"I am out with lanterns looking for myself." ― Emily Dickinson

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August 20, 2017

Fiction: Bent

I just found this new writing exercise called 15 minute ficlets hosted by Amber at The Literary Phoenix in which a word is given and you have to write something for 15 minutes. I'm combinating last week's word "Bestial" and this week's "Unexpected." Visit Amber here.

15 minute ficlets


Fiction: Bent

The beast opened its mouth and came toward me. I stood unable to move a muscle. But the beast merely stopped at my feet and sat down. It whined like a child needing a pat on its head. I wanted to laugh for scaring myself. I lifted my hand and was about to pat the dog when a light caught my eye.

Someone appeared with a lantern held low to the ground and keeping their face in the shadows. The lantern's light lit the uneven, stone paved pathway that led to the gate where I was standing. I should not have stepped inside the gates but I didn't want to wait. The cold breeze lingered around me.

The man seemed almost shy as he stood in front of me with his head bowed a little. He held the lantern high showing his face lined with many wrinkles and scars. "This here is Lionel." The man said and then he added, "My name is Ralf. I am the housekeeper. You must be Mistress Sarah Bright." His voice was light and worn as if he was tired of talking just after a few words. Ralf said no more after that. I nodded. "I am." I bended down and pat Lionel. His hair was a soft as feathers.

I was here as the new mistress of Hallow Manor though it was only in title as I was merely a caretaker for the place. Its rightful master was my father Count Blule but he was too busy counting his money and his many sons. I was his only daughter but I was not special. Not in his eyes, nor my stepmothers. To say how many stepmothers I have is to say how many people ruled me. At times I struggled to refuse their commands as I had never thought myself their daughter or servant. Father had his own money but my stepmothers' riches kept him in a healthy state living among the rich folks. Father said I must obeyed my stepmothers or else I would be turn out to the streets. Father did not care for me as parents should and that was why I sometimes loathed him.

It was only after I turned nine, I began to see why my family shunned me. I was a strange one. I was too bold, too inquisitive, too talkative, too unladylike. I was not born a beauty and I walked with a limp after being bitten by a neighbor's dog at three. Now at twenty-two, I was not married nor do I have any marriage prospects and in this sense, there were no other choices for me other than to work for my family. But I was happy for I had never thought a woman needed a husband to be happy. I was not educated like my brothers. They went to school while I sat at home learning to be a lady though I succeeded at none of the skills I was supposed to learn but I got to read a lot of books. I taught myself the things I needed to learn and yet, I had not learned the art of deceit or even lying.

My only talent or thereof considered as talent by others if they knew, was that, I could bend an animal or a beast's will to mine. This strange power came just after I turned eighteen. One of the house visitors brought a dog. His name was Walter. Walter was an odd looking creature with oodles of white curls. Walter did not behave well. But when Walter came upon me, he became docile. When I told him to sit, he sat. When I told him to run away from his owner, he did. That was not a very nice thing to do but his owner was such a haughty lady and she treated him very badly. Walter was found three days later in the cellar of one of our neighbors who had been feeding him. 

August 17, 2017

Fiction: Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 2

Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 2

>>> Read part 1 here <<<

Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 2

What else could she do? Jane closed her eyes and dove into the lake. She felt a tightening of her chest for a few moments but then it was gone. She opened her eyes to a bright blue sky. It was quiet with a slight wind blowing.

"Having fun, Miss Jane?" BJ was grinning down at her. He took a few steps back. Jane sat up. A shiver ran through her body. She rubbed at her arms but she felt like cold hands were wrapping ice around her. She stood up and looked about. There was really not much to see. Around her were mountains and trees covered in snow. She turned back and BJ was gone again. Jane searched around and spotted the depressions in the snow made by small feet. She followed them. "BJ!" she called out. "BJ!"

She ran for a bit but the snow on the ground thinned. A small bark came from behind her. She turned and there was a creature on all fours. It was nearly all black except for the gray-white streaks on top of its head. Jane was certain it was a wolf. She took a few steps back. The wolf came forward. She back away again but the wolf only stepped toward her. Its tongue was sticking out and Jane noticed the sharp fangs. She grabbed some snow off the ground and threw them at the wolf. "Go away!" she shouted. The wolf merely let the snow hit his front paws. He stood watching her.

