writing challenge 11 of 20 (getting lazy but keeping on)

with a loud exhale of sated thirsy from behind me “is that a good idea right now” comes from our “leader” in front. the smell of liquor is strong even from this distance. looking back i see Jareth making a mocking frown and holding an invisble monicle, i can’t laugh, but i want to. “i paid top price for the best” he looks back breifly “and this is not what i expected.” Me and Jareth have been on to many of these little quests to jump a bait like this, all this pampered little swine wants is to talk down to someone, get in some harsh words and then threaten to not pay us to shut us down. He’s the same as any other rich prick wanting a little adventure, buy some swords, go into areas known to be incredibly dangerous and come back with a story of either great heroism or complete boredom. This years prime location was the “fire sea” a desert just south of an imperial town, known for “sand storms that rip the flesh from bone“ and “heats that can turn a man to ash by day or frozen solid by night”. all bull shit. the only danger here is dehydration and scorpions. We walk in silence for another 20 minutes before he pipes up again “are you sure this is the right way, shouldn’t we have seen something by now.”

Now Jareth puts on his most noble pleasing voice “M’lord this is a desert, all we HAVE seen is all we are likely TO see.”

a day wasted carting around ungreatful nobles is not how i like making my coin but it works. He threatens to not pay what was agreed upon, i chime in now “you are paying us to keep you alive.”

he lets out a bark of laughter “i’m paying for an experience, an adventure.” pointing at my chest now “if i don’t get it you don’t get paid”

Jareth knowing my scare tactic, moves round behind our “leader” and i smile meeting his eyes “you fail to understand. if you do not pay us, we have no reason to let you live” the ring of naked steel silences any arguement. i expect him cower before the threat, or get angry the whole “do you know who i am” speech, but what happens was very different. still locked on his eyes he begins to look past me, to something in the distance. fear growing. i look back to check for an ambush - as wild beasts are not an impossibilty in this area - when the prince grabs the front of my jacket and heaves me backwards into Jareth, who has to drop his sword so he doesn’t skewer me. He then flings a handful of sand into both of our faces. after the sting of the sneak attack i feel cold steel against the back of my neck. Jareths sword.

“Do. You. Know. Who. I. Am?”

The influential alt-country group Uncle Tupelo spawned Wilco and Son Volt shortly after it broke up in the mid-‘90s. On today’s episode of World Cafe, hear archival performances from all three bands, and assess the state of their genre as it’s continued to develop.

Photo: Uncle Tupelo at the Sapphire Supper Club in Orlando, Fla. Jeff Tweedy (second from left) went on to form Wilco, while Jay Farrar (second from right) created Son Volt. By Jim Leatherman.

writing challenge 9 of 20 (will have a part 2)

out of breath and sweating i tried to put words together that would be helpful and heartfelt but like the idiot i am all i shouted was “don’t be a prick!”

well not what i had imaged telling someone to step away from the ledge would go, but it worked. he turned to look at me with the single most confused look iv’e ever seen, only matched be the girl at my side. her hair a reath of flaming red, tangled and wild like a beast and eyes of deep green i could lose myself in, staring at me. my breath comes out with a deep rumble. tearing my self from her i shake my head, i can’t concentrate with her here.

“…. what good would anything do?” the words end in sobs as the guy readys himself to just lean forward and let gravity do the work. i step forward to him “sorry could you repeat that, i only caught the last part” the girl whispers in my ear, maybe a little to close as her miost breath makes me close my eyes and take in every sensation “you’re really bad at this.” breathing hard again i finally open my eyes to see the outstretched arms of a falling prick.

i lunge for the railing and grasp at air mutterng words of my own invention and pull back hard. the body of the guy stops and quickly falls in reverse, past the ledge and over the edge to the firm floor of the roof (wait what?). the gir runs to embrace me “you saved him, you’re such a hero” the kiss is like nothing before, our bodies are ment to be together, we match so perfectly, her tongue exploring my mouth, my hands lost in her hair. moving down her back as my head pushes forward making her lean backwards, decending to the ground. i need her.

the sound of solid wet impacts break my haze of need. the suicidal guy is punchign the ground, crying again. i grab his arm “i didn’t save you so you can watch us go at it” more confussed looks from both of them. i really can’t think right now. “names, both of you.” the girl giggles and i breath hard again “i’m yours, thats all i care about, but you can call me Maxie” not turning i tighten my grip on the guys arm “and you?” he winces, i most be hurting him more than i know but it’s all that keeps me from resuming my deep desire “i’m Jim.” i finally let go “and i’m Rook, a mage and all 3 of us are under a spell”

