fiction

Among Extra Socks and Wooly Mittens

Another Today’s Author Prompt: Develop a new character ONLY by describing the contents of their purse (backpack, etc.). Prompt found here.

The non-descript black satchel is worn down to grey in some places, canvas fraying in spots. The pockets are stretched and warped by its contents and years of use.

The small outer pocket is kept empty on account of it being unusable- the hempstrings fretted away from countless attempts to cinch and tie them around the pocket when it was overstuffed with crucial supplies. The initials HAS (Hestalia Asmondia Stellaluna) adorn the canvas just above the unused pocket, but the H is coming unstitched such that it more resembles the number 4 and the S bares a dark umber stain of unknown origin.

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Beyond Vodka and Horses

A holiday piece written for the first prompt over at Today’s Author, a writing blog that my dear husband is involved in getting off the ground. Prompt found here.

Beyond Vodka and Horses

There was a knock at the door and suddenly the Christmas lights went out, for Papa was quick with the snuffer. Anna hurried to close the armoire, shielding the illicit tannenbaum from casual view and Foster doused the candles that ringed the table wreath by capping the whole thing with Grandmother’s antique porcelain cake cover. At the same time, little Mellie hopped up on Papa’s chair to take the hay-filled clogs from the mantle and stow them in the fireplace coal bin before Mama brought out the gruel and barley water in lieu of the feast still roasting in the potbelly. Then, Papa opened the door to the soldiers.

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Categories: fiction, holiday, Today's Author Prompt | 2 Comments

Some Holiday Stories

Taking this time of year to draw attention to two of my older stories, both written in previous years around the holidays.

The Hidden Properties of Fruitcake
(1) (2)
~ An Epiphany Story

The Yearlings
~ A New Years Story

I really love both of these pieces and hope you do, too.

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The Yearlings

A New Years Story by Virginia Diaz

Eva had always dreaded New Year’s because it felt like loss. Even more than her birthday, she felt as if she aged the whole of the year in that last day- December 31st- The End- Finality- Close the book and put it away on the shelf along with all its predecessors- Done.

It had been easier as a child. She had mostly slept through it back then. Her teen years had made it pretty crappy, though- there were parties and dates and happy kisses at midnight. Except, she tended not to be that happy at midnight- she tended to cry. Four boyfriends had broken up with her over it by the time she was twenty-five years old. Okay- maybe she did provoke them a little. It had to be hard to keep wanting to be with someone who wouldn’t go out, wouldn’t celebrate, wouldn’t even kiss you on one of the best party nights of the year (and then got mad at you for trying to cheer her up). Believe it or not, angry, crying, crazy chick was not a good look on Eva.

And, here is was again- New Year’s Eve of her thirtieth year- old enough to be past this ridiculous phobia- to be past indulging in this bout of seasonal craziness- old enough to know better by now. But, here she was, lying in bed at (she glanced over at the glowing digital display from her alarm clock that was counting up or maybe down the last hours of the year) 8:37 p.m. She was lying in bed at 8:37 p.m. hoping to go back to the comfortable bliss that she had enjoyed in her childhood of sleeping through her doom. She was wide awake and shivering- despite the flannel nightgown, two quilts and her furnace being turned up higher than both global warming and her empty bank account should have allowed. She’d gotten up to check the thermostat twice already. Then again, maybe she wasn’t quite as wide awake as she thought, since she could hear them- the dream voices in her head. They were arguing.

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Friday Fiction: Midnight Text

Genre: Very Short Story/Realistic Fiction
Mood: Existential-ish
Word Count: 325
Rating: All
Muse: Written for [Fiction] Friday Challenge #136 for Jan 1st, 2010: A text message pops up on your character’s phone in the middle of the night. It reads, “You have 30 days left to live. Use them wisely”

Peggy woke with the sound of her phone ringing- and thought to herself- who was calling at- she glanced at the time on her cell as she picked it up- 1:47 a.m.?

It was Nannette, of course. Who else? Peggy went to silence the ringer and realized that it had only rung once, which meant it was a text and not an actual call. She clicked through to read it, after a moment of indecision about just rolling over and going back to sleep. It read, “U hav 30 daz 2 live- use them wisely.”

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Categories: fiction, Uncategorized, very short stories | 3 Comments

Lillia’s Tale ~ Updated Every So Often

Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 2,000-ish
Rating: 10+
Summary: Lillia’s father has always been a half-seen shadow- never present, but always close.
Author’s Note: This story is being written in snippets using the prompts in the table at the end. Lillia’s Tale Will make more sense if you read Ari’s Tale, since Lillia is Ari’s daughter and what happened to Ari is much in my mind as I write of Lillia. The year is 1968.

Lillia is careful not to let the screen door slam as she steps out into the back. The sparse clumps of grass that dot the dirt of the yard unsteady her feet as she makes her way from the house in the waning dark.

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Millie’s Brush with Reality

Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 684
Rating: All
Summary: Millie isn’t all that smart. That doesn’t stop her from seeing what she isn’t supposed to see.