Not only was Jane freezing, she was facing a wolf that might possibly eat her and she had not received her wages yet for a job that involved far too much traveling. She had thought she would be indoors quietly giving lessons, not out running around chasing after a boy.

August 16, 2017

Scribble Picnic: Flower Bed

'rose dream no.2' (not quite finished)
'rose dream no.2' closeup
This week's Scribble Picnic is Flower Bed.  This is actually a piece I have started a while back that I  didn't add color (and it's still not finished), so it's not quite 'flower bed' but there are flowers. (click on the images for a larger view) For more Scribble Picnic, go here.

August 15, 2017

Fiction: Beach life

Henry watches the horizon from his place, center from left, between the rows of pine trees that divided the beach from the sun huts. Out in the water, the waves shift back and forth rather lazily.

Henry grunts but barely a sound escapes from him. All the sunshine and the humans playing on the beach makes him a bit irritable as he had nothing better to do than to stare at the water or at the humans.

A beach ball lands in front of him. Henry glances up. A pair of children is running toward his direction. He flicks at the ball and it deflated. The children's faces drain of happy thoughts even as one of them picks up the ball. Henry laughs silently. Then his glance lands on a sand castle a few feet away. He twirls a finger and the castle collapses. Henry grins. Out in the water some human male thinks he could start his surfing lesson the easy way. Henry flicks his finger and the board flips over and the surfer falls into the water. Henry laughs but then a strange sadness fills his head. Perhaps he shouldn't have done that. But the human isn't hurt. None of them are.

A small cry makes Henry turn and there stood a little girl with short black ponytails and a lopsided smile with saliva drooling down the side of her mouth. She looks up at Henry with large blue eyes. Henry leans a little away from her glare but the little girl steps closer. She pokes a finger at his legs. He hardly feels it. He turns his face farther away.

The little girl's mother appears and tries to pull the girl away but the girl grabs onto Henry's hand. The mother could only see Henry in his tree form while the little girl still innocent, could see Henry as he really is. Henry tries to pull away. He turns his eyes toward the sky.

The father comes and carries the little girl away, all the while, the little girl shrieks like a hyena. Henry never thought he would hear such screams from such a small human. But the shrieking reminds Henry how much he misses being able to cover his ears with his hands and telling someone to shut their trap. As a fairy that grant wishes, he has had a pretty decent track and hardly ever strayed from his assignments. As a pretended human, he is seen as a mean-spirited man but Henry doesn't care what humans or anyone thinks of him but of course that also lands him in trouble with just about everyone.

It wasn't a while ago that Henry strayed just a little too much from his assignment. So what if he turned a couple of humans into toads? It wasn't like they didn't deserve it. Henry didn't like seeing the stepdaughter treated so badly, not when there is other reason for it. It wasn't like he did anything bad and he was going to change them back as soon as they repented. But the fairy counsel thought otherwise. Henry's punishment is to spend a decade in this sunshiny place but the worst part is, he has to complete his punishment in the form of a pine tree that he is sure he would never ever grow to like. But the days haven't been all bad and Henry got to enjoy some quiet solitude even if the happy humans irks him sometimes.

The sun begins to drop into the horizon and the sky grows dark. Henry leans back and closes his eyes. Another day passes and only 3,456 to go. Henry chuckles at the thought of turning back to his true form and back to his old life. Perhaps he might retire to a cold climate and enjoy fishing inside a cabin. Perhaps he will miss this beach life just a little. Or perhaps he will turn more humans into toads.

........................................................................


I'm participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge and today's theme is 'Beach life.' To visit other bloggers participating in the challenge, go here.

August 14, 2017

Work in progress

'read at sea' work in progress - closup
'read at sea' work in progress - closup
I thought I share a new art work, well, an unfinished art work, as I posted a lot of writings lately and there will be more  as I'm doing a writing challenge.

I have a lot of work in progress pieces, (technically it's probably just under 100 but who's counting?) that somehow doesn't get finished but I thought I share a piece that might be finish, sort of. Yes, it's another mermaid reading. (The other is here & unfinished.)

