Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Fortune Teller (538 words)

The carnival rolled into the fields at dusk, its spirited music carried into town by the wind. Every window had been open, desperate for the night chill and we listened to the swell of the whistle and drums as they arrived, far from sleep. There had been no wind before it came.

In the morning, the field was crowded with show tents. It was a tangle of brilliant stripes and pennants, painted wagons, clapping flags, a wild thing that had crept up out of the woods while we slept. I watched it out of the corner of my eye while I wandered through my morning chores.

Terea ran up the hill to meet it just as soon as she could. Ardin and Sida and Kol and Demi paraded in a tight knot, straight to the center. Rhinda and Nolke swung by my house and I waved them on ahead. I dragged my feet up the hill an hour later.

“You look tired,” a clown said, painted from head to waist in blue paint. His face was drawn in an absurd white smile. The glittering chain in his hands rattled as the lion he held turned its head.

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Flash Fiction: One Piece (834 words)

Emmet and Koen struck as different paths as brothers could. There were ten years between them, making Emmet the dark-haired, bronze-eyed son of a man who had died too young, heir to everything his mother commanded, and Koen the blonde-haired son of a man still alive, captain, conqueror, and blunter weapon. Emmet’s keimon stood in his halls with him, guardians and entertainers under glittering lights. Koen’s stood at ship rails, face into the wind, and learned nothing better than how to burn, how to buy glory with ash.

Bryn had known that long before she chose where to apprentice. As young as they had been, she knew her twin, Riya had understood as well. And neither of them had hesitated to split ways, jump on a ship, train for the halls. Different was something magical to two ten-year-olds who had spent their whole lives as walking mirrors of each other.

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Gwendoogle Part XCIV – An Irritated Cat, Good Movies, and All Manner of Pets

GwendoogleAnswers served with half of my attention on the Golden Globes

Kate Kearney searched: How do you appease an irritated cat?
Step 1: Make sure the area is secure. Secure like your cat has just become the President aboard Air Force One. You don’t want your cat running off in a huff and getting hurt somewhere in its rage, but you also don’t want it to think that you’re locking it inside with its hated nemesis.

Step 2: Talk to your cat in calm tones. Do not escalate the situation by getting irritated too. It doesn’t matter what argument you two were having, or how “right” you were, or whether catnip really does have adverse side effects. Your cat will not care if you use that tone.

Step 3: Get low. While it brings you closer to the claws, it has the added benefit of making you look less like an intimidating, cat-stomping giant. So, sit your butt down on the floor or the couch and get short.

Step 4: Sit quietly, and let your cat relax. If your cat offers itself for petting, pet the beautiful creature and inform it that it is the supreme being in the house. You are not a threat to its power. If possible, rub the bridge of its nose. Don’t ask me why. The Great Cat Queen only let me live with the secret if I promised never to explain.

Step 5: Sacrifice meat to your god. Sorry, that went through translation a little oddly. It was supposed to say feed your cat. If the cat remembers that this is a place where it can eat in peace, it should also remember that it is in a safe place and it doesn’t need to be so agitated.

Step 6: Allow your cat to take the high ground. Apparently its emotional stability is inversely proportional to the distance it has to jump up to land paws on your head.

Step 7: Remember the first day that you brought that cat into your house and question your intelligence.

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Gwendoogle Part XC – Three Options

GwendoogleIf I had folded a paper crane for every answer given here, I would have earned one wish.

Kate Kearney searched: How do I entertain a ten year old for ten minutes?
Teach the ten-year-old to play chess. If she already knows, offer to teach her how people played “back in your day.” Then make up new rules, new names for the pieces, and do what you want. Just stay consistent. Pretend that you’re actually trying to improve on a 1500-year-old game.

When she catches on, ask her what rules she would make up.

You’ll probably spend more than ten minutes on it once the two of you get started.

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Flash Fiction: Turnings (972 words)

When Jessim’s grandmother worked, she chose corners on the widest streets of the city. The greater the crowd, the more coins would be dropped into her donation basket, and she needed the space.

She walled herself behind a half ring of wooden buckets with wide mouths she could plant two open hands inside. They sat, filled at varying levels with chalk all tinged blue and green and red and yellow under their own whiteness, and never quite managed to look clean. Like painters buckets, they earned their stains and their scuffs and their wrong colors leftover from their last filling. They were never supposed to be pretty, because no one was supposed to examine them any longer than the quick glance to make sure they didn’t trip.

Behind her, or sometimes to one side of her if the breeze was in a different mood that morning, she kept a large tub of water and filled it to the brim.

Then she stretched, and she grinned, and she held her hands open in front of her, palm up.

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Gwendoogle Part XVIII

Gwendoogle

Answering questions since I got the idea and no one stopped me

Kate Kearney searched: What kind of culture evolves around a fire swamp?

Mona Lisa has no eyebrows

This woman has no eyebrows. She may be the Matriarch of the Fire Swamp. Or the Village Idiot. Either way, I bet people in France are listening to Da Vinci spin his grave right now.

Probably a society that either places great value on the bold people with scorched-off eyebrows, or great scorn.

Probably a society that respects the force and potency of flame, but reveres the water that can put it out.

Probably a society that has five times the number of synonyms for “fire” and “burn” as we do.

Probably a society that creates all its precious objects in stone or other flame-immune materials. Or one that finds pleasure in impermanence and reinvention after a razing.

Probably a society that enjoys making strangers work hard to pay a social call. And one that is very impressed if an outsider makes it to their front door smelling like something other than charcoal.

But before you count this as gospel, you may want to run it by an anthropologist instead of a pyromaniac.

