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  • TK Camas 00:01 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 038 

    Storytelling | FINAL DAY

    CONGRATS FOR MAKING IT THIS FAR! THE EASY PART’S DONE, NOW IT’S TIME TO GET TO WORK!

     

    Objective

    For this final day of Storytelling | Week One, write a short story using the elements you worked out over the course of this first week.

    Shoot for a story of 1200-1500 words in length.

     

    STORYTELLING | FINAL DAY

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    • TK Camas 10:15 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      [ P.S. If you write something great, and are uncomfortable sharing the thing in its entirety on this site, this is fully understandable. Simply share a bit … as much or as little … with us here to entice us 🙂 ]

      Like

    • Mary 11:15 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      ( so we’re taking all the parts of the short story we wrote this week and putting them together in one whole for this prompt??)

      Like

      • TK Camas 12:41 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        This is a “do whatever the f*ck you want” kind of prompt 🙂

        Like

      • etmoseleyc 12:50 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t really know. I realized what I was working on wasn’t really a short story in and of itself so I had to make some major changes today to restructure it into something cohesive.

        Like

    • Mary 11:43 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Millersburg, 1974

      By Mary D. Sanford

      The house stood on the corner of Hunter Avenue and Miller Road, just like it had for the past 60 years but not like he remembered. It had three peaks, each one slightly smaller than the other cascading downward with the last one topping the garage door that was painted a dull pink, like the color of white panties stained with old menstrual blood.

      The house itself was a monstrosity compared to the others in the neighborhood. It was painted Girl Scout uniform green with tan shingles covering the tops of the peeks, the peaks like little birthday hats you would stick on your dog’s head and laugh to make fun of it. Compared to the neighbors who had little parcels, the yard was huge, a large lawn expanse, flat but lush green with its edges trimmed with baby Cypress trees all perfectly manicured leading up to the front door.

      There was a slab of dirt at the road’s edge where people could dump their cars as they zipped up to the front door. No one stayed long anyhow. What did it matter? The parking spot was off the road and perfectly safe but really, it was not any place you’d want to park permanently. From there you would take the sidewalk leading up to the house, that is, if you didn’t want to take a shortcut across the grass and get yelled at. It had odd- shaped slabs of granite, grayish blue in color, the edges embroidered in a zigzag, with crushed blue slate rock as if it were sprinkles on a birthday cake, the homeowner hopeful it would disguise the ugliness of the house itself. The crushed rock was shaded with mulberry bushes all misshapen and as gawky and awkward as a 12-year-old boy.

      A visitor approaching the front door, and there were a lot of visitors in those days, was shocked by the flowers growing in the yard, given how dismal the house looked from the curb. Straightahead lay the front steps and clearly a handyman‘s job. There were 4, all cement and all uneven, all with different risers, with 1 black fake iron handrail bedecked in curlicues. The door itself had more wrought iron railing, dull grey in color like the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil. It was a single door, not the fancy double kind like other houses had. This one was a screen door with a bit of glass window at the top, its pitcher-shaped handle half- attached to the bolting.

      Anton worked quietly in the yard pruning the flowerbeds. He was wiry built man, 78 going on 40. He constantly wore his beloved soiled baseball cap and beige canvas pants stained with oil, held up by a rickety brown belt with half the brown color coming off. On his face were wire/rimmed glasses smudged with snot and various closed wounds on his hands with blood scabs evident where the rooster bit him.

      Anton was a great gardener and he was responsible for the flowerbeds. This was a show/stopping front yard even though the house itself is ugly. People stopped to admire Anton’s work. Anton rarely looks up. He grunts and keeps digging and pruning, oblivious to the compliments. Anton is about 5’7” He wears paint stained brown brogan lace up shoes with the heels all scuffed up and the toes bashed in as if a cement block crushed the toes. Most days when the weather is nice he’s out there working in a stained T-shirt and that dammed stained hat, working on his hands and knees with his beloved flower beds, and cursing every time he thinks of Val. He cusses him out under his breath. And Julia. Even today, 25 years later, he still seethes with rage.

      Phillip left as soon as he could. In Pennsylvania that meant legal age. He was tired of the beating, tired of watching Anton cower, tired of pretending, and so tired,so tired of the dog poop everywhere. Then there were the drunken brawls and verbal fistfights that went on with his parents. Philip was naturally smart. He never studied but aced his classes. He was constantly running away, running from this hell that everybody thought otherwise.

      A regular juvenile delinquent, Anton would snear. When ya ever gonna grow up? Philip was tempted to punch his lights out but you just don’t do that do your grandfather. And after a while it got to be too much trying to hide the strap marks, the belts, and the constant screaming.

      Only Darci understood his blonde cutie pie of a girlfriend. She was one hottie all right. They met at a grocery store when he was buying beer for the boys and getting a pack of Marlboros’ too, and she thought he was sexy. Long hair, shoulder length, and green piercing eyes. She couldn’t believe he was almost 18. It seemed he should be older.Definitely not the type her parents expected.

      He gravitated towards her like a moth sucking up to a late summer campfire. She was his ticket to freedom. He left without saying goodbye to anyone, spitting on the ground as he kicked the door shut.

      Anton dreaded whenever Val came home.Val. What a bastard. He was bigoted, condescending, and arrogant. Add to the mix, Val was highly ethnocentric with an attitude of great superiority over anyone who was remotely different. To be Russian was to be inspired, to be pure, A real American- that’s who Russians were, Val boasted, not some grubby immigrant from a Slavic country who couldn’t even speak the language clearly.