Maxie gigles and Jim looks confused but doesn’t say anything, as i did just ruin his death. “you, me and Maxie are all under a lust spell” “a what?” Jim shouts “lust, you call this lust” he stands now, red fists clenched looking ready to strike anything he disagrees with “this pure cold ice in my chest, all the colours fading from my eyes” he punches his face now, kneading his fist into his eyes “everything is fading more each day, i feel less and less and sound is muted” i struggle to keep listening as Maxie is climbing my leg trying to drag me back down and i want to join her. i breath heavly looking down the whole time at where i belong “a lust spell is cast on a person to have unwavering need to be with another person, usually only one way. but the two of us have both been hit. so i want her and she wants me.” i turn to face Jim now “you on the other hand have no one. a lust spell directed at nothing.” his head in his hands Jim just slumps down, no words or tears just broken. Maxies right i am bad at this “i can’t break the spell but i can cast one to cover it.” i was hoping to go on about what i planned to do and explain how clever i was for thinking of it and how it’s so complex, yet simple and how i’m a prodigy. Jim’s stopped breathing and Maxie has been rubbing up my leg for some time and is now unbuckling my belt that i have to act right away.

Writing challenge 5 of 20 (starting to not bother)

Walls rise from the floor to heights I can’t even fathom, stretching so high into the air that the space between each side narrows, till finally they form together. The clouds visible before this were of a fine pure white, which was very odd as I should be in my kitchen right now. wok in one hand, wooden spoon in the other, taking in the unspeakably delicious aroma of my stir fry. A shrill laugh glides across the air, followed by “there is no escape for you my little rabbit.” I close my eyes, pinch the bridge of my nose and let out a sigh. Who the fuck is this joker. “You are now in a thought maze of my own design.”
Trailing a fingertip across the wall to examine the structure I have to admit it’s well built. I turn and begin walking deeper into this rabbit hole.
“Ah yes, how deep deos this rabbit hole go” more shrill laughter.
“Listen mate, this thing is well built, be a shame to tear it down.” The laughing stops and I press on before the intruder can speak again “I was in the middle of making tea, so fuck off now and I’ll leave you alone.”
I thank numerous deities he doesn’t starting laughing again, but instead changes to a deep monsterous growl “THIS IS MY WORLD YOU LITTLE FUCK AND I’LL USE IT TO TEAR YOUR MIND IN HALF.”
Finally reaching a door of memories, I pull the key from round my neck, turn it in the lock and open.
The kitchen light is blinding, the smell of food filling the air, rich and smoke almost burning, accompanied by sizzling pops of oil from the wok. And I dull pressure at the back of my skull from the fingers of an intruder. I spin quickly, wok still in hand and catch the jackass in the face, before he falls I grip his head and slam it down on the glowing ring of the stove.
When the scream of pain turns to gasps of harsh breath I lean in, looking into his eyes “No, it’s MY world you little fuck, I designed it, built it and sold it, but not before I put in an escape route.”
The police karted him away in an ambulance, the officer looking at me warily “you know anyone who might….”
“Felix Winters would be a good place to start.” There is no honour amongst thiefs.

writing challenge 3 of 20 (may develop more)

Walking into the living room I see my mother sitting in the sofas middle seat transfixed with her hands, checking her nails and rubbing them constantly, looking to take her mind away from what must be happening upstairs. My fathers no where to be seen, but the low thumping on the ceiling betrays his presence. A muffled scream echoes down, and I close my eyes in disgust. Mothers hands are covering her ears now as she fights back the thoughts of her daughter, I step forward, knowing she needs help to take her mind away I have to be careful with my words.

“Hi mom. Have you done the washing up already?” She looks to me, hands still raised then lowers them embarrassed.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

“I was planning on making something to eat,” i raise the bag in my hands into view “have the plates already been washed.”

“We just had some sandwiches, you know I didn’t feel up to making something big, so there’s still lots of plates left.” She gives a tiny smile and goes back to looking at her hands, I move past her to get to the kitchen, keeping myself between her and the bag. I begin work on the meal, the clatter of preparation does little to cover the noise of my father and sister directly above me, I have to concentrate not to cut myself due to my seething anger. Dads steps come from the living room just as I start to plate the food. All I hear him say is “not yet” and my mother whimpering as she begins breathless prayers. I grab the plate, a glass of water and towel draped over my arm and begin to walk to my room without a word.