BabblingBuzzard searched: Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock?
Image search:
Robert Downey Jr Sherlock
 photo Sherlockgivesgoodadviceaboutdealingwithstupidpeople_zpsd230810b.gif

Okay, so I’m not actually that belligerent about it. I enjoy watching both of them, but given the choice, I’d rather spend the afternoon with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock than Robert Downey Jr.’s.

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Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Whites (357 words)

It’s been said a girl can never have too many whites, but Adrienne suspected her collection wasn’t what they had in mind. White t-shirts would have been understandable. White lace handkerchiefs would have been perfectly acceptable. White seashells would have been unexpected but unsurprising, and white cats would have been eccentric but pleasant. Quietly stalking Mr. Whites was altogether incogitable.

Until they saw Mr. Richard White, of course. He was tall, dark-haired and blue-eyed with a baritone voice that could whisper insults in a pleasant manner. After hearing a compliment from him, most people could understand the need to watch as many of his movies as possible. Some even conceded the need to clone him immediately and have an army of Richard Whites running the earth. The majority, however, said that one Mr. White was all the world could handle.

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How to Ask Your Best Friend For Forgiveness

There are certain things that I don’t announce to new acquaintances until they know me well enough to wait for an explanation. There are too many things I can say about myself that sound like rubbish when boiled down to an easily spoken sentence, or that invite worry based on expectations of what will come next.

For instance: I like vampires.

Yeah, I’m already uncomfortable. You’re going to give me time to explain, right?

No, I’m not talking about the horror flick monsters Van Helsing dispatches by the dozens. They’re creepy and really need to be taught table manners. I don’t know any other creature that literally cannot eat without spilling its meal down to its toes. No, I’m not talking about the pale members of nobility who try to sell you cold cereal. I’m not sure I like any cartoon character that attempts to sells me things. No, I’m not talking about teenage heartthrobs who lucked out with over-sized canines instead of larger-than-life front teeth and were called mysterious, or entrancing while the rest of us were being called gophers.

Yes, I do happen to be talking about attractive people with superpowers. No, that is not my point, but let’s just get it out of our systems:

louis claudia and eric vampires

Meet Louis (Interview with a Vampire), Claudia (Interview with a Vampire), and Eric (True Blood). Yes, they’re pretty, and any one of them could throw you from your house to the arctic circle in one go.

spike mitchell and hal vampires

Meet Spike (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), Mitchell (Being Human), and Hal (Being Human). Yes, they’re pretty, and any one of them could run the entire equator without having to catch their breath.

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Gwendoogle Part VII

Gwendoogle EasterAnswering your questions since last month

Bekah Kerr searched: What fandom are you most into right now?
For those who don’t know: fandom, noun: the community that surrounds and celebrates a particular television show, book, movie, etc.

Watching TV

Why, yes. This is a picture of me. How did you guess?

It’s difficult to say which I am most into, as there are so many fandoms, and I am in such different membership levels in each. For instance, I’m at the Gimme Gimme level in BBC’s Doctor Who (“Okay, if I finish this blog post in the next hour, I can watch two episodes before I go to bed. Hurry up. I need my fix.”) and the I Know It’s Not Canon, But Humor Me level in BBC’s Robin Hood (“Guy, baby, please, just turn good. You know you want to… It’s easy. Just grow a spine, slap the Sheriff of Nottingham and smile.”) and the Dang I Haven’t Watched This In Forever, Why Haven’t I?! level in SciFi’s Stargate Atlantis (“Smiles and fuzzy feelings everywhere! Don’t worry boys, it all turns out well in the end!”).

And there’s the I’m Listening to Elevator Music For Months or Years While I Wait For Awesome Things to Appear level that I’ve hit in both BBC’s Sherlock and Marvel’s Avengers. And the Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Not Very Patiently, But Waiting level for BBC’s Merlin (“Okay. Only thirty-two days. I can make it. Only thirty-two days. I’m never going to make it!”)

I’m in the oh-so-complicated Wait Wait We’re Getting Another Season? level in the CW’s Supernatural (“Go Sam! You can do it. We’re so close. We’ve almost beat the bad guys forever! Wait… Another season? What are we going to do with that?”)

And I’m in the ever-engrossing Passionately Shouting at the Characters to Get Their Acts Together level for ABC’s Castle and Fox’s Bones (“Castle, Beckett! Quit snogging. Booth, Bones! Quit snogging. Castle, you had wit in the first season. Where did it go? Bones, you were more socially ept in the first season. What happened to that? And I see you, Mr. Medical Examiner! Don’t think you can escape my ire just because you’re a side character. How in the world did you miss the taser burns on that body? Foul!”)

The takeaway from this answer, is, of course, that I watch too much television. I’m looking for a support group.

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Flash Fiction: Sophomoric (797 words)

Sophomores were the scariest species living on the Warren University campus.

Not freshman, who didn’t understand the rules or the University map. They mostly walked around with their heads on swivels, trying to remember north and south, which square building had the food, which had the scary janitor that yelled at them over invisible mud, and which had the classroom they desperately wanted to find before they were marked tardy.

Not juniors, who were bold and busy, confident and already contained inside a group of friends who went everywhere together.

Not seniors, who were easily ignored, even though no one would ever say that to their faces. They were neck deep in final projects as soon as they stepped on campus, noses in books, and time calculated down to the second to fit in all the work and fun they had planned for that last year. Dangerous, like a fresh-sharpened blade if you got in their way, but beyond confident now, never putting a foot out of place.

Sophomores were the scariest. The ones who knew the rules just enough to apologize when they broke them and then continue on as they pleased. The ones smart enough to chart the courses of the others, and stupid enough to test that one gap to see if there was space for them to dart through. Unpredictable.

And Reese knew all this within three weeks of starting at Warren.

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