      To be frank, Val wasn’t much better- but at least he tried. He went to night school and washed dishes at a Turkish restaurant, eventually graduating with honors at City College.

      No,Val was not like Anton. Thank God. He used his head, he used his brains, and obvious intelligence. All his professors at City College said so. Stupid Anton. All Anton knew how to do was use his hands.

      Anton was a master woodcarver specializing in both moldings and ornate plaster work like the kind that was in the old movie houses. He was also an expert coxswain on the East River. He adored Freida, his wife, and the flowers and garden he tended so lovingly. He was a simple man with simple needs. Fishing, gardening, and Freida.

      But there was Val. Anton despised Val for all of these things. But worst of all, worse than all the arrogance and spite, the constant insults and criticism for how Anton took care of the place, worse than him calling Anton a stupid immigrant, Val had done the unspeakable. Val had married Anton’s only child,a daughter.

      Antonia was easily the ugliest child on Anton’s extensive side of the family. It would be nothing short of miraculous, they often said when she wasn’t around, than any man would be remotely interested in her. She was homely, with a plain moon- shaped face, pale and plastered with freckles, plump as a chicken.

      When Julia announced her engagement to Val, Anton thought he was dreaming.
      “I’m getting married!”she cried, rushing into the walkup apartment on East End Avenue, and showing off her ring to Tygee the cat.

      “To Val! He loves me!”, she sang, and danced around the room, delirious with joy.

      Anton responded by spitting on the carpet then smacking her clear across her face. One of his fingers hit her eye, and then her eyes started running with tears and blood. She crumpled in a heap on the floor, sobbing inconsolably and screaming how she wished she was dead. It was a scene that would be repeated throughout Val‘s life with her.

      Anton kicked her for good measure. “Slut! Whore!,” he screamed, and stomped off to drink his Manischewitz in the basement.

      Anton slumped in the old easy chair a former guest had left down in the basement near the laundry room, guzzling from the wine bottle. That Maichewitz, that’s the Jews’ wine,that’s what Freda called it, but Anton didn’t care. It was cheap stuff and he needed it now.

      Slut bastard! After all he’d done for her she goes and falls in love with this asshole.

      “Anton, where are you? Are you down here? Anton! “ Freida’s screamed down the stairs, her nasal voice echoing off the walls.

      “Anton!” Anton wiped his lips and chucked the empty wine bottle behind the Coke machine.

      “Freida. My God, woman!” he whispered, and folded her into his arms.

      Liked by 1 person

    • etmoseleyc 12:42 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Tumbleweed

      [“Cabin fever and restlessness stirred me from my mooring tonight. Or perhaps it was the deep hour and reassurance that I’d leave few sleepers along the way…”]

      A very fine, powdery white dust coated everything in the makeshift flat. It even rested between the pages of the books, and it seemed quite fond of floating up into the air at even the slightest rustling.

      [“When I got down to the city square, the air was thicker and warmer than I was anticipating, but it was a pleasing embrace I certainly wasn’t opposed to, especially not in the refreshing isolation I found myself. I suppose I was casting out about fifty feet at the time.”]

      The two girls clambered around the mechanical framework inside the abandoned spire apartment as it swayed in the gusts of wind that ripped over the tops of the skyscrapers watching over the city as it slept.

      “What are you reading?” said the taller, lankier of the two girls as she wiped away a powdery drift from a stack of massive lenses facing clear down to the street level below.

      “I dunno,” replied the shorter girl, “It looks like some kind of weird diary or something. It’s got nice handwriting though. But it’s really old… like last century or something.”

      [“My uncommon relaxation was stunted, however, by the most severe intrusion. For that night on the street I found myself not entirely alone…” ]

      “Sounds like a real pervert,” piped in the lankier girl as she stumbled over a pile of old metal canisters that clanked to the floor noisily.

      “It sounds like something serious happened, you skank!” the shorter girl snapped back silently in her own head. “Depends on who he saw, I guess,” she replied lazily.

      [“I felt a cold wind, first. And it was no trickling breeze. A freezing avalanche of low pressure barrelled over me and sucked the warmth from my core on its way. Then the footsteps came reverberating in off the glass walls of the skyscrapers surrounding me. I cast my dream-field out as far as I could until I could sense my encroacher. But this time, my limits were pierced. The footsteps ceased not. I could feel them growing closer, honing in on me. No helpless crumpling of a body to the ground. No snoring. No dreams. The entire effect of my presence on this penetrator was null.”]

      “Are you almost done?” the lankier girl interjected hastily.

      “Yeah, just wait. There’s something else. C’mere,” the shorter girl snapped back.

      [“…My only hope was to back away from the sound of the footsteps until I couldn’t hear them anymore, until I knew they were too distant to matter again. I had to run. It was the only plan I could muster as the weight of the anxiety mounted up. Then I saw his face, and his eyes, and he looked at me… and I knew that the peace of these days was at an end… and tonight I would leave this place forever.”]

      Unfolding a flap of paper below the last words of the diary entry, the shorter girl revealed an immaculate charcoal drawing of an arrestingly handsome man with an unmistakable scar on the right side of his chin.

      “Holy shit!” screamed out the lankier girl who was peering over her shoulder. “That’s our fuckin’ dad!”