This piece started because I wanted something for my bookmarks page (I have since left it with the book image) & I somehow went to work on it and it just became this new piece. The original or rather, the original original is actually part of another piece but it's not much different from 'draft 1' but without the books.
draft 1
draft 2
draft 3

outline view showing all the lines used to make the image
This piece is done in Adobe Illustrator. As you see from the outline image, how many lines it takes to make an image and also, how sloppy I can be in Illustrator. I think it take a lot of patiences to make the lines neat and sometimes I slack off because those sloppy lines aren't being seem but I think I should be a little neater somehow.

spot the difference - draft 3 (left),  final (right)
I'm thinking of creating a book of people & creatures reading because, well, no reason really, I just like the idea. I do wonder about making art and not doing something about them. I just hope it's not all a waste of time that's all. (FYI, it says 'Read' on her left arm.)

'read at sea' work in progress - click for a larger view

August 10, 2017

Fiction: Bear meets Lion

On a cloudy day, Bear glimpses a ship right above him. He knows he is not allowed to go near humans but he couldn't stop himself. Without hesitation, he heads straight toward the ship. As he surfaces, he thought about what he will say when he comes face to face with a human. But the first thing he sees is the underside of a net and then he is pulled onto the ship. Bear looks around him but sees only blurry faces and shadows.

Above, thunder clap and rain begin to pour. Clouds cover the sky and turn day into night. Wild wind chased everything astray. The ship begins to knock about. Bear knows this storm must be made by one of his people, perhaps his father Cod.

Water begins to fill the deck and humans begin to run back and forth. They ignore Bear. Except for a girl. Bear watches her as she walks awkwardly toward him. As the ship sways back and forth, the girl falls again and again but she continues to make her way toward Bear. Bear wonders why she is on board. There aren't any other children around, at least none that he could see.

Soon, she kneels down in front of Bear and begins to untangle the net around him. When she is finished, she drops the net on the floor and it soon gets swept away by the water. The girl sits and watches Bear. Bear isn't sure of what to do. He should leave. The ship will get destroyed by the storm. But the girl. Bear wants to know why she is there and why she freed him. Water floods the entire ship and it begins to descend.

Bear grabs the girl before the ship sinks deeper down. He pulls the girl up to the surface. The girl coughs and blinks and coughs and blinks. Bear studies her. If not for her legs, she doesn't look all that different from him.

Rain pours and the dark clouds have enveloped the sky making it hard to see anything. But then the sky turns a little lighter and Bear could see the water calming down. There is no signs of the ship. Except for the pouring rain, Bear could hear nothing else.

August 8, 2017

Fiction: Orange

Fiction: Orange

Ally Red have only one last thing to do to get into the Academy for the Gifted: turn her mousy-colored hair into a rich auburn. She takes a breath, smiles at the seven judges sitting in front of her and concentrates on her hair. But then she catches sight of the plate of oranges on the table and she wonders why they are there. Then she looks up at the judges and remembers to smile. But her eyes veer back toward the oranges.

Muffled gasps begin to spread among the judges. Ally looks up. The woman at the end on the right, holds a hand over her mouth and whispers something to the man beside her. He nods and then writes something on the papers in front of him.

Ally's skin begin to itch. Something is wrong. Terribly wrong. She knows it and yet she could not think of what it might be. She stays seated on the metal chair. It's suddenly far to hard for her soft body. She straightens her back and tries a smile.

The other judges are looking at her with wide eyes and a few with opened mouths. The woman at the end, turns to Ally, smiles, and say, "Thank you Miss Red. We will let you know. You may leave."

Ally doesn't have to wait for the results, she knows she has failed. She stands up and the chair falls backward. She bends to pick it up and strands of her hair falls in her purview. They are not red or brown but orange. She turns to the judges. Their eyes have not left her. She have an urge to jump out the windows behind the judges' chairs and straight into the sky. Instead, she places the chair back and walks unsteadily toward the exit. The guard smiles a bit as he opens the door. He shuts it behind her.

Plenty of faces glance up when Ally comes out. The O shapes of their mouths let her know they saw what the judges saw. But her skin itches terribly and it feels like she is on fire. She races down the hallway ignoring the gapping stares and heads toward the ladies room. She throws the door open and turns on the faucet and splashes cold water on her face. When she looks up, she shrieks. Then she looks behind her. There is on one else in the bathroom. She sighs but then glances at her reflection.