When without looking up dads says “don’t feed her anymore”

I stop but don’t turn “she needs strength to fight, even you can see that.”

“Your misplaced kindness only gives strength to that thing inside of her”

“As does your treatment of her” I hear his response begin to form but I turn to interrupt “if this is what you believe it to be, then strapping her to a bed with only it for company, destroys her resolve.” He stands from his chair, bible still in hand, I have to look up to meet his eye, as I refuse to recognize his white collar as anything but a joke.

“Do not speak to me of resolve. I tied her to that bed, I perform the rights with every moment I can spare and I have to perform my duties to my ENTIRE flock even whilst in our darkest hours.” My mom puts her hand on his shoulder and brings him to sit down on the sofa next to her, I didn’t notice when she got up.

I open my sisters room with my shoulder careful not to spill her first meal in a day and a half. Her wrists and ankle are red with the skin beginning to tear. I bring the towel over her naked body and work the buckle of the gag free. Her red puffy eyes stare at me as she quietly begs “please”. It breaks my heart that I could easily set her free, but then what. father would either stop us inside the house or get aid from people in the neighbourhood, we’d be caught, returned and both trapped as she is with then no chance for rescue. All I can do is bring the food to her lips one spoonful at a time. I tell her of my day, the trip to the library, the run in with Jared, she doesn’t care, her eyes are still begging with me. I can’t stand it anymore, replacing the gag I start to leave my hand hovering over the towel but I leave it (small favors), she begins to cry as I turn to door. Fathers in the hallway, I hand him the plate.

“I can’t do nothing.”

“I know son, it’s what makes you a good man, but demons live to destroy good men.” I storm to my room, slam the door with everything I have, rattling everything on my shelves and whisper

“I won’t do nothing.”

writing challange 2 of 20 (starts slowly ;p)

“it takes a monster to kill a monster.” these words echo off of the empty hall. the speaker rises to his feet, black robes glide down to the floor, making a sharp contrast to the marble of the room and the silver of the sword at his feet. the flesh of his exposed back is flawless, but as he turns the body of a survivor is revealed. he stands silent, cold eyes fixed on the intruder.

“you are wrong, Felix” the other steps forward, slowly. dressed in matching black robes and sword, strapped to her side hand resting on the hilt lazily, she meets Felix’s eyes and stands proud “Only a man can slay a beast without becoming one” these words echo louder than the last, but are dwarfed by what followed.

“HA!” Felix spreads his arms, making his scars twitch as if alive “this is what man has turned into, Faye, a plague on the world” looking around, and turning to emcompass everything, the disgust and venom as he speaks causes Faye to grip her sword “we have destroyed beast after beast, some of which will never be seen again, but in stories and bones collected by fools incapable of standing unaided”

“you speak of the blighted as if you pity them” he drops his arms and speaks low, not facing her

“perhaps i do”

the swift scrape of steel against scabard is deafening. the gleaming silver is brought just before Felix’s throat and through gritted teeth Faye asks “when did you forget your oath“

“i have taken a new one. as you just heard” he looks down, a grin forming now “we can test which holds true right now” and Felix leaps back from the sword, Faye staring in disblief at what she just heard, and more so from what she sees. the shadow under Felix begins to move and bulge from the floor, snaping from the stupior Faye darts forward sword level to the ground but Felix plunges his hand inside the solid blackness. the shadow shoots forward, deflected off of the sword stopping Faye in her tracks, the dark blade veers off at an angle, but just before she turns to press the attcak on Felix it swings round for another strike at her head. ducking just in time Faye examines the shadow blade - monsters act on instict, man is able to think - the shadow is flat like paper and seems able to bend and fold like it to, but is completely solid as the first attack matched her own blade, and then it stops. a small crease wriggles along the surface then opens to show an eye. gasping Faye looks to Felix in the heartbeat of time she has. he now has a dark hollow on one side of his face, a wide toothy grin and a hand diving into the mass of shadow below him. another blade lashes forth, met again with a steel match but it’s dark partner strikes too now, a swift movement out of the way is not enough as the darkness is now stained red.

a clatter of metal, followed by a thud of flesh and fabric. then silence.