      The shorter girl snapped the book shut and white powder flew everywhere. “I don’t think we were supposed to see this,” she stated hurriedly and starting to breathe faster. “Let’s go. Now, please. Now!”

      And with more than the motivation she needed, the lankier girl bounded over the shorter one and swung down to the hatch exit on the bottom deck. Reaching out her hand to rotate the wheel and swing open the door, her knees suddenly buckled and she crumpled forward into the wall, slumping down into a motionless heap on the floor.

      The shorter girl froze and her knuckles went white around the leather binding of the diary.

      Jolting into motion, the hatch wheel whipped around rapidly, unlatching the exit and shuddering the space around the girl with mechanical clanks.

      Immediately her fingers loosened on the diary and her hands fell limp to her sides as her body keeled over backward and flopped onto the surface of the second deck.

      A warm breeze wafted into the stuffy flat as Dune passed through the doorway, stepping deftly over the snoozing form of the lankier girl.

      “Well, well. It appears I have some curious guests!” Dune chimed out. “I do hope you’ve found something that sparks your interest. I’m just passing through, don’t worry,” he carried on to himself as he coasted about the space opening up secret compartments and withdrawing various inexplicable objects and pocket-sized gadgetry. “This old haunt is really just an old forgotten closet from my past, anyway, so help yourselves.”

      Just as quickly as he arrived, Dune found himself back at the exit hatch effortlessly whirling his towering frame around for one last farewell gaze over his old stomping grounds. The leather diary laying curiously undusted amid the fallout of white powder next to the shorter girl plucked out the last thread of his attention.

      “Oh, my,” he sighed as he turned over the memories in his mind, “it appears you have found for yourselves an affaire de coeur with trouble. Well, good luck!” And with that final flourish, he slipped out through the hatch and disappeared into the night.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TK Camas 12:43 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      [ So, I’m the one who wants to save this story that unfolded for me within my writing over the course of this past week. Since I want to submit the thing to a few pubs, I will only insert the first paragraph as an excerpt here. Sorry 😦 ]

      “Orbital Living” (an excerpt) by TK Camas

      Chances are, you are not ready to live on Orbitals. A few, perhaps, have already been living their lives in such a way as to make them good candidates for Orbital Living, but the rest remain largely unable. Nevertheless, if you do believe yourself to be the type of person who would not only survive but also, THRIVE under the conditions set forth by the Bromides of the Orbital Naturalization Governance, take a quick peek at our Four Points of Assessment to find out whether or not you qualify for further consideration. First, though, find out what Orbital Living means, not only to you but also, in reality! Argus Pinch, a long-time journalist of Orbital Living has returned from a special adventure and has shared it with us all in his new audio piece, “Life on the Orbital,” and we’ve published it here, first!

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      • Mary 14:10 on 07/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        I liked everything you posted except for the last part of this sentence. The beginning part was humorous, a kind of tongue-in-cheek approach which I enjoyed . But to me the last part of this sentence is awkward and abrupt.”First, though, find out what Orbital Living means, not only to you but also, in reality!”

        Like

  • TK Camas 00:01 on 06/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 037 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY SIX of SEVEN

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    • Mary 09:17 on 06/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Anton slumped in the old upholstered easy chair a former guest had left down in the basement near the laundry, guzzling from the wine bottle. The Maichewitz What is the Jews wine that’s what Freda called it but Anton didn’t care it was cheap stuff he needed it now. Slut bastard! After all he’d done for her she goes and falls in love with this asshole.

      “Anton, where are you? Are you down here? Anton! “ Freida’s screamed down the stairs, her nasal voice echoing off the walls.

      “Anton!” Anton wiped his lips and chucked the empty bottle behind the Coke machine.

      “Freida. My God, woman!” He whispered, and folded her into his wiry arms.

      Liked by 2 people

    • etmoseleyc 09:38 on 06/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Cabin fever and restlessness stirred Dune from his mooring above the city. He found an open square on the street level below to stretch his legs and breathe in the warm embrace of the night without leaving too large a trail of sleeping civilians in the wake of his dream-field radius.

      As he basked in the urban belly of his slumbering hometown, an icy wind from the North penetrated his core. The echoing footsteps of a tall, handsome man approaching seized the serenity of the night by the throat.

      With no other choice, Dune ran.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TK Camas 09:43 on 06/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      In As Few Words

      And then, after making green, while floating among the Baubles in the purple moat surrounding her glass castle, She saw So Jeong in the distance, withering, and called to the Singing Leaves to send a message to the Listmaker by way of Ladybug.

      Like

  • TK Camas 00:01 on 05/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 036 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY FIVE of SEVEN

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    • Mary 01:19 on 05/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Anton dreaded whenever Val came home.Val. What a bastard. He was bigoted, condescending, and arrogant. Add to the mix, Val was highly ethnocentric with an attitude of great superiority over anyone who was remotely different. To be Russian was to be inspired, to be pure, A real American- that’s who Russians were, not some grubby immigrant from a Slavic country who couldn’t even speak the language clearly.

      Val wasn’t much better- he tried. He went to night school and washed dishes at a Turkish restaurant, eventually graduating with honors at City College.

      No,Val was not like Anton. Thank God. He used his head, he used brains, and obvious intelligence. All his professors at City College said so. Stupid Anton. All Anton knew how to do was use his hands. Anton was a master wood carver specializing in both moldings and ornate plaster work like the kind that was in the old movie houses. He was also an expert coxswain on the East River. He adored Freida, his wife, the flowers and garden he tended so lovingly. He was a simple man with simple needs. Fishing, gardening, and Freida.

