The Wrap Up

This year may not have gone the way I had hoped but I still had a blast. Besides, every year can’t be like last year’s event. I wrote three solid flash fiction stories and several smaller micro-fiction pieces. One story, my featured for 2012, is available to read here on my StoryADay blog:

The Rabbits (504 words)

If you like strong female protagonists, you’ll like The Rabbits.

If you like viral outbreak type stories, you’ll like The Rabbits.

If you like furry woodland animals turned rabid monsters, you’ll like The Rabbits.

What was your favorite story of the month? I’d love to read it.

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Pulling Out

What a mess May has been. I’m trying my best to hide my disappointment. Sometimes life happens. My mother has been severely ill on two occasions this month; which put a huge wrench in my writing time. Finishing the challenge isn’t in my cards. Ironically, throughout all the up’s and down’s this month I’ve still been jotting down little story ideas. I’m also pleased with what I did write, more so than any of the previous years. When I had my dedicated writing time the words seemed flow more easy. All my practice this past year has created a more confident writer. I feel I owe a lot of that to StoryADay. Thank you, Julie for all you’ve done to keep this challenge going. You are an inspiration and you’ve given me the courage to push forward with my writing.

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The Stand

Today I returned to the characters from The Becoming. The Stand, no relation to the King novel, is 659 words. Here’s a bit from the opening:

The dog’s howls were the first sign. Any minute Annara would hear the second–their screams echoed across the mountains. She should be running, but there’s only so much running one person can do. The hunt would never end. The outcome couldn’t be changed but she could change the terms. This could be her fight instead of theirs.

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Other Worlds Pt. 4

Billions of nanoids rose to the surface of Erin’s hand. Each one emitted an electrical hum. As the hum gained strength the tree began to glow and pulse.  A rectangular outline took shape around her hand.

“The source.”

“Did you find it?” Darren’s chest heaved as he spat out the words.

“I don’t think this is a tree all,” she said.

Erin pressed against the outline. The bark receded into the tree, revealing a sunken compartment and the source of the blue light. She pulled out a small crystal sphere.

“Um, Erin? What are we suppose to do with that?”

 

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Other Worlds Pt. 3

The rumble of Pragmir growls shifted the earth beneath Erin’s feet. She had managed to avoid these ferocious carnivores so far, but not today.

“Erin. We can do this.”

Darren’s plan was pure insanity, but she knew it might be the only way for her to reach the tree and the source in time.

“No dying today,” she said, and flashed him a quick smile.

Darren darted straight at the beasts, then veered left at the last minute—they took the bait.

Erin rushed forward, placed her hand upon the bark and let the nanoids do their job.

***

More to come…

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Other Worlds Pt. 2

I’m still playing catch up after my weekend of FUN. Instead of posting them all together, I will publish them separately. Here’s a continuation of Other Worlds from last week.

***

Fifteen minutes on Earth translated to one hour on this world. This thought kept Erin going as she and Darren raced through the Talusian rain forest.

“Do you know where we’re going?”

“The spectrometer is already picking up readings from the tree. It should be one hundred yards in this direction,” said Darren.

The tree was the source of the rift between Earth and Talus. Erin had been sent to destroy it, a simple mission had turned into a year-long expedition.

“I see it! Oh, no,” she said.

The Tree was surrounded by dozens of Pragmirs, carnivores as large as elephants.

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The Rabbits

The Rabbits, 507 words (rough draft)

The rabbits were back, digging with a fever around the garden fence. A film of crimson stained the fur around their eyes, nose and mouth.  The county would never be able to eradicate MRHD from wild rabbits. Modified Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease was everywhere. RHD itself had been around for years, often used as way to control booming rabbit populations in the wild. When animal activists put a stop to that the government resorted to other methods—genetic modification.

“Mom! There are rabbits in the yard.” Tessa tore into the kitchen. Terror gleamed in her eyes.

“I know. They’re trying to get into the garden again, but I don’t think they’ll have much luck,” I said.

We both watched the through the blinds of the back door, my daughter clinging to my arm. A flash lit up the yard and a wail, not unlike a fox’s call, pierced our ears. Smoke hovered, like a winter fog, over the bodies of ten rabbits.