It was a Tuesday, Millie remembered that much.

Categories: AugNaWriMo, fiction, science fiction, very short stories | Leave a comment

Burgess Gulch (6)

Genre:Sci-fi/Western
Word Count:5,350
Rating:10+
Summary: Things around Burgess Gulch continue to get more and more perplexing.
Author’s Note: This began as my 2006 Nanowrimo Novel.

Previous Parts (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).

6

“Come on Sheriff- it’s the Armageddon for sure!” Little Jack Miller shouted into Cody’s office door. His round face, flushed with panic, popped inside for a moment, “Well, are you coming?” he asked and he popped back outside just as quickly.

Cody looked over at Prentice and scowled. “Don’t that boy have a lick of sense?” But, he got up and headed out the door anyways because round there, you just never did know.

As Cody stepped outside into the relative cool of the street- it had been uncomfortably hot for days, but a storm seemed to be coming in- as Cody left the stifling heat of his office, his ears were battered by a low thrumming hum pulsing up and down from loud to louder and back again. Cody paused there in the doorway- the sound like a wall he was pushing against. Jitters came to the door behind him- sort of bumbled into Cody’s back, which served to pop Cody through the sound-wall and into the dusty street.

In the street he could see more than a few of the fine citizens of Burgess Gulch running in a right proper panic. Little Jack Miller was trying to get his father’s mule- which was loaded down with far too large a pack for the scrawny little thing- to heed and come on with him. Mrs. Carmichael and her brood were rushing round gathering up what looked like several bushels of potatoes that were rolling across the ground and hopping in time with the thrumming- near everything was hoping in time with the thrumming, come to think on it. Thompson Smith, the blacksmith, was chasing a spooked and half unshod mare that had got away from him.

And, there weren’t no way that that there horse was giving way for sweet Lisel Carmichael, who was all of three, and chasing after one of them wayward tubers. Cody snapped into action on seeing the little girl in the path of the runaway mare, breaking into a run, hoping to get there before the hooves came down on that pretty but unaware head of golden curls. Weaving in and out between the rubbish that was jumping around in his path, Cody reached out and scooped the girl up as he stumbled on something or other that he couldn’t quite avoid. He did his best to roll himself over the girl as they hit the dirt hopeful that the hooves would somehow miss his most tender and vulnerable parts and miss the girl entirely as the horse trampled him.

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Burgess Gulch (5)

Genre:Sci-fi/Western
Word Count:2,115
Rating:10+
Summary: Cody investigates the Mayoress’ disappearance and things get a might tricky.
Author’s Note: This began as my 2006 Nanowrimo Novel.

Previous Parts (1) (2) (3) (4).

5

Cody went round to see Mandy the next morning, hoping for some different answers to the same questions, which was of no use, Cody knew, but it didn’t stop him trying. Doc Smith had sent her home, so Cody had to saddle up the horse he never called Clara and ride out to the big house she had outside of town.

The house had used to belong to Cody’s granddaddy, who, not coincidentally, had been Mandy’s father. It had been a bone of some contention betwixt her and Cody’s daddy before the old man had passed, him being the son, he figured on getting that house, but Mandy was the old man’s pride and joy. After that, Cody’s father hadn’t ever spoken to his little sister, ’til the day he died. Wasn’t but a few days after his daddy’s passing that Mandy came round to Cody banking on a new start, which Cody gladly agreed to. Four years on, they had a grudging friendliness and a certain respect- kin was kin after all, so Cody was glad to be on friendly terms with all that was left of his.

His knocking at the great door was answered promptly by Mandy’s girl Carlotta. As she gave him a nod and led him into the parlor, where his Auntie was sitting up next to the fire, a carpet over her legs, Cody was struck with wondering why it was that Carlotta hadn’t come to him about Mandy going missing. She should have noted it far sooner than Cody, what with living in the same house with her boss-lady.

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I’m back, Lost On Earth, and what’s next.

* I kind of dropped out for a while there. I did continue my Nano novel, but it became very slow going and I finished the month with about 18,000 words. I like the universe I was creating, but I didn’t ever manage to grow a plot, so if I do anything more with it, it will be at some indeterminate point in the future. Eh- I won the two previous years, so this doesn’t sting too much. I did take down the bits I had posted because I don’t like having something unfinished and without a known schedule for continuing up on the blog.

* Just prior to the madness that is Nano season, I participated in a cooperative writing thing over at Write Anything. It was posted on the site during the last week of November. Below is a link to the story, Lost On Earth on Write Anything as well as one for the e-book version on Scribd.

Lost On Earth in chapters

Lost On Earth the e-book

* As I wrote at the end of October, I kind of abandoned my serials while getting ready for Nanowrimo, although I was planning to give each of them another 2 or 3 parts before the end of the year. I may not be able to get quite that far in them considering the holiday rush is about to rush me, but I do intend to try and put a bit more of each of them up over the next month before putting them on hiatus and restarting The Golden Apple Tales, Travis Keller (Not So Super Hero), Brave the Arid Ocean and Spirals in January.

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