      But there was Val. Anton despised Val for all of these things. But worst of all, worse than all the arrogance and jugementalness, and constant insults and criticism, for how Anton took care of the place, worse than him calling Anton a stupid immigrant, Val had done the unspeakable. Val had married Anton’s only child,a daughter.

      Antonia was easily the ugliest child on Anton’s extensive side of the family. It would be nothing short of miraculous, they often said when she wasn’t around, than any man would be remotely interested in her. She was homely, with a plain moon- shaped face, pale and plastered with freckles, plump as a chicken.

      When Julia announced her engagement to Val, Anton thought he was dreaming.

      “I’m getting married!”she cried, rushing into the walkup apartment on East End Avenue, and showing off her ring to Tygee the cat. “To Val! He loves me!”, she sang, and danced around the room.

      Anton responded by spitting then smacking her clear across her face. One of his fingers hit her eye, and then her eyes started running with tears and blood. She crumpled in a heap on the floor, sobbing inconsolably and screaming how she wished she was dead. It was a scene that would be repeated throughout Val‘s life with her.

      Anton kicked her for good measure. “Slut! Whore!,” he screamed, and stomped off to drink his Manischewitz in the basement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TK Camas 09:22 on 06/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        Nice. *thumbs up*

        The voice here is very almost spiteful or something. To me, the action really begins when Julia announces her engagement. If you began this action scene there with a continued focus on the unfolding of events as opposed to setting up everything that Anton thinks, you’ll have some heavy issues to deal with later, within the minds of the characters. I know this is the opposite of what I said to you earlier, but we’re at a different point in the development.

        Great, great work, though, overall. You’re doing an incredible job! Can’t wait to read the final short.

        Like

    • etmoseleyc 12:40 on 05/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Gently swaying like a cattail in the breeze, though halfway up through the troposphere, really, Dune’s apartment echoed as another thick volume of ancient literature thunked down onto a winding stack of books and poofed up a little cloud of “fustion” (the soft, white dust that accompanies Dune’s whereabouts and behavior.) Another tome, another era of human history etched into the memory books, another time period of unknown months digested in physically forgettable fashion.

      … Restlessness.

      Sscchhkunk! Sscchhkunk!

      Two thick circular lenses slid around and settled into the stack that now formed a powerful down-facing telescope to the floor of the city below. It was a crystal clear night (no fog, for once) and the bird’s-eye-view of the street was pristine, making the still emptiness of it all unmistakably apparent, and sparking another twinge of restlessness in Dune. He swung the big series of lenses around the vacant metropolis once more, feigning for himself a continued deliberation, but his decision for a late-night jaunt had already been made up and he quickly let loose with the optic device and made his way to the exit porthole at the bottom of his nest, readying himself so the warm city breeze could massage and relax the stuffy disposition he’d acquired over the recent hibernatory stint.

      A long, descendant elevator ride later (with likely no more than a few narcoleptic victims along the way at this time of night) and Dune found himself standing alone in the center of the massive concrete public square constituting the Northern footprint of Ytllysyn Plaza. As the seconds, (or minutes, or hours, who knows) ticked away, Dune caught himself eyeing the little dunes of fustion forming around his position; they would know he was here in the morning, but that wasn’t really worth worrying about. The warm embrace of the city hung heavy and thick, like an urban comforter, and it calmed Dune to feel so enfolded into the fabric of the city along with everything else in the comforter’s envelopment.

      Ssssssst! Ffffssshew!

      A freezing ray of air whistled across Dune’s body, whisking the fustion up into a frenzy and slicing through the warm embrace of the moment. Dune snapped his eyes directly to the North, the obvious origin of the frozen whistler.

      Ffffsssst!

      This time, the chilly gust fractured across Dune’s face and swirled out from Dune as a pivot in every direction, shooting rapidly out through the city and boring deeply into the municipal infrastructure. Dune swirled around in the vast empty square and relaxed his vision, allowing the infrared spectrum to permeate up into his field of view so he could track what was happening between the buildings around him. The warm fabric of the city’s airspace, carved up by the icy breeze, recoiled and seized up into crystallized fragments like a dried river bed.

      Dune slowly turned his attention back to the North as he felt the warm, innocent, untested adolescence of the city drain away into oblivion. An uncanny sense of vulnerability crawled up through Dune’s spine and he closed his eyes briefly to sense the perimeter limits of dream-field. Planting his feet, and with a deep, exhale, Dune centered himself and firmly exerted an inner inertia (the likes of which is, as far as he knows, a skill unique to him) that thrust his dream-field out further from himself to a radius of about 100 feet.

      Standing firm, face to the North, Dune breathed in and out steadily as he scanned the empty streets at the defensive perimeter of his invisible dream-field. The cold wind subsided.

      A tall man stepped forward through the streetlights on the road due North of Dune. He slowed his pace as he drew right up to the edge of the dream-field. Dune stood motionless, waiting for the man to take another step, to pass into his invisible sleep-inducing emanation, then to crumple to the pavement in an unwakeable temporary slumber.

      The man took another step. Then another. Then another.

