighting. But the question still wouldn’t go away, even in sleep. What if?

********************************************************

It took a few seconds for Sam to get his bearings. He was shocked to see where and when he was. He was in Cold Oak, South Dakota minutes before his death. And he was there as an observer. A vaguely familiar voice in his head said You wanted to know what happens with no deal. Well, here it is. He wasn’t sure if it was real or a dream. It felt like when the Yellow-Eyed Demon showed him what happened all those years ago in his crib in Lawrence. How he became one of the special children, the psychics.

 It was weird, to see his fight with Jake. And a bit impressive from the outside. All those years of forced training showed in his ability to hold his own against someone as strong as Jake. Sam the observer, winced as Jake dislocated his shoulder, remembered only too well how much it hurt. Remembered the anger and how close he came to actually killing the young soldier, actually becoming what he feared most.

 The Sam in the dream heard Dean and Bobby call for him, thought it was safe, and turned his back on Jake. That had been the fatal mistake. Jake stabbed him in the back, severed his spine, before Dean could warn him of the danger. Now Sam got to watch as he died there in his brother’s arms.

“I’m going to take care of you. I’m going to take care of you. I gotcha. It’s my job, right, watch out for my pain-in-the-ass little brother… Sam… Sam… Sam! Sammy!” He watched as Dean’s world fell apart, heart broken in a million pieces when he realized he was too late.

 “No.. no-n-n-n-n-no. Oh god… Oh god… Sam!”

 He’d seen his brother cry before, but never like this, never a steady stream of tears. He’d never seen Dean so broken and it tore at his heart to know he put his brother through so much pain.

 “SAM!!” The scream echoed through the streets of the ghost town, taking Dean’s world with it.

 The dream or vision, he still wasn’t sure which, switched suddenly to the abandoned cabin he remembered waking up in. But not when he remembered. Bobby was trying to talk some sense into Dean, trying to make him face facts. Which was exactly what he refused to do. Dean wasn’t eating or sleeping. He couldn’t bring himself to bury Sam’s body. Bobby wanted Dean to go with him, to help.

 “Somethin’ big is going down– end-of-the world big.”

 “Well, then let it end!”

 “You don’t mean that.”

 “You don’t think so? Huh? You don’t think I’ve given enough? You don’t think I’ve paid enough? I’m done with it. All of it. And if you know what’s good for you, turn around, and get the hell out of here. Go!” Dean screamed and shoved Bobby towards the door. Seeing tears in the older hunter’s eyes, his tone softened, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please, just go.”

 That caught Sam completely by surprise. He’d never known Dean to back down from a fight or give up. But he looked lost, like his world had come to an end. Which, he could see, to Dean it had.

 Day faded into night and Sam watched as his brother sat vigil by his body and grieved, angry at his own failure. Dean starting talking about when they were kids. About how he always wanted to protect Sam.

 “I always tried to protect you. Keep you safe. Dad didn’t even need to tell me. It was just always my responsibility, you know? It’s like I had one job… I had one job… “, his voice breaking as tears flowed, “And I screwed it up. I blew it. And for that, I’m sorry. I guess that’s what I do. I let down the people I love. I let Dad down. And now I guess I’m just supposed to let you down, too.”

 God, Dean. Do you really believe that?

 “How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy. God. What am I supposed to do?”

 Sam wanted nothing more than to tell Dean to bury him and live a long life. But he knew that Dean couldn’t hear and even if he could, he wouldn’t listen.

 “What am I supposed to do?!” The last anguished scream filled the room and hovered painfully.

 The dream switched again. This time to a crossroads late at night. Dean tried to make the deal, practically begged. It tore Sam up to see his brother so vulnerable. The demon taunted him, played with him, knowing full well she had no intention of making any deal. Everyone seemed to know Sam was Dean’s weakness, his Achilles’ Heel.

 In the end, she told him no. Sam could see the disbelief on Dean’s face as the demon disappeared, taking away his last hope of bringing his brother back. The broken, hollow shell of a man left behind no longer resembled the strong, vibrant person Sam grew up with, wanted to be just like.

 Now you get the answer you so badly wanted, the voice in his head, which he realized sounded like Dean’s, startled him. You may not like it though. It all felt so real, he’d almost forgotten this was just a dream.

 He was back at the cabin again, watching Dean enter, shoulders hunched, all life gone from his eyes. Sam was unprepared for what came next, wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that it would come to that.

Dean removed his jacket, sat next to his brother’s body on the bed to lift it into a sitting position, and slid up to sit next to him, shoulders touching. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed.

