Posts Tagged ‘teen’

First Feeding

Posted: September 13, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy
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vampire girlBloody and sated, Alyson made it home at about 11:30. She wasn’t sure what time it was. Her watch was broken. The electronics on her phone still worked, but the face was cracked so badly the colors sprayed whatever was behind it like a kaleidoscope. That and the blood stains kept her from reading it. Alyson was too upset to remember that her car had a clock on the dashboard.

She stood in the foyer. Mud and blood had to be streaking the marble tile. “Father,” she called. The sound echoed through the house. She’d barely spoken, but the reflection of her voice had never sounded so loud.

He came running from the library, barefoot and robed, white hair blown out wildly behind him. “Allie. Allie girl, what happened?”

Her father stopped when he saw her. His hands dropped. “What happened?”

“What does it matter?”

He sighed. “Of course not.” He shouted, “Renfield!” The twitching lump of a man came running in from the kitchen. He had crumbs under his fingernails and mustard on his lips. “Go to Smiths’ residence. I believe there’s been an accident. You know what to do.”

“Yes, master,” Renfield said. He normally would have walked past Alyson and left by the front door. This time, he backed away how he came. He didn’t turn around until he had gone all the way back into the shadows.

Alyson wanted to be shaking or screaming. Instead, she wanted more blood. “When does it stop? The thirst?”

“Never. You will master it. Like your mother and I taught you to master watching too much TV and eating too much junk food.”

“It felt good. I wanted to stop. I tried. The more angry and fearful they got the thirstier I became.” A single tear fell from her eye and mixed with the blood. The teardrop swirled with red ran down her face.

“It’s who we are. Why don’t you go clean up?”

“Why don’t I stay this way forever. It’s who I am.”

He folded his arms. “I understand. It’s difficult at first. Go ahead and stay that way for a while. It might help you to accept that things are different now. It’s ugly. It’s frightening. But it’s the truth.”

Alyson pushed past him. She didn’t want to hear his truth. It was hard enough to be a teenage girl who had an allergy to sunlight. Now she had to deal with vampirism, too.

Photo credit: “You Have to Invite Me In” by alicexz at deviantART.com. Used without permission.

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Teaser Tuesday, One Day Late

Posted: August 13, 2014 by writingsprint in Fun Stuff
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By Royal Command“A terrible fear gripped him. He was beyond rescue, alone beneath this weight of crushing white death.” By Royal Command by Charlie Higson.

I had to jump in on this because Winter Bayne posted a book teaser yesterday that is still torturing me 🙂 . Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their “to be read” list if they like your teasers!
  • Have fun!

The Sheriff of Ladies Room Four

Posted: August 1, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , , , , , ,

gate

Gang fights still raged in the cafeteria, the library, and the parking lot. Teachers had locked the doors to their classrooms to keep them from spreading. Dianna leaned out of the ladies’ room to look down the hall. To her right, a folding steel security gate cut off this hall from the rest of the building. To her left, at the far end of the hall, the cafeteria fight was too close for comfort. She thought she heard radio chatter and the clanging sound of fists and chairs on riot shields.

Behind her, a raspy girl’s voice asked, “What’s going on?”

Dianna turned. The girl was half a head taller than Dianna, thin, with a good makeup and hands less clean than they should have been. She had a green and white bandanna tied to her sleeve, which made her the girlfriend of one of the gang members fighting outside. Her brown eyes narrowed as Dianna blocked the door.

“Sounds like the cops are here.”

“Let me by.”

“No one goes by until the cops get here. Go sit down.”

The girl stepped toward her. “You think you can take me?”

“I can snap you in half with my pinky toe. Sit down.” Dianna voice had the stillness of a mountain lake. She played soccer and boxed with her brothers. One girl didn’t scare her. The gang fight did.

The girl tried to shove her way past. Dianna snapped a quick heel strike to her nose. It was more of an attention-getter than a real hit. The girl stumbled back.

“Ow! Jesus Christ, that hurts! What’s the matter with you?”

And she wanted to go fight? Really?

The gate on her right cranked upward. A group of four officers in their regular blues peered under the gate. Dianna waved. “Hey, guys.”

“Hi, Dianna,” one of them said. It was Donnie, the traffic cop from near her house. “How many do you have this time?”

