Category Archives: Romance

Star-Crossed Meglomaniacs (summary)

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I was going to write some big fiction post about a girl and a boy being tortured in high school and developing a system to cope with their ostracization etc…  Instead I’m just going to leave the details to the imagination, because I honestly hate writing anything about teenagers, high school, or any such YA material.  So long story short; they get tortured in a variety of ways, eventually talk and becomes friends of sorts, design the system illustrated above, become briefly romantically involved, then as their egos get out of control become intensely cruel themselves, ultimately waging an epic high school conflict against one another in which they arm their respective cliques and wage a drug fueled gang war in which the boy is mortally wounded and as the girl holds his head and watches