“I’ll get the bags,” said Tessa. She returned with two large white bags with medical biohazard warnings on the front. Every home had a set, courtesy of the county.

“Let’s make this quick. There could more of them out there.”

Attacks from infected rabbits were rare, but not unheard of, especially in rural areas. We stood on the deck scanning the tree line for ten minutes before I decided it was safe. Those ten minutes were torture for Tessa, who couldn’t stand still for even one minute. The smell of charred rabbit, drifting up from the yard, didn’t help either.

“Put your mask on.”

“I am.”

“Tessa. Don’t start this now. I’m not going to put up with it today.” Fourteen year olds. I couldn’t blame her angst though, not in today’s world. The masks were not to protect us from the smell of burning rabbits or contagion. They were to protect us from the air around us, air riddled with contaminates.

We began work picking up the carcasses with oversized tongs. Some of the rabbits still twitched from the electricity trapped in their muscles.

I’d finished picking up my half but Tessa didn’t appear to be doing anything.

“I don’t like doing this anymore than you.”

“Mom, shh. I think we need to go inside.”

“You’re not going anywhere till all of these rabbits are in the bag.” I walked around the fence, checking for holes. When I reached Tessa I realized this wasn’t more teenage rebellion. “Tessa, what is it?”

She stood rigid, hands shaking. I traced her eyes to the corner of our property and I too froze. There in the shadows, under the diseased Crab Apple tree, was a coyote. Blood oozed from his nostrils. His chest heaved in violent shudders.

I reached for the handgun at my side. John had been right. My crazy ex-husband had been right. It was only a matter of time before MRHD jumped to another species.

“Tessa, get behind me.”

I raised my Glock, another gift from my ex. The diseased animal charged.

© Amanda Makepeace

If you enjoyed The Rabbits, stop by Goodreads  and hit the like button!

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Other Worlds

Today’s story is a micro-fiction piece of 100 words. Last night I semi-randomly chose three words I wanted to feature in today’s story (tree, pills, leather). I also set a challenge of writing only 100 words, no more and no less. Challenges like these are always fun, at least for me. 😉

****

Erin washed the pills down with the last half of her lager and waited. As her eyelids drooped she thought of the nanoids travelling through her bloodstream, toward her brain, latching onto her receptors. A steady hum tickled her ears. It was now or never. This would be her last chance to find the tree.

“Took you long enough.”  Darren’s towering form loomed over her, one eyebrow arched, his lips a subtle mischievous smile. “Look at you! Leather this time.”

“I don’t have time for games, Darren.”

She had fifteen minutes to find the source and save their worlds.

****

© Amanda Makepeace

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Becoming

Story #2 is complete! I wrote more flash fiction today (667 words). This story centers around characters from a novel I’ve been playing with for the last couple of years. I say playing because I haven’t committed myself to writing it even though it’s frequently on my mind. It’s a book I need to write. I’m just not sure if I’m ready. Ironically, when I began writing this morning I didn’t realize it was them, pushing their way into StoryADay. Here’s a teaser from the opening:

The world didn’t end in war, famine, or natural disaster. There wasn’t a virus or an invasion of little green men from outer space. We were the ending and the beginning, our biology, our genes. Evolution changed our lives and destroyed our world. It split us down the middle. Us and them.

Then there is me. The anomaly. The aberration. I’m not one or the other, but something new.

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The Messenger

Story #1 is finished! I wrote 552 words for my flash fiction story, The Messenger. I love this story; which means I’m not going to post it. Sorry, folks! I will post a teaser from the opening though:

Never trust a troll living in a drain pipe, in your basement.

My father’s words echoed in my head, but I didn’t turn to high tail it out of the basement. I didn’t even try to cover the drain when I saw the grimy green fingers push through the grate. Trolls always brought to mind lumbering giants who could be turned to stone by the day’s first light. They were monsters with clubs who bashed in children’s skulls like an after dinner game. Not tiny creatures living in wet, fetid pipes underneath suburban homes.

I may revisit another part of this story during the month of May. Flash fiction is, after all, only a glimpse with a twist at the end.

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