writepractice

A head hopping exercise.

Another exercise from thewritepractice :)

If you want to do the exercise as well just click on this link here.

For this exercise, I made use of two characters that I had created for another story I’m working on. Enjoy reading! :)

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Softpaws pounded left and right and left and right. He didn’t stop for a single moment. He knew if he stopped that he won’t be able to go on again. He had no more strength left. The only thing that kept him going was his strong desire to finally get his revenge. He felt the strong grip of the Stuffling, Mr. Teddy, on his shoulders. In an instant, he was tossed hard to an adjacent tree like a rag doll. He felt something broke as he landed hard on the ground. Another one of his ribs? Softpaws struggled to lift himself up. He looked at his nemesis standing on all fours. The edges of his vision were starting to darken up. His chest was in intense pain from the nasty gash Mr. Teddy gave him. He pushed himself up to a sitting position with his back on the tree. He didn’t have the strength to stand up much less defend himself. Still, Softpaws smiled at his arch enemy. He balled his hands into fists and lifted them in front of him.

“That all you got?” He said through gritted teeth.

Mr. Teddy was staggering. He was seeing in doubles. Suddenly, all the beatings he had endured from Softpaws washed over him all at once like a huge tidal wave. His left eye was swollen shut. He knew he has a concussion. Huge scratch marks covered almost the entirety of his body. He was lucky he still was able to get the damn monkey off of his back. In front of him, he saw Softpaws sit up. The monkey’s yellow colored fur had turned bloody red. Blood was flowing freely from his opponent’s chest like a river. Mr. Teddy couldn’t help but smile despite himself. The two of them had been enemies for as long as he could remember. They had fought against one another in countless skirmishes in the past. Neither one would back down. Now, it seemed everything was coming to an end. This was the final round. Winner takes all. Mr. Teddy took a step, his knees shaky, and then another. Softpaws didn’t stand. He figured the monkey had no more strength left. Good, I’ve got nothing left as well. He saw Softpaws raise both hands. The monkey was smiling.

“That all you got?” He heard the monkey say.

Mr. Teddy took another shaky step. “Not by a long shot,” he answered back.

The Roadtrip

The day was scorching hot. The car’s AC was broken and the windows were down. I tried leaning forward and I felt my clothes sticking to my seat with my sweat as glue. In front of me was the road—endless and vast and lonely. Above me was the sun—red and angry and was following me like big brother’s eye. I pressed harder down on the gas and the car roared in protest. I kept on driving.

I knew perfectly where I had come from, but my destination was still a mystery. I just decided I needed a drive alone. I packed light—just a few snacks, two bottles of water, and three handpicked music CD’s. An hour of driving reduced the buildings to trees. Two hours passed and the people became rocks. Eventually the other cars became ghosts and I was the only one driving on that road. The trees lost their leaves and became bare and naked and dead. I kept on driving.

I stopped and pulled the handbrake. I grabbed a bag of Cheetos and ripped it open. Maybe I wasn’t driving, not really. It was more of an escape. I needed an escape from her, from the words thrown, from the voices raised, and from her leaving. I needed, no, wanted to be alone. I needed to be moving because whenever I stopped, my mind would wander back to her. I’d remember stuff—the scent of her shampoo on her hair, the way she pursed her lips absentmindedly, the way she said that she just wasted two years of her life with me. The words felt like daggers. I lowered the handbrake and I kept on driving.

I eased on the gas and the car slowed down to 20. My right hand grabbed a random CD and I pushed it in the car’s audio system—I thanked the good lord that the radio still worked. Strumming of guitars filled my oven-hot car and I knew what song was being played. It was our favorite. The playing of harmonica followed the guitars. The voices came on last. I sang with them. I sang loud. My tuneless voice rose out of the open window and into the barren landscape. I sang until the end of the second chorus. The third chorus had a different voice—a female’s. I stopped singing, smiling, waiting for her to sing—this had always been her solo part. I waited. Then, I remembered we’re no longer together. I was driving alone. The smile dropped from my lips and the song ended in silence. I kept on driving.

Addiction.

It’s been a week now. One week of being clean. Seven days. A hundred and sixty eight hours. Ten thousand eighty minutes of being clean and I don’t know if I can be clean for a minute more. I need it. My head’s throbbing and my body’s shaking. I need it so bad.

I roll out of bed and it takes me a couple of minutes before I get off the floor. It’s calling me. I can hear it, feel it clawing at me. No! Mind over matter. It’s worked for a week and it’ll work now. Mind over matter. But I need it. I need to feel them in my hands, between my fingers, hear their voices.

I look myself in the mirror and I don’t know who’s the man staring back. He’s definitely not me. He’s got sunken eyes with black rims around them, gaunt cheeks, and a skinny body frame. No, he’s not me. I need it. Why can’t I have it? ‘Cos it’s bad for me, that’s what they said. That’s what my doctor said. They don’t understand though. No. Mind over matter. I can do this. I open the medicine cabinet and I take my medication.

The pills no longer work. They’re getting weaker and weaker and the addiction’s voice is getting stronger. I pop one pill then two then three and they get weaker everytime. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I’m now standing before the door. Behind the door lies it. I place a hand on the knob. No! Stop! What’re you doing? Clean for a week now. I open this door and I’ll spiral down to ruin once again.

Take your hand off the doorknob.