She looked over her shoulder. She counted heads of the teens sitting on the floor, the counter and the toilets behind her. “About 12.”

The officers lifted the gate the rest of the way up. Two more officers stood behind them. Dianna had seen it before. They were doing a sweep of the building to make sure they knew where all the fights were.

Dianna stepped aside and let Donnie push open the door. “Everybody okay in here?” he asked.

“I’m not!” the girl holding her nose protested.

Dianna started to respond, but Donnie held up his hand. He said, “Don’t say it. I don’t want to know.” One of the other officers tried to get his attention. “Sit tight. Thanks for your help, Di.”

“You know me. Any time.”

Dianna watched them go. She folded her arms, leaning against the doorway like she owned the place. For now, she supposed she did. She was the sheriff of ladies room four.

Photo credit: “Untitled” by Anthony Fine
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

Get Out of My Face

Posted: June 24, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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2404823725_fa55b91a68_z“Get out of my face!” Evan yelled. Mark got out of his way. You could count on Evan for a joke or some twisted attitude when track practice got going, but this was something different. Mark watched him stalk his way to the infield.

“What’s up his ass?” Mark asked Dave, the team captain.

“Dunno. He’s been walking around like that all day.”

“Did he break up with Audrey?”

“Don’t think so.”

Mark stretched. He felt springy today. Usually he couldn’t get his legs to unwind if he begged them. He jumped up, hopped up and down, and went to talk to Evan.

“Everything all right, dude?” Mark asked.

“Not right now, man,” Evan said. He didn’t even look at him. Mark looked toward the other side of the field, where Evan was looking. There was nothing there, not other runners, not even equipment or their bus.

“What?”

“Just… walk on, all right?”

Whatever. “Whatever.”

Mark jogged around the track to warm up. He took his time. When the coach came out he’d run them until they were ready to drop. Then he’d wish he’d sat on his butt and just waited for the coach to tell him to move. The track felt fast today. Cool air. You had to love early May. The rain from April was gone but it wasn’t hot enough to make you gag yet.

Mark had been friends with Evan since freshman year. They’d been a pair of misfits that nobody liked, who had running in common, so it became them against the world. It worked. They’d gotten their letters together, helped each other pass chemistry, and helped each other find dates for junior prom.

He started to jog faster. He slowed down. Cool your jets, dude. Plenty of time to run hard coming up.

Evan jogged past him. He cut in front of him so close that Mark had to either slow down or clip the back of Evan’s shoes.

Hell with this. Mark lengthened his stride a tick and ran up Evan’s back. The two of them stumbled.

Evan spun around. He stopped short of shoving Mark, but he looked ready to. Mark shook his hands. He checked Evan to see if he would punch him.

“Watch it!”

“Don’t cut me off!”

“Forget ‘cut you off.’ You could have given me stitches.”

“Then don’t cut me off.”

Dave yelled, “Hey! Knock it the hell off! You want to do laps? ’Cause I’ll tell Millsey you guys need to do a few.”

Mark and Evan looked at each other. Coach Miller wouldn’t be nice about it, either. He’d make them run until the sun went down.

Mark raised his hands. No mas. He jogged around Evan. Evan followed. He cut him off again. Mark was about to clock him but he saw the coach coming out of the gym, clipboard and stopwatch in hand. He’d have to dust him in practice instead.

Something normal for a change. I might see if I can turn this one into a story.

Photo credit: “20080409 Track Practice – 02” by Westmont Track and Field at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

Meet Marissa

Posted: June 7, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

dancing girlBefore tonight’s sample from Shadow and Shade, I wanted to remind everyone that it’ll be available as a free download for Kindle as a special promotion tonight and Sunday only.

I hope you love it. If you do, leave a cool review, and spread the word! THANK YOU!


Logan’s nostrils caught the thin trace of a smell on the breeze that didn’t quite belong. It was like smoke, but sweeter, like pine needles. He looked around carefully, then noticed that Laik wasn’t sitting in his usual place. “Who else is coming?” Logan asked.

Laik frowned. “What makes you say that?”

“You usually sit over here,” Logan said, gesturing to his right. What was that smell…Logan thought it was…incense?