      Dune shivered. Then he turned, and he ran.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TK Camas 20:57 on 05/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Some Action

      It’s like I said—I’m not authorized to tell you anything. I will, however, tell you what I am authorized to tell you, if you accept it as truth or whatever you call it, my story. Agreed? Very well. What are your conditions? You can’t be serious. Even if I could answer that question—which I can’t—I would not tell the likes of you. Despite what all those others have told you the past few days, there are a handful of beings who could give you the inside scoop on the Listmaker, but they are all, if not more, elusive like the Listmaker. How do you catch one? Oh, please, what a pipe dream. Catching is not the right psychological framework. What you need is not a physical plan to CATCH one of these beings.The trick, supposedly, is to psychologically manipulate one to reveal itself. But there are too few who exist who could even hope to glean inside the mind of a Bromide much less penetrate and manipulate that mind. Nevertheless, I did hear about this one time in this one place. You wouldn’t be interested in that, would you? Didn’t think so.

      At the age of five, So Jeong began to wither. Destined to live the long, eternal life of a Seer, So Jeong, instead, became ravaged by the fear of her responsibility, for with each hair upon her head, So Jeong delivered the gift of great fortune to whomever could reach the top of the middle most peak where the three peaks meet. Despite the journey being long and arduous, many prevailed and claimed their strand of locked luck.

      As dawn rose to the heights of afternoon atop the mountainous range of the celestial valley where the Knowers retreat, So Jeong whispered a plea to the Singing Leaves. They heard her cry and sent her wish through the breeze through the heavens, beyond the purple moat surrounding the glass castle where the Baubles laughed in delight as they encapsulated the message into lightweight bubbles that could escape through the ether of reality to the realm of the Listmaker’s Ranch, and upon that wind the message caught the air under the wing of a Ladybug, not just any old ladybug but rather, The Ladybug who served as the Listmaker’s messenger. Of course, Ladybug heard So Jeong’s cries and so, flew quickly to the Listmaker’s Ranch via the Green Lightpath opened by the Baubles just as the light flicked on at High Noon.

      Buzzing hurriedly through the Listmaker’s open kitchen window, through the study, up the stairs, around the landing, through the sitting room, Ladybug sees the Listmaker, frantically scratching pen on long strips of torn off rolls of receipt paper scattered across a large wooden desk. Ladybug flutters to the Listmaker’s desk and lands squarely on the barrel end of the pen in the Listmaker’s hand. Catching its breath, Ladybug motions a series of signs. Raising the pen to slowly bring Ladybug closer to his face, the Listmaker understands the message. “Thank you,” the Listmaker thanks. Ladybug gives a polite, straight-legged, one arm draped in front, while the other tucks toward the back, little heel-rocking, chin-gliding bow. And then it stands quickly at attention and shrugs as if to ask, “What are you going to do?” The Listmaker looks sternly back at Ladybug, “That’s none of your concern. You haven’t even seen her since her birth.” Ladybug defiantly crosses its arms, and then makes a series of jovial gestures as if saying, “Sheesh, calm down. I know. I just thought I’d ask.” The Listmaker almost lets out a small chuckle, “Go attend to the funeral in the garden.”

      What do you mean, WHAT? That’s the Listmaker Story I know. If there’s something else you want to know, I’m not sure if I’ll be of any help. There were rumors a few … uh … I guess … centuries now, about a man, like a human man, who arrived at the Listmaker’s Ranch and, you know how rumors are. Well, that Earthman died. No one knows for sure what happened, obviously, but something definitely happened back then. Of course, I can’t tell you anything about that, but that’s because it mostly just doesn’t matter. Okay, thanks for stopping by. Bye now!

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  • TK Camas 00:01 on 04/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 035 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY FOUR of SEVEN

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    • etmoseleyc 10:59 on 04/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Strange, I suppose (it isn’t anymore) that so often the most insightful self-reflections occur not until one is driven to squeeze quite specific motivations through grammatically proper tubes…

      As I see it, all objects (in the logical sense), by definition, exist as verbal representations of an intangible field of particular interrelated ideas. Among theses ideas (measurable by some unknowable percentage) exist concepts that the current human neural apparatus is capable of perceiving and incorporating into its understanding. By extension, then, there also exists some unknowable number of ideas and concepts related to each Object that the human thinking-sensorium is not capable of apprehending directly, or perhaps not even capable of having any interrelationship with whatsoever. Thereby, every human person (Subject) is readily capable of experiencing Objects IN PART!, but is inherently incapable of experiencing Objects in full. Thusly, some not insignificant part of every conceivable Object exists beyond the sight and perception of human beings. The logical generation must then be that the reality humans inhabit is only PARTIALLY apparent to humans, but actually it is much fuller and more vast and complicated than human beings can understand. It is from this field of the Unknown and the Unknowable, the liminal “space” of ALL ELSE beyond our understanding that binds reality together like the canvas does a painting, that the tendrils of curiosity and interest reach out and steal our attention.

      So I figure, if I pull on these tendrilous threads and find the cracks in the seams of imaginative understanding that I, personally, find appealing and pregnant with the power to penetrate deeper into the Unknown of Ultimate Reality, perhaps something worthwhile as entertainment to others may be leftover as a byproduct of the exploitation of my own creative interests.

      Ultimately, though, I want to tell this story because I want to see what happens! That’s usually what happens after the spontaneous emergence of new characters or creative ideas. The unfurling into words of fictional narrative is its own form of recreational thrillride.

      … At least, that’s how I can describe it to myself.

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    • Mary 12:41 on 04/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know what this story is. There are people in it who remind me of people that I know or elements of people that I know or imagine that I know. But I do not know what the story is. I’m letting this unfold as it should be and as inspiration leads me.

