Unicorn Bell

Today, I am writing elsewhere. Specifically, over on Unicorn Bell. I justĀ love the name of her blog. Yesterday, she posted several random pictures, and challenged her followers to a 500-word maximum flash fiction piece, based on one of the pictures. I chose the man and woman with a spacecraft taking off in the background.

Unicorn Bell

I hope you like the piece and comment whether you like it or not! So head on over there and check it out.

**ring ring**

Hear that? Your Unicorn Bell is ringing…

A Writer… in theory

I’m supposed to be a writer, but I haven’t posted much about writing, either the craft or any actual writings. Part of that has been the press of work this year; my “free” time has been quite limited, and usually stolen in secret. It occurred to me this past week, however, that as a writer, my blog should have some writing in it. Since fiction comes easier than reality anyway, at least for me, I have decided that I want to have more writing on the blog. So, you can now look forward to reading some writings here. Some may be extra stories from novels that won’t appear in the actual work, such as character backgrounds, cut chapters, or extra scenes. Others will be random short pieces that were just something I felt like playing with that week. I do hope you enjoy them, and as always, I welcome commentary!

Miracle Johnson sighed and slumped lower in her desk. She wrinkled her nose as her knee encountered someone’s long forgotten chewing gum. It may actually be hers from first semester, she realized, and chose to ignore it. She curled a lock of purple hair around her finger. It wasn’t all purple. Most of it was jet black. The right side had streaks of purple; the left had streaks of bright green.

Her eyes flicked up as the teacher called her name. He wanted an answer to something on the board. He had erased most of the board and started over since she last was paying attention. She shrugged and waited for him to give up hope on getting an answer from her. Eventually, he moved on.

She fingered the edge of the old textbook. Every page had some sort of doodle or writing on it. She’d checked. She’d found a few that had escaped notice, but she’d fixed those herself. The cover of the text was faded and scarred, but even if it had been new, it would have been boring. The children smiling up from the hard cover looked foolish. One of them now sported horns. The other two had blacked out teeth and goatees.

Miracle looked out the window near her desk. Outside looked so much nicer than in this dusty, old, boring classroom. A dungeon would look nicer than this classroom. At least more interesting, anyway, she thought. The wall clock clicked as the teacher continued to ramble on. There was a stain high on the wall above the chalkboard. She often fantasized that it was a bloodstain. That some student had finally had enough and decided to end class early. A flicker of a smile crossed her face. Maybe this guy was actually a zombie. That might even make him halfway cool.

“Remember, everyone, test tomorrow on levitation.” The class groaned as expected; Miracle didn’t waste her breath. “Also, your projects on magical jinxes are due on Friday.”

She sighed again. She hadn’t even started hers yet. Why did she have to suffer these boring classes when the real world was just right outside?

200 Word Challenge

My students are swearing to me that it can’t be done. Care to prove them wrong? Post your efforts in the comments below!

The 200-Word Challenge: Write 200 words, without repeating a single one, save for articles, conjunctions, and helping verbs.

Thus, you can have “We have seen that statue before. I have known this woman.” but you cannot have “I have a grape. You have an apple.”

Topic unlimited, but it must be cohesive. You cannot jump from topic to topic every 20 words.

Below is my own attempt. Written using Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die lab as a handy word-counter and cattle-prod, I managed to almost succeed. I believe that the only word outside of the rules that I did not manage to eliminate at the start was ‘of.’ However, with a little help from my brilliant wife, I found the keys and succeeded! Also, a very cool little legend has spawned from the challenge! (It ended up at 209 words, instead of 215.)

Sure enough, once I showed my effort to my students, they found four more words I had doubled! Proof that editing is a good thing, right? I said I would give them credit for finding those errors, so:
Henry found “that”
Maria found “any”
Chris found “at”
Andrew found “could”

Accolades to my students for being good editors!

The slumbering dragon snorted hot flame and we saw the cavern around us. The towering mounds adorned with glittering gold and roughly cut jewels sparkled amid the flickering light, the beast’s sleeping breath. Lord Charles Overcault sheathed his sword and clambered atop the nearest treasure pile for a better view. Sir Calreth O’dell moved around the edge, blade held ready. They were truly best friends; no two warriors could be closer even if born brothers. Suddenly, a sparkle caught their eyes. Above the heaped emeralds and scattered rubies, a single gem sat in the moon’s lone ray that entered the cave through a hole at the top. It was the Princess’s Heart, stolen from the vaults under Aramathus and thought lost these many past ages. The legend said the artifact would carve jealousy, greed, and doubt upon any man’s soul. The curse echoed the stone’s origin. Supposedly, an ancient king’s daughter, who loved a commoner, denied her father’s wish to marry. Instead, she and the unapproved lover eloped. The parents, upon capturing them, killed the boy and encased the girl within a lump of coal. The filthy charcoal instantly became perfectly clear and beautiful as the royal child had been, though now harder than the rock.