Like her hair, her skin has turned orange - the color of carrots and oranges and pumpkins and... She couldn't think any more. She suddenly hates all the fruits that are orange.

She splashes more water over her face and rubs at her cheeks and neck but the color remains but now she looks like a red-hot tomato. She laughs and wipes at her tears. She stares at herself uncertain what to do.

When she finally decides to come out, the hallway is empty. Only her best friend Hue Black is sitting there. He stands up with his hands in his pants pocket. He walks toward her. His gray eyes widens a bit but then returns to normal. "It's cool. I like it."

Ally just shrugs. "We should get going."

Hue and Ally turn and head toward the exit. "Accidental coloring - it happens to a lot of people," Hue said.

"But my skin..." This have never happened to her before. From birth she had been capable of changing all colors including other people's hair without any problems. Everyone born in Hope Blossoms were gifted and they all used their gift flawlessly or supposed to.

"Al, it's just a side effect. I hear the color fades after a couple of days. No sweat." Hue gives her a slight grin.

"That doesn't make me feel any better." But Ally does feel better. Hue always seem to cheer her up even when he says the simplest things.

"No? How about this?" He pulls out his hands from his pocket. He rolls up his left shirt sleeve and then his right. His once tan arms are now a lime green. "Hey, you should have seen my parents when I came out. They looked like they were going to explode. I was never more proud of myself as a Black family member." He sounds cheerful, like he always does.

Ally laughs lightly. "But you're always so good. How did this happen? You didn't fail on purpose did you?"

Hue's eyebrows bend together a little. "Of course not, you fool. I always did my best even when I wanted to fail and I didn't want to fail. It just happened." He gives her a lopsided grin. "Let's go get a burger and bask in our failures."

Ally nods and lets out a sigh. She loops her arm through Hue's and they walk out together.

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I'm participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge and today's theme is 'Orange.' To visit other bloggers participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge, go here.

August 3, 2017

Fiction: Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 1

I'm participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge and today's theme is 'Tokyo, Japan' and this will be a three part story:

Fiction: Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 1

On a snowy winter's night, Jane Eerie entered Castle Howl for the first time. She was there to be a live-in tutor for a young boy but there were things she did not expect.

In Count Howl's library, Jane was introduced to the boy by the housekeeper Mrs. Dish. The boy was sitting on the window sill with a large opened book on his lap.

"BJ, this is your new tutor Miss Jane Eerie." Mrs. Dish said with her hands crossed in front of her and looking down at the child.

"How do you do, BJ?" Jane held out a hand.

BJ did not look up. He turned a page in his book.

Mrs. Dish turned to Jane, "Miss Jane, BJ is your charge now. I have business to attend to." Jane nodded. Mrs. Dish walked out and closed the door behind her.

Jane took a few steps closer to the window sill. BJ dropped his book on the sill, gave her an angry frown and then stormed off toward the shelves of books.

Jane found BJ at the other end of the room. He picked out a book off the bottom shelf. The book had a blue spine and appeared quite worn. BJ placed the book on the floor and turned the pages almost to the center of the book. He looked up at Jane for a moment and then dove into the pages and disappeared.

Jane stared at the opened book. There was an image of a large pond. The water rippled as if it was real. Jane bended down and touch the water with a tip of her finger and pulled it out. Her finger dripped with water. She stood up, took a breath and dove in. BJ was her charge after all.

In the water, Jane held her breath and for a brief moment, she thought she might drown but then she blinked and she was on solid ground. There were cherry blossoms with the petals floating in the wind. It was rather warm with a bright blue sky. Everywhere she looked, there were the beautiful blossoms - pink, yellow, purple - Jane had never seen anything this beautiful. She walked down a curvy bridge while holding out her hand to catch some of the falling petals. Then she remembered she had to find BJ.

"BJ, where are you?"

"Up here!" A light voice shouted.

She lifted her head up and there was BJ up in a tree, grinning.

"Get down here now!"

"Yes, Miss Jane." He turned and climbed down swiftly as if he had done it many times before. He held some pink petals in his hand. He inhaled them and then threw the petals over his shoulders. "Do you not love the scent of this place?" He spread out his arms.

"Where are we?" Jane asked. "And how did we get here?"