I twist the doorknob. Slowly.

Hand. Off. Now!

Their voices are getting stronger. Sweet, sweet voices.

Pop one more pill and go read a book. Go now! Close the door. Go!

I hear someone crying. The pills are crying. I pull open the door. They’re singing now. Oh can’t you hear them?

Stop. Stop. Stop. Mind over matter. One week of being clean. Don’t ruin it now.

The door’s now fully open. There they are. Layers upon layers of them. Bubble wrap.

Please step out of the closet. Plea—

The pills have gone silent now. I step inside with the wraps and I close the door behind me.

The king of wood imps.

An exercise I did for thewritepractice.

Read and enjoy :)

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Kun’Letero walked into a clearing. The ground was covered with green moss except for the part closes to the huge tree standing in front of Kun’Letero. The tree was gnarled and its branches were bare and leafless. It was black in color and the ground a few feet around it was black as well. The trunk of the tree was thicker than five men standing abreast and it was the tallest tree in the Forgotten Woods—a tree fit for the king of the wood imps. . A door was built on it.  Kun’Letero twisted open the golden colored door knob and he pushed open the door. Immediately, the smell of death and decay poured out of the inside. Kun’Letero breathed in deep. He smiled a toothy smile as he entered his castle.

The inside was as worse as the smell. The ground was carpeted with the bones of the creatures the wood imps had eaten. Some were from the small woodland critters who lived inside the woods, some though belonged to the unfortunate humans who got lost and never found their way again. The humans were Kun’Letero’s favorite. He gave a cry of command and from above him, from the small holes built inside the tree, other wood imps started to wake. Some rushed down holding a cloak made from autumn leaves. This they tied around Kun’Letero’s neck. Others were holding a staff made from the oldest tree in the woods. Kun’Letero held the staff and he felt the power of the green entering his rotund body.

Kun’Letero shoved the wood imps with his staff and he made his way to the center of the room where his wooden throne was waiting. He sat on it with both of his feet propped up on one of the arm rests. The other wood imps stared at him wide eyed, waiting for his next command. Kun’Letero eyed his kingdom. Druidic runes were etched on the walls of the tree. These made the tree invisible to the eyes of the other creatures. Vines were dangling from the ceiling; these were used by the wood imps to get to their holes. Kun’Letero drummed his long fingers on the arm rest of his throne. He then pointed at one wood imp with his staff. He barked another command. The tiny wood imp gave a yelp and immediately rushed to pick up a femur lying on the ground. The femur still had pieces of meat stuck to it. Kun’Letero nibbled on the bone. 

At first sight

It started off as a normal Saturday evening in the Icecube. There I was, seated in my usual spot in the bar waiting for a guy named Marko. I remember having an empty glass cradled in my hands. A voice from behind me spoke up.

“Want another glass Jack?”

I looked behind me and I saw Vinnie, the bartender—he was a small man with a stiff, gray mustache and a balding head. I gave him a nod and handed him my glass. He smiled and started to pour whiskey.

I directed my attention again to the people having a good time. The Icecube, like most evenings, was full—the rich and the famous of the Metro, patsies just waiting for me to pick them clean of their hard-earned dough.

“So, what’s your business tonight Jack?”

I turned around and I saw Vinnie handing me my glass back. “Waiting for Marko,” I answered him before taking a drink. “The guy owes me some cabbage.”

“That big lug?” Vinnie said as he went picked up a glass and started wiping it clean, “how much does he owe ya?”

“A pair of C’s.”

Vinnie whistled a long note. “Good luck to ya pal. You’d have more luck squeezing dough out of a rock than from that boob.”

I emptied my glass and I smiled at Vinnie. “Everyone pays their debts to Jackie Rivers, Vinnie. Everyone.”

“Whatever you say Jack,” was all he said in reply. He placed the empty glass down and picked up another.

The lights grew dim then. I looked in front and I saw spotlights were focused on the stage. The red curtains were pulled and there she was, standing with a microphone in front of her—definitely the most beautiful thing I ever laid my eyes on, a natural looker.

Everyone had gone silent inside the Icecube. The dame smiled a sad smile at everyone. The band behind her started to play and she started to sing. She had a smoky voice, like that of Billie Holiday’s, and she was singing some forlorn song about two lovebirds that were separated. I couldn’t pull my eyes off of her.

“Hey, hey, Vinnie,” I said without looking away from the stage.

“Yeah, Jack?”

“Who’s the canary?”

“She’s new. Boss hired her just the other day. Now let’s see, what’s her name again? I’m not good at names…”

I couldn’t remember what Vinnie was saying. My head was slowly filled by her voice. Like a siren’s song, I found myself being lured to her. I stood up and I left my glass on the counter. I could hear Vinnie saying something behind me but I didn’t stop to ask what it was, I just kept on walking towards the stage, towards her.

When I was about six feet away, her eyes found me. She continued on singing and I continued on falling. I knew I was in love. I had to get her.

She was finishing her song. She was singing how she would keep on waiting for her lover to come home to her once again. Her voice slowly died down. The sound of applause filled the Icecube like rainfall. I must’ve looked funny standing there—quiet, in awe, in love. She smiled at me and then she took her bow and turned to leave.

Wait! I wanted to shout but my voice got lost in my windpipe. The curtains were closed and the lights were turned on and I remained standing there.