      Like

    • TK Camas 22:09 on 04/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      A Warning

      There’s a place where, after the hours of moonlight, sunlight turns on directly overhead. Awake, the Listmaker scurries, hard at work, making list after list after list. Despite existing apart from time, the animals that live on the property keep him tethered to the various worlds that exist within time. The animal of choice is a small ladybug, or Ladybug, to which it is often referred. It’s a thing of true intelligence really, possessing the special gift of messenger, Ladybug rarely fails detection [awkward, I know, but I never resolved it before the end of the day] and when glanced upon, is always met with delight. A small muted ticking tocks over large across the entire worldscape of the Listmaker’s Ranch.

      On any given day, the Listmaker will scribble down the instructions for any given person, including himself. Well, yes, he writes his own lists, but his importance revolves around his writing lists for others, namely, the others with the sorts of proclivity toward … control … control over the mind, will and actions of those … bound to time. But the mind is a difficult thing to possess, even by one’s own self. Nevertheless, the mind, existing in its own little world, draws upon the mind of every other thing in order to find an equilibrium, a co-existence, a sharing, almost, as if one could enter “the mind” of humanity. This, of course, defines the domain of the Listmaker.

      Be warned. Those who have met him without understanding his power, inevitably die under the weight of his mind. Those who survive, they would rather die than tell you what they know about the Listmaker. The choice is yours, obviously. No one wants to ever encounter the Listmaker. But, if one were to encounter him, would you want to survive with your treason being the death of yourself as you know you, or would you rather find out whatever it is there is to be found out about the Listmaker and then, pass on into your next life right then and there?

      Like

  • TK Camas 00:01 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 034 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY THREE of SEVEN

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    • Mary 00:37 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Phillip left as soon as he could. In Pennsylvania that meant legal age. He was tired of beating, tired of watching Anton cower, tired of pretending, and so tired so tired of the dog poop everywhere. Then there were the drunken brawls and verbal fistfights that went on with his parents. Philip was naturally smart he never studied in East his classes. He was constantly running away running from this hell that everybody thought otherwise. A regular juvenile delinquent, Anton would snear. When ya ever gonna grow up? Philip was tempted to punch his lights out but you just don’t do that do your grandfather. And after a while it got to be too much trying to hide the strap marks the belts and the constant screaming. Only Darci understood his blonde cutie pie have a girlfriend. She was one hottie all right. They met at a grocery store when he was buying beer for the boys get a pack of Marboro’s too and she thought he was sexy. Long hair, shoulder length, And green piercing eyes. She couldn’t believe he was almost 18. It seemed he should be older.Definitely not the type her parents expected. He gravitated towards her like a moth sucking up to a late summer campfire. She was his ticket to freedom. He left without saying goodbye to anyone, spitting on the ground as he kicked the door shut.

      Liked by 2 people

    • etmoseleyc 13:51 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Arneval

      A cool breeze rolls into town in front of him, though no one ever makes the connection to his arrival. Perhaps it is due to his myriad other prominently evident characteristics that distract from his recurrently uncanny arrival circumstances.

      The first thing everyone notices about him, and they all notice, is his breathtakingly handsome appearance. Those who have never seen his face before cannot pull their gazes away for the scrutinizing doubt that such a chiseled, formidable expression of a person could possibly exist. But the more scrutiny given to all the little fine details, the more inexplicably ideal they reveal themselves to be.

      Taller than most, but not too tall.
      Broad, strong shoulders, but somehow not looking like a refrigerator.
      Dark hair and penetrating, intelligent eyes, but with a warm smile and welcoming impression.
      Smooth, slightly accented (from who knows [European] where) baritone voice that always finds the right path to deliver a veritable poetry of conversational mastery.

      For those to whom his reputation precedes him, his appearance marks a direct visual representation of the C-level executive portfolio that paves his way. With a precisely unknown total net worth over 12 figures, and independent controlling power on the boards of countless multinational corporations, he has generated more gross revenue for his employees and shareholders than the combined annual GDPs of the lower 60 percent of the world’s nation-states. On paper, for all intents and purposes, he represents an unattainable ideal of capitalist ubiquity, and he is the standard bearer behind which all others compete for second best.

      There is one pair of qualities of his, however, that merits its own reproach, and that which no other would ever dare address aloud: Anyone who ever finds themselves alone in a room with him soon finds his or her future unravelling into an endlessly distressing purgatory of disorder, and he has an incurable penchant for wandering off alone and spreading himself into contact with all manner of people in every conceivable crack of the megacities he roams between.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TK Camas 16:10 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      NOT the Listmaker

      Well, you tell me, then. You are, after all, the person who reached out to me. Therefore, I am under the understanding that you know all about the Listmaker. Which means that, if you know about the Listmaker, then you know that, obviously, I do not live on the Listmaker’s Ranch. I am, however, one of the privileged few who have been to the Ranch. I am not, on the other hand, keen on telling that particular story to the likes of you. I will tell you this, nevertheless, in order to perhaps satisfy one itch only to produce another, if you do ever find yourself at the Listmaker’s Ranch, but you won’t, like I said, you’re not the type, but if you were to find yourself there, you will not return back to the reality within which you currently exist. Yes, obviously, dear. Uh huh, yes. That’s right. Apart from time. Oh, please, don’t fret. There are no problems there. However, there is a small problem here. For instance, you. You are becoming a problem simply because a number of people under my employ have brought you to my attention. This means that you are a problem here. I’m sorry? Oh, yes. Of course, no one likes problems. No need to apologize, dear. Just acknowledge your understanding of your … particular mortality, and please, do not linger.