“Hey, Bobby. It’s Dean.” His voice sounded so empty. “I need you to come do the burial. I can’t do this anymore. I’m so sorry for everything.” He dropped the phone on the bed next to him and pulled out his knife, the one Sam had given him for his last birthday.

 “I’m sorry, Sammy. I tried. That bitch wouldn’t bring you back and I can’t do this without you. I hope you can forgive me.” There were no more tears, only a loss Sam never knew his brother could feel open for anyone to see in his eyes, hear in his voice. Then, with barely a flinch, he made cuts in his wrists. Putting down the knife, he pulled his brother into his arms and cried one last time, his life, like the tears, slowly flowing from him.

 NO!!!! No, no, no, no, NO!

 Sam knew the screams wouldn’t change anything. But couldn’t stop them or the tears that threatened to consume him. He wanted to shake him, punch him, anything that would make him fight for life.

Damn it, Dean. How could you do that? You aren’t supposed to die. It’s not fair!

 Now the dream refused to change. It forced him to watch the light in Dean’s eyes fade minute by agonizing minute.

 What felt like an eternity later, Sam watched as Bobby and Ellen burst into the cabin and stopped short at the sight that greeted them. Watched Bobby frantically check for a pulse and Ellen collapse to the floor in tears, with a look that refused to believe what her eyes clearly showed her. It looked like Dean had just fallen asleep cradling his brother in his arms, head resting on head. The large pool of blood the only betrayal of the truth.

 “How could he? I don’t understand. Bobby, it doesn’t make any sense.”

His answer started as a whisper and ended in a scream. “Sam was his world, his purpose. I didn’t think he meant that without Sam he had no purpose. Damn it, Dean! You deserved better than this, you idiot.”

They hadn’t a chance to get there on time. That was obviously Dean’s plan. He didn’t want to be saved and live a life without Sam.

The dream suddenly shifted to the graveyard. Sam, trying to regain control over his emotions, watched as Jake opened the Devil’s Gate completely unhindered. Without him and Dean to fill in the missing pieces, Bobby and Ellen never figured out what the signs and Ash’s map meant. Demons poured out of Hell by the thousands, the Yellow-Eyed Demon ready, with Jake to lead his army and destroy the world.

The next shifts were a rapid succession of images showing the deaths of everyone Sam ever knew, causing his head to pound furiously. Bobby, Ellen, and all the people they’d saved were gone. Hell had truly come to Earth and he could do nothing to stop it. The pain spread. Sam thought his heart would burst, tears flowing freely down his face.

He was vaguely aware that someone was shaking him and calling his name. Trying to pull himself from unconsciousness, he could hear the panic in the voice. It sounds like…Dean!

 “Damn it, Sam. Wake up! Come on, man. You’re freaking me out here.”

 That’s right. It was just a dream. It felt so real. “Dean?” he whispered, afraid to believe it was true. “You’re ok?”

 “You’re the one screaming and crying in your sleep. Are you alright? You scared the crap out of me when I couldn’t wake you.”

 “It felt so real.” He realized Dean was sitting next to him and he still hadn’t stopped crying. The dream hadn’t faded, actually felt like it would be burned in his memory forever.

 “What?”

 “The dream. It felt more like a vision, but without the blinding headaches. I couldn’t make it stop or change anything.” The tears finally slowed and stopped.

 “What happened?”

 He could see the concern etched in his brother’s features and hated to add more pain. But Dean deserved the truth.

 “I got the answer to my question. You know, what if you didn’t make the deal?”

 “Sam! I told you that would never happen. You dying is not an option.”

 “In my dream, you weren’t given a choice. The Crossroads Demon refused to deal. You couldn’t save me.”

 “So what happened?” his voice barely a whisper.

 “Hell on Earth. It was awful and all I could do was watch. You died. The Devil’s Gate opened and never closed. Everyone died. Bobby, Ellen, even the people we saved. They all died first because they knew us. Then the demons just kept killing. They killed everyone, everyone in the world.”

 The tears started again and Sam did something he hadn’t done since he was a kid. He reached to his brother for comfort. He felt Dean put an arm around his shoulders and try to reassure him that everything was ok.

 “I’m sorry, Dean.”

 “For what?”

 “For being so angry with you about the deal. I thought you were being selfish. I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for. I was selfish. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but it was purely selfish. I couldn’t stand the thought of being alone. That’s the only reason I did it. Not to stop that Yellow-Eyed bastard or save the rest of the world from demons. I just couldn’t let you die.”

 “Thanks, Dean.” He still couldn’t shake seeing his brother die right before his eyes, probably never would forget that feeling. “You know this doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to get you out of the deal.”

April Camp Nano

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