Yes, that was it. There was a missionary in the village from the lands past Wood’s End who always smelled that way. In good wind and settled mind, he could pick up the scent a mile away. The missionary’s second home, his ca-pel—Woodlanders couldn’t say chapel—usually reeked of it. Logan frowned. There was no way Laik would have spending time in Jon’s chapel. “Who else is here?”

Laik’s looked back over his right shoulder and raised his voice. “He knows! You can come out now!” Unmindful footsteps cracked the branches and kicked over stones behind Laik. “My friend, this is Marissa. She arrived in the village a few days ago, and I thought she might enjoy a little hospitality.” Logan drew his gaze to the girl who walked out from the shadows. His eyes widened.

Marissa moved fluidly, gracefully, like someone more inclined to dancing or a stroll than hard, sweaty work. She didn’t notice that her skirt was close enough to catch on the fire, or if she did, she didn’t care. Marissa was a Southlander, like the missionary. Her eyes would reach just above his shoulders, and they were a lustrous shade of nearly black brown. They had the flicker of the wisdom that Laik’s seemed to have. Her skin was lightly tanned. He followed the line of her nose to her lips, from her lips to her neck. Her rounded cheekbones and chin had the mirthful hint of a smile. Marissa’s hair was brown, lighter than his, with scattered strands of red in there that spiced it up. It was brushed away from her face, letting him see the delicate curve of her ears.

The kerchief that the missionary’s daughter and wife always wore dangled from her hand. That explained the incense. “So you’re Logan,” she said, speaking passable Woodlander. Logan smiled as she sat down in Laik’s usual place.

“Did he tell you that?” Logan asked.

“You’re the mystic, not her,” Laik said. “How else did she know?”

Logan tossed a stone at him. “Don’t be a pain,” he replied. He looked at Marissa, then asked Laik, “Did you bring it?”

“Never forget it.” Laik produced a short, wooden flask of his father’s wine from behind his back and tossed it over to him. All Woodlanders made fruit wine as a social drink, but Laik’s father made it with a stronger taste, and usually a better kick.

Logan asked, “Slug, Marissa?”

“Guests always first,” Laik added.

She cocked her head, and yes, a mirthful smile appeared. Logan also had the impression that not only was she an experienced drinker, but she might be a challenge to drink under. There was a mischievous look in her eyes: we’re smarter than we look, but don’t tell anyone. That way we can get away with more. That kind of look.

Photo credit: Cuadros y Lienzos
Used without permission

Evernight Publishing turns 3!

Posted: October 5, 2013 by writingsprint in Writing
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Sharing! Congratulations to Evernight Publishing!

Christine Klocek-Lim

 

 

[ETA: I’ve picked the winner for the Evernight Birthday Bash Blog Hop! Congratulations to Amy!]

 

EP bday hop

Celebrate like a ROCK STAR because Evernight Publishing is THREE!

In three short years, Evernight has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to readers like you! Evernight is pulling out all the stops and throwing an extreme BIRTHDAY BASH BLOG HOP in your honor!

That’s right! It’s Evernight’s birthday but YOU get the presents…

Prizes include:

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Kindle Paperwhite

Kobo Touch

$100 Evernight and Amazon Gift Certificates

Mega Evernight Swag Pack

Plus, each author on the hop will offer his/her own special prize!

_____

As an author, I’m thrilled to share my stories with you and Evernight helps make my books shine! Here’s one reason why I love Evernight Publishing:

Back in the days before young adult novels were an actual genre, I read and loved young adult novels (sci-fi…

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Put Down Those Books, Young Man

Posted: August 25, 2013 by writingsprint in Drama
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buried in booksGreg flipped the page on his chemistry homework. Well, not homework. He’d finished that around 7:00. Now it was 9:00, and he was studying to get all of it into his head. Maria was on the phone with her friends, and his brother Phil was playing Call of Duty online. Greg was studying, like he always was. He was tough enough for excellence.

“What’cha doing?” Dad asked. Greg looked up. Dad looked like he just came from working out downstairs. He was wearing a hoodie and gym shorts, and holding a cup of water.

“Chemistry.” He turned the book toward him. “Organic. Hybrid bonds.”

“You’ve been working pretty hard lately.”

Mom was coming in from the living room. Greg put down his pen. Something was up. He yawned. “I guess. Something going on?”