      Liked by 1 person

  • TK Camas 00:01 on 02/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 033 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY TWO of SEVEN

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    • etmoseleyc 19:55 on 02/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Name: Dune
      Surname: Unknown
      Age: Unknown (more than 30 years)
      Height: 175-250cm (separate observations)
      Weight: Unknown (no detectable reading on platform scale)
      Skin Color: Byzantium/translucent
      Eye color: Yellow/Orange (Sclera occasionally spontaneously shifts to black)
      Race: Non-human humanoid (claims to be human)

      Calling himself (“him” due to his use of a predominantly male voice) by the name of “Dune”, there is known to be artistically represented evidence of him dating back over 100,000 years into human antiquity. Always appearing amid a slowly crawling cloud of soft, sandy fog, any living creature swept into the haze finds itself fast asleep, not to wake up until some hours after Dune and the dust haze have parted from the area.

      Similar representations of his dark, purpley skin and aura of sandy fog from the human record match closely with the growing volume of CCTV footage and satellite imagery now accumulating in the hands of various interested parties.

      Though at this point he has proven inaccessible for humans to converse with directly, there are thousands of reported cases in which people who have awoken in his wake have found notes that they claim to originate from Dune.

      From studying the content in the volume of such notes, it would appear that Dune himself cannot remember beyond thirty years in the past.

      Little else is known of his home or whereabouts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TK Camas 20:00 on 02/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      The “Listmaker”

      Of course, the Listmaker LIVES on the Listmaker’s Ranch, for it is his ranch, after all. Oh, shit, do you know that he’s a he? Right, that’s right. Okay, we’re okay. So, yes, of course the Listmaker lives on his ranch, and this means that he would probably tell you that … wait. I’m sorry. Perhaps I shouldn’t be telling you about the Listmaker or the Ranch. Who are you again? Okay, and why are you inquiring here? The incident? What incident? KILLED? A man was KILLED in the Listmaker’s home? This cannot be right. Well, let’s see. Are you sure that the man wasn’t just left there for dead, somehow? What do you mean HOW would someone get there? You know as well as anyone that only a … oh, I mean, yes, of course, absolutely, um … that is quite unfortunate that a man was found dead there, but I can guarantee you that the Listmaker did not do this. How am I sure? How am I SURE? Uh … no I haven’t met him in person, but we correspond. You know, the old fashioned pen pal sort of communicado? We had plans to commune, but you know how things can be. Um, but yes, you know of his … certain … existential crisis? You’re not sure? Well, then, you go along now and just, you know, go. Right? I never spoke a word of this. You never heard a word of this!

      Like

    • Mary 20:57 on 02/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Anton is a wiry built man, 78 going on 40. He constantly wears his beloved soiled baseball cap and beige canvas pants stained with oil in held up by a rickety brown belt with half the brown color coming off. On his face are Wire glasses smudged with snot and various closed wounds on his hands with blood scabs evident where the rooster bit him. Anton is a great gardener and he is responsible for the flowerbeds. This is a show/stopping front yard even though the house is ugly People stop to dmire Anton’s work. Anton is about 5’7” He wears paint stained brown brogan lace up shoes with the heels all scuffed up and the toes bashed in as if they were too big for him. Most days when the weather is nice he’s out in stained T-shirt working on his hands and knees with his beloved flower beds and cursing every time he thinks of Val and cussing him out under his breath. His Sweatshirt is navy blue and it to is spotted with dirt, the sleeves cruddy with dried snot when he couldn’t pull out his handkerchief in time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TK Camas 10:02 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting. I love, “wire glasses smudged with snot and various closed wounds on his hand with blood scabs evident where the rooster bit him.”

        If you haven’t already, try to also develop the interior mind of Anton. You don’t necessarily need to share his thoughts with us, as the reader, but you need to know them as his creator.

        Like

        • Mary 12:31 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

          Can you give me an example about someone’s interior mind? What might you state? Thanks!

          Like

    • Mary 12:31 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Can you give me an example about someone’s interior mind? What might you state? Thanks!

      Like

      • TK Camas 12:37 on 03/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure if I want to give you a specific example, cause you really need to develop your own sense of self as a writer, but I’ll give you some more stuff to think about.

        What motivates Anton?
        If Anton were to write a diary entry, what would he write? Is he the type of person who keeps a diary? If not, then perhaps he intentionally lacks an inner dialogue. Why does he want the things he wants? What does he want?

        Things of this nature. Answering these types of questions about him might help flesh him out as a person…as a whole person…despite whatever flaws he might have…he can still be complete. Or maybe it will reveal his struggle, his flaws, his humanity…or inhumanity. Does that help?

        Like

  • TK Camas 00:01 on 01/02/2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Storytelling   

    DWP No. 032 

    FEBRUARY | WEEK ONE

    Storytelling

    Objective

    Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

    Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

    Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.

     

    STORYTELLING | DAY ONE of SEVEN

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    • TK Camas 15:01 on 01/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      The Listmaker’s Ranch

      The sound of a light bulb pulled by a chain. SCKERICKPT. Replacing the light of the moon, without a cloud in the sky, the sun shines bright overhead. It’s high noon. A dull ticking and tocking of a clock ticks and tocks overhead. Directly under the fat face of the sun sits a stately country home, dilapidated, barely standing. An old colonial, as it were, the thing looks as if it ought to be torn down. Despite its condition, the house stands tall, adorned with shutters and wrap-around porches, and to its right, if the front door is the “front” of the house were it to open its eyes and look out, rests a lively garden fluttering and singing with all sorts of tiny creatures and tiny plants. Beyond the garden sits a greenhouse teeming with self-sustaining life.

      Dusty, a dirt road leads to and away from the house through a circular drive accessible on the left side of the house, again, if the front door is the vantage point from which the house would view the world. As if lassoed by the gravel tirepath, a large tuft of lush green grass rises high around the base of an old, thick, perfect-for-climbing tree. Shaded, the tree grows tall and wide, rounded, covering the grass-laden area below. Surrounding the home sway fields of tall green grass, patted down in various places by random things, and beyond the waves of grass sits a large forest that spans the entirety of the property not already described.

      Of significant size, no one can ever really know how large the Listmaker’s Ranch truly is, especially since the only person who could know the answer is the Listmaker, himself, except that he never leaves his house. With regards to the entrance to the property, it is said that no one knows where it is. Tales of the Listmaker always begin upon the dirt and/or gravel path whereupon the visitor may see the house in the distance. These rumors tell of The Bromides, supposed travelers of time and space, and their special ability to commune with the Listmaker.

      Like

    • etmoseleyc 15:35 on 01/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Dune’s Apartment

      Inside a cleverly makeshift single-occupant “nest” embedded inside the interior of the now-defunct maintenance station that encased a section of vertical real estate most of the way up towards the top of the spire crowning the 206-story Ytllysyn Plaza building, there are innumerable, inventive ways to wile away the time spent perpetually alone, not the least of which is an impressive collection of rare books (or at least, the covers) ingeniously arranged with a mechanical book retrieval system of an obviously custom design. The “apartment” crawled and wound its way up six stories of traversable elevation, all of it over three thousand feet in the air off the sea-level street below. A thin, chalky dust was heavily ubiquitous on every surface and in every nook and cranny of the space, clearly a product of decades of accumulation, though in its own way it was quite soft and innocent and much friendlier than dust. Clearly, it was of no consequence to the inhabitant of the place. Ancient technology (the kind with all the cords and buttons) manifested a heavy presence among the crowded interior levels and reminded one of a sophisticated steampunk vending machine brought in from the Ookala Sand Dunes. Not being a good place for those prone to motion-sickness, the whole spire gyrated around in swooping, ambulating arcs, constantly, though that was never visible to all the busy bees down below, seeing as how it was so high up in the sky that an observer walking along the narrow traffic corridors crisscrossing the metropolis in the vicinity below couldn’t even crane their neck back enough to catch a glimpse of it over the edge of the Plaza’s roof anyway.
      The technology that powered the megacity was sufficiently advanced so as to be incomprehensible to the layman (that layman being any purely biological human being), but it all worked together quite marvelously and all of the resident humans were more than satisfied benefiting from the incessant cleanliness and precision public transit punctuality without understanding all the fine details of the programming algorithms or robotic infrastructure that glued everything into one smoothly purring municipal engine. That was all well and good, of course, until something went wrong, in which case the resident people were essentially helpless, and without leverage. Well, most people were without leverage. But I suppose that hasn’t changed much over the millenia.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mary 16:36 on 01/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Millersburg- The Scene

      The house stood on the corner of Hunter Avenue and Miller Road, just like it had for the past 60 years but not like he remembered. It had three peaks, each one slightly smaller than the other cascading downward with the last one topping the garage door that was painted a dull pink like the color of white panties stained with old menstrual blood.

      The house itself was a monstrosity compared to the others in the neighborhood. It was painted Girl Scout uniform green with tan shingles covering the tops, the peaks like little birthday hats you would stick on your dog’s head and laugh to make fun of it. Compared to the neighbors who had little packet sized parcels, the yard was huge, a large lawn expanse, flat but lush green with its edges trimmed with baby Cypress trees all perfectly manicured leading up to the front door.

      There was a slab of dirt at the road’s edge where people could dump their cars as they zipped up to the front door. No one stayed long anyhow. What did it matter? The parking spot was off the road and perfectly safe but really, it was not any place you’d want to park permanently. From there you would take the sidewalk leading up to the house, that is if you didn’t want to take a shortcut across the grass and get yelled at. It had odd- shaped slabs of granite, grayish blue in color, the edges embroidered in a zigzag, with crushed blue slate rock as if it were sprinkles on a birthday cake, the homeowner hopeful it would disguise the ugliness of the house itself. The crushed rock was shaded with mulberry bushes all missshapen and as gawky and awkward as a 12-year-old boy, as if someone took a crash course in basic pruning and forgot the directions.

      A visitor approaching the front door, and there were a lot of visitors in those days, was shocked by the flowers growing in the yard, given how dismal the house looked from the curb. Straightahead lay the front steps and clearly a handyman‘s job. There were 4 cement steps, all uneven, all with different risers, with 1 black fake iron handrail bedecked in curlicues. The door itself had more wrought iron railing, dull grey in color like the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil. It was a single door, not the fancy double kind like other houses had. This one was a screen door with a bit of glass window at the top, its pitcher-shaped handle half- attached to the bolting.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mary 08:53 on 02/02/2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much!

      Like

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