May Flicktion Tuesday Challenge

Okay, I missed April. OOPS. But I’m back on track now, and it’s time for another 2sday Challenge, hosted over on the writing blog and posted by my co-blogger and fellow author Tanita S. Davis. Anyone is welcome to participate–just write your thing, inspired by the posted Flickr photo, and share a link on the original post if you want to. This month’s image comes from Flickr user Stefano Arteconi of Bologna, Italy:

Untitled

I came up with a poem this time, rather than a prose piece. I guess my brain is all tied up in my novel rewrite and needed a change! Anyway, here goes:

Ma Semblable – Ma Soeur


Hypocrite lecteuse!

Like me and unlike me
An evil twin
In a different hat.

Warped reflections,
Spot the difference—
Games we play
With ourselves

To minimize the fear
Of facing our double.
Who is who?
Which half is witch?

If you open your eyes
You will recognize me
I am the one
Carrying the baggage.

March Flicktion Tuesday Challenge

I missed February’s challenge, but things are a little less busy this month, so I managed to write something in response to the prompt Tanita posted over at Finding Wonderland–everyone’s welcome to participate and post a link to the results! Mine somehow ended up being a bit dark…

20131213_DSC8849.jpg

“What are you doing?” I lunged after Laurie as she stepped off the curb, the side of her high-heeled boot slipping down the edge and making her stumble. She laughed even harder and then bullfrog-jumped into the middle of the Brockton-Mendoza highway, waving her arms.

“What, Josh, are you scared?” she yelled.

I blinked. It was a two-lane road, but still, she had to be crazy. A car whipped past in the far lane, honking and Laurie screamed, still laughing, as her hat flew off into the hay field on the opposite side of the road.

“Jesus, God, what the hell–?” I couldn’t stop swearing. I could see the faint beams of headlights growing brighter in the twilight, a car turning the corner from the other direction. Laurie was barely visible in her dark coat; I could just see her short honey-colored hair as an amber blur. My stomach dropped down to somewhere near my balls. I had no idea how fast the car might be making that turn. Before I even made a conscious decision, my feet were hitting the pavement, my stupid tread-less dress shoes almost sliding out from under me as I scrabbled toward Laurie and managed to grab hold of her arm, pulling her after me to the opposite shoulder.

I rested my hands on my knees, trying to reckon with what had just happened.

Laurie let out a theatrical sigh. She’d had so much vodka her breath smelled like rubbing alcohol. “Why can’t you let me have any fun? God.”

For a moment, I thought she was laughing again, but when I looked up, tears were running down her cheeks.

Flicktion Tuesday Challenge #1: My Mother the Gorgon

Over at the Wonderland blog we’re trying something out for the first half of the New Year: we’re going back to our Flickr-inspired fiction habit of the past, in which we write a story or poem or passage in response to an image provided from Flickr’s Creative Commons. (You can read some of my old ones here, though I make no guarantees about their quality.) We’ll be doing it on a monthly basis this time, and all are welcome to share their work via the linky below the image prompt sometime in the next two weeks.

Please enjoy, and please check out the work of the other participants. I found it sparked my creativity not just to do the exercise, but to see the vastly different responses others came up with. Without further ado, here is the photo prompt:

Harryhausen Skeletons

Harryhausen Skeletons, by Flickr user Jürgen Fauth of Berlin.

 

My Mother the Gorgon

A bloodcurdling scream echoed through the house, and I jumped, dropping the shampoo bottle.

MOMMM!  There’s a snakeskin in my underwear drawer!”

Safe behind a locked bathroom door, I snickered. I’d been hiding the dry old piece from one of mom’s molting snakes for an opportune time when I needed to take revenge on my sister, Nikki. That time was now.

Most people think twins are closer than close. That they’re inseparable, like two halves of one whole. That’s definitely not true for me and Nikki. If mom hadn’t actually been there at our birth—and if we hadn’t been identical—you couldn’t find two more different people.

I’m Star, short for Astarte. I’m the sane one. No, seriously. Need proof? Just wait for three…two…one…

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG

“YOU ARE SO DEAD!”

BANG BANG BANG

“DON’T THINK JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NAKED I WON’T KILL YOU!”

“I can’t hear you,” I shouted merrily. “I’m in the shower!”

She banged on the door one more time for good measure, and then I heard her footsteps recede down the hall. I burst out laughing and turned off the water. Drying off, I considered that this was pretty mild revenge for telling Mom she walked in on me and Danny Meyers kissing in my room with the door closed. She was just jealous. Nikki, I mean. Mom was mad. Not too mad, but mad enough that her snakes let out a hiss or two.

The problem wasn’t that I was kissing Danny Meyers, or that the door was closed. The problem was that I had a boy over at all.

Not having boys over—or friends—or anyone—it’s one of the major downsides of having a gorgon for a mother. You have to keep a lot of secrets.

To answer your first question, no, Nikki and I don’t have snakes for hair. We’re only half gorgon. All we inherited from our mother was her tan Mediterranean complexion, an uncanny affinity for reptiles, and in Nikki’s case, her volatile temper.