"Tokyo. Do you not know? Are you not a teacher?" BJ sounded so grown up, Jane was surprised. But then she remembered where she was. She had read about Japan but she had never been. She had spent almost all her life at the charity school for orphans starting when she was six years old. She shook her head. "I have never been to Japan."

"Well, now you have." BJ gave her a large grin showing one missing teeth. But then his lips curved into a straight line. He ran a few feet from her and jumped into the petal-covered lake.

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To visit other bloggers participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge, go here.

August 2, 2017

Scribble Picnic: Curtain

the book lover

closeup 1
closeup 2
closeup 3
This week's Scribble Picnic is Curtain. As you can tell, this piece is not finished. It's in the not-yet-finished-drawing stage which means, it probably won't get finished for months. Where is the curtain? It is the vines which I seem to draw a lot not just in this piece. Click on the closeups to see it clearer. For more Scribble Picnic, go here.

August 1, 2017

Fiction: Starry Summer Night

10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge
Starting today, I'm participanting in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge hosted by PJ at 'A 'lil HooHaa'. You can write anything that comes to you according to the themes but I'm pretty much going to be writing fictions. Here are the themes in case you would like to join in:

August 1: On a hot summer’s night …
August 3: STORY 1: Tokyo, Japan
August 8: Orange
August 10: Diving into the deep end
August 15: Beach life
August 17: STORY 2: Anchorage, Alaska
August 22: Camp life
August 24: Fireworks
August 29: Best summer memory
August 31: STORY 3: New York, New York

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Fiction: Starry Summer Night

On a hot summer’s night, a star fell toward earth. It hit the ground with the speed of light and as it rotated in the atmosphere, it turned into a girl of twelve. Unfortunately, she landed in the lake beside a run-down house. Inside the house, Sunny Winter popped her eyes opened at the sound of the splash. She sat up in bed and looked out the window. There was a bright yellow glow in the lake. She ran down the stairs and through the kitchen and out of the house.

Sunny studied the glowing object for a bit. When it didn't stir, Sunny walked into the lake. The cool water hardly reached her thighs. Sunny poked the part that was above water - a round curve that looked like someone's back. It was soft. She flung it backward and the object floated on its back. It was a girl. Sunny looked around but there was no one about as usual. Her father Henry was at work and the nearest neighbor was miles away. She whispered 'hello,' but the girl didn't stir. So Sunny did what any sensible person would do in her situation: She dragged the girl into her house. It wasn't easy as the girl was heavy and Sunny was small.

At first, Sunny thought the girl was dead as she heard no heartbeat when she pressed her ear to the girl's chest. But all of a sudden, the girl's eyes flickered open and she sat up. Her eyes were gray but turned almost white when the light hit them. Then she began to cough. Sunny patted the girl's back like she used to for her father when he had too much to drink.

Then the girl shivered and Sunny ran up to her room and retrieved one of her old dresses and a towel from the bathroom. When she returned, she found the girl licking the kitchen floor where Sunny had dropped pancake syrup that morning.

"No! Don't lick that. Here, dry yourself and put this dress on." Sunny held out the towel and the faded white dress with the pattern of a smiling sun.

It took several tries trying to put on the dress as the girl fidgeted. "Soft!" the girl said, smoothing her fingers across the fabric.

"I'm Sunny, what's your name?" Sunny smiled. The girl still glowed but not as much under the light of the kitchen.

The girl furrowed her golden eyebrows and then she touched Sunny's cheek and said, "Freckle!"

"Freckle? Is that your name?" Sunny laughed.

The girl, now called Freckle, nodded her head and repeated, "Freckle, that is my name."

Sunny wanted to ask Freckle why she glowed but with daylight coming, her father will be home soon. Sunny led Freckle up to her room and told her to stay inside her closet. Sunny was a bit regretful when she closed the closet door but then she heard the front door banged opened, she raced downstairs to cook breakfast for her father.

Sunny soon found out, Freckle wasn't much awake during the daytime. She explained that all stars sleep during the day and only at night would they wake.

At night, when Sunny didn't have chores or when her father wasn't home, she would take Freckle out to the closed beach. Sunny made Freckle wear a large scarf to cover her from head to toe when they walked to and from the beach. They mostly sit and watch the sky and the water. Freckle would tell Sunny all about being a star. And Sunny would listen with a smile on her face.