He and Mom looked at each other. “All right,” Dad said. He sat down in the chair next to him. “We think you’re working too hard.”

Greg leaned in close. “What the fu… what? Are you kidding me?”

Mom said, “You pulled an all-nighter last week. In high school. Nobody should be pulling all-nighters in high school.”

Oh, was that all? Greg shook his head. “Not a big deal. I got behind on a paper, and I had to wrap it up. Maybe I drank too much coffee, but I’m all right now.”

“It’s not just that,” Dad said. “You’ve been sleeping six hours a night all year.”

“I’m getting straight A’s.”

“There’s more to life than work,” Mom said. “Having a girlfriend. Having friends.”

“What, you’re disappointed that I don’t have a girlfriend? I can’t relate. I’ve never had friends. You always told me to stay away from the other kids, that they were too rowdy.”

Dad rubbed his temples. “Dude, you’re becoming me. When I was your age, I couldn’t handle girls either. I couldn’t handle life. So I got straight A’s instead. Thing is, I had blinders on. Sooner or later it’ll hit you in the face. There are lots of things that you will never learn in a book. Maybe look at it that way. We want you to start learning from experience. Keep in touch with us, ask us questions, but start learning outside the classroom.”

Greg didn’t know whether to yell hallelujah or yell at them. Getting good grades was all he was good at. He was two years away from Harvard or MIT. Now they wanted him to settle. He didn’t mind not working, but this was going to mess everything up.

Mom said, “You need to learn to take care of yourself. You can’t just drive yourself into the ground.”

“I’m tough enough. I can do it.”

Dad sighed. “No. You can’t. Not forever. Sooner or later, you will reach a mountain that’s too steep for you to climb. We’re stopping this carnival ride. From now on, your bed time during the week is 10:00.”

“My grades’ll drop. Kiss Harvard goodbye.”

“I’ll put on lipstick and kiss it myself,” Mom said.

Greg shoved back his chair. He looked at both of them. He was more scared now than he’d ever been. Climbing a mountain was one thing. Walking into the unknown? Now that was scary.

This post was brought to you by the prompt “effort” from The Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Inspiration Monday: Always Underestimated

Posted: July 23, 2013 by writingsprint in Uncategorized
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Phil sat on his bike on the roof of their bungalow, at the end of a ramp that he’d built with help from his friends. He’d done the math. If he hit the bottom as fast as he should, he would clear both his friend Jack’s car and his girlfriend Gina’s. Jack waited for Phil to go. Gina steadied the camera that was recording it for YouTube.

His mother had come home from her bridge game fifteen minutes early. She looked like her heart was about to drop out. Phil should have thought it looked funny, but it only made him angry.

“Phil, I’m only telling you once,” his mom said. “Get off your bike, and take down that ramp,” She looked like she was shaking.

Phil hesitated. “You’ve always underestimated me! I can do this!”

“Get down now, or I’m taking away your car keys for the next three months.”

“Go, Phil!” Jack yelled.

“You can do it!” Gina yelled.

Phil went for it before he lost his nerve.

The ground rolled up below him. Everyone screamed. His mother’s cut off as Phil went airborne.

The bike half flipped as it went over the cars. Phil hadn’t thought about the bike flipping, and he lost control. Now he screamed too. The bike came out from under him. Phil’s body pinwheeled. His arms and legs splayed out. When he hit the ground, Phil leg snapped through the shin like an overcooked chicken bone. Phil went into shock and he hit the ground limp. With a flash of sense, he was glad he’d worn his helmet.

Phil watched the next few minutes through a haze. His ears were ringing. Tears ran down Gina’s face as she dialed 911. Jack laughed. His mother wrung him by his shirt collar so hard that Phil heard Jack’s teeth knock together. She shoved him toward the sidewalk. She yelled something like he should go the hell home.

His mother knelt over him. “Don’t move, Phil. Don’t move. Do you understand me?”

Phil nodded. He said, “Sorry, mom.”

“Just like still. Can you feel your toes?”

“Yeah.”

“Is your neck all right?”

“Think so.”

“Stay put.” He looked at Gina. She looked like a wreck. It made Phil feel even worse. The makeup that used to be on her cheeks and her eyes had run all the way down to her chin. He looked at his mom again. “Well, you’re not making ESPN,” she said. “Maybe the next Jackass movie.”

This post is brought to you by the prompt “always underestimated” from Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite.

I just finished a “young Sherlock Holmes” novel that was as action-packed as a James Bond story. Did the reserved, pipe-smoking, violin-playing genius detective live dangerously as a teen? According to author Andrew Lane, in a novel endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate, the answer is yes.

Death Cloud

Deadly, my dear Watson

In Death Cloud, we meet 14-year-old Sherlock Holmes as he’s sent to spend the summer with distant relatives. While trying to make the best of his summer, Holmes meets Matty Arnatt, another young man, who was witness to a strange murder. Another death follows, and before you can say “magnifying glass,” Holmes is involved in chases through the streets of London, multiple fistfights, falls in love, rides horses, speaks French, and fights enemies that are as dark and twisted as what you might have seen in a Hitchcock movie. He acts with the courage of the plucky teen hero that he is. The good news is, the book keeps to the spirit of Holmes as a man. Young Sherlock uses observation and deduction to solve the mystery, and constantly uses his wits to get himself out of tight spots. Without spoiling the story: it all works, and works well.

I’ve never read a Sherlock Holmes story or novel. I suck at mysteries, and would have no chance at solving a murder in real life. I watch mysteries for the “Wow!” factor at the end of the story when they tie everything together, as my brain becomes a gumbo of what-if scenarios that are miles away from the mark.

After reading this, I’m curious to pick up the original stories and see if I enjoy them. The story is leavened with more than a dash of teenage rebellion, which isn’t how I imagined Holmes, but there’s a deep respect for the Great Detective and the period. The characters are likable, and I feel a little guilty saying that I especially the villains. They really enjoy being bad. It’s easy to make a mean villain, but it’s hard to make one that’s fun to read.

Note to self… age 16.

Posted: January 3, 2011 by writingsprint in Memories, postaday2011, postaweek2011
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I was inspired to write this after reading a blog post by Rebecca Cantrell, author of A Trace of Smoke and A Night of Long Knives. If you could write a letter to yourself at age 16, from the present day, what would it look like? After five tries, I had to come at it in a different way: if you could write a letter to someone age 16, today, who is just like you were then, what would you say to them? The reason why I had to pitch the original version is that I wouldn’t change anything that I did back then. I was headed in the wrong direction: I was going to be a mechanical engineering major and turned into a writer instead, and there were deeper things that came to the surface too. I learned a lot in the years that followed, and those experiences, that learning, shaped me in ways that still echo today.

That said, if I knew someone else who was about to live through the same things I did, there’s no way I could just stand here and let him walk into a brick wall like I did.

Hey dude,

I wanted to offer a few words of advice as you go forward in high school. First, listen to that little voice inside you, the one that’s thinking about taking psychology and drawing class, instead of AP bio and AP chem. That voice is you learning to think for yourself. High school is when you want to try things out and see what they feel like, and see if they’re different directions you want to grow in. Your brain is a 3-lb organ in a 150-lb body. You can be a good scientist, and be a well-rounded one, too. Believe me when I tell you that learning to trust that little voice and follow it has been the source of more right decisions in my life than anything else.

So take a look at them. Maybe you can split the difference and take one of the AP courses, and one of the others. Give it some thought and see what you want to do. Oh, and yearbook, school newspaper, learning a musical instrument… those are cool ideas too. Hell, musicians invented the word ‘cool.’

Next, take it easy on yourself. I know it isn’t easy, but you have to learn to take care of yourself, and at the rate you’re going, as hard as you’re working, you’re going to kill yourself before you’re 30. It would mean losing a few A’s and getting B’s instead. You’ll be happier, and you’ll learn to set up a balance between work and your life that you’ll need to later.

Finally, it does get better. A lot better. Being yourself and proud of it, and the hell with everyone else, is cooler than “being cool” will ever be. If you want to make changes, fine, but smile at the guy in the mirror. He’s doing the best he can. Believe it or not, there are people out there who think you’re cool already. Girls will like you; some already do. You can overcome your stuttering; it took me three years of speech therapy to do it, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.

You have a lot to look forward to, in ways you can’t even imagine. Enjoy the ride. Good luck!

Matt