February 27, 2006

Obsidian Kiss

This is something I wrote about a year ago. Not sure why it never made it in here before this.

Kunmei watched the tiny lizard as the beautiful woman picked it up from its cage. The small thing blinked its eyes. It sat calmly in the woman’s hand as she brought it to her face. Gently, oh so gently, she kissed the top of its head then held it back and watched. Her black lipstick left a blacker mark on the lizard’s crown. Then the mark began to grow, the lizard threw back its head and screeched. The mark spread and soon green was replaced by black. Scales became obsidian. The creature shook itself and from its shoulders sprouted bat wings. It screeched again and dug needle claws into the woman’s alabaster skin. Kunmei saw two thin lines of crimson appear, dripping around the side of her hand. The woman ignored them and held the tiny dragonet close to her face once more. She whispered something then blew upon the lizard’s brow. It shook its head as her breath washed over it. Suddenly there were two of them. They leapt from her palm and there were four. Eight flew towards the sky, became sixteen, became thirty-two. Kunmei watched until the creatures became so thick he could no longer distinguish individuals from the flock. They spread out, flying in all directions. The covered the sky until day became twilight. Kunmei glanced at his watch and realized it WAS twilight. When he looked back to the sky, there was no sign of dragons, only the deep evening sky.

“Where are they going?” To his surprise the woman answered him

“They are delivering my nightmares where they are needed.” She licked her arm where the dragonet had pierced her skin. In a moment the blood was gone and the wound had closed. She glanced at Kunmei once again. With a smile that was not entirely malicious, she asked “Are you still determined to win a kiss from me? Now that you have seen what my kisses do?”

February 22, 2006


The hands gripping the book were as rough and gnarled as the leather binding. Had they also been red, it would have been difficult to distinguish them at all. Instead, they were dark and weathered, wood brown against the blood red binding.

It was a large book, but the hands gripped it easily, steadily, and without strain.

February 17, 2006

Dinner Time

The final door did not open automatically. This close to the Mind, nothing operated automatically. Sherella was forced to turn and use her back to the door to push it open as she pulled the cart in after her. The Mind, as always, was slightly warmer than the corridor, although not much. That hint of warmth and the low hum of smoothly running machines always made Sherella feel at home. She smiled and wheeled the cart towards the pods in the center of the room. She flicked a switch and eight delivery hatches swished open, one for each pod. Black tended to get cranky if his hatch was left open too long so she started with him and proceeded around the circle placing food in each hatch. Black's door snapped shut almost before she pulled her hand away. His hatch never actually struck her, but she always felt it best not to tempt him. Blue waved at her through his faceplate. Green opened her eyes and smiled. The monitor above her hatch flashed the words "Thank You." Sherella grinned and nodded in return. That was all the interaction she had with the pods and it was more than she got most days. The rest of them, as usual, appeared unaware of Sherella's presence, although Sherella suspected Red was faking it. She thought she saw Red's eyes flick open as she approached, but they were closed again when Sherella glanced a second time.

February 12, 2006

In Our Mist

They live in the mist, in the fog. They live where we can see them, yes, but only where we can choose not to admit it. The woods, the dells, the hollows...

They watch us from these places unseen or, if seen, misattributed. They never linger long enough for a second glance. The face in the leaves, just leaves when you look again. The shape in the fog that turns out to be something else altogether. You were right the first time.

They're out there watching, hiding in the branches, skulking under bridges, perched on ledges, crouched between the roots, or standing in the open, in the mist. They live where we can see them, but never do.

February 07, 2006

Grim and Gay

Author's note: This is one of those "practice" efforts I told you about. This one is about evoking mood. Below I'm describing the same scene as seen by two different people, Grim and his sister Gay. They're kind of extreme people and it's a mystery how they stand to travel with each other to see these same sights. You'll understand when you hear what they have to say about this first scene.


The dense bramble of forest ended abruptly at the edge of an empty field. Thick heavy branches protruded overhead, extending their will across the narrow track but it was a futile gesture. No trees grew past that point, only squat lumps of sodden grass, their fat leaves clinging to the damp ground, pounded flat by the recent storms. The endless hairy bulges gave the whole field the appearance of being the knobby back of some wet sick beast.


The woods opened up onto a vibrant clearing edged by a narrow dirt track. Proud trees gave way to a broad green meadow. A cool breeze swept along the dirt track, ruffling the clumps of grass that lined the far edge. Beyond the protective embrace of the trees, the sun was just beginning to shine through the clouds. Across the meadow, fingers of light brushed the grass and set leftover raindrops sparkling.

February 02, 2006

Author's Note

It occurs to me that what I've been writing here (both recently and long long ago the last time I wrote anything here) has thus far been limited largely to "beginnings" - scene openings, setting a stage, creating a mystery and (hopefully) a desire to read further. Beginnings are important, but so are Middles and Ends. If this is really intended as writing practice (and it is) I need to work on those, too. It's hard in this setting, though, to work on anything besides beginnings. Beginnings are the only things that can start on their own - after all, that's their job. Beginnings create context. Middles and Ends expect a context to have already been provided. I'm aware of this and intend to address it. Perhaps in future posts, I'll give a quick context [In this scene...]. We'll see if that works. I'll also work more on descriptions, dialogue, and other pieces of story. I'll try to avoid falling into the beginning trap too often.

Actually, I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this. I suppose your role in this would be to tell me when you see areas you think I need to focus on (or stop focusing on). Or perhaps I'm telling you all this so you know why I'm going to be prefacing some of my future entries. I'm not really sure. Maybe I just like informed reader(s). In any case, please do comment on anything you consider worth commenting. This whole blog is intended as a learning process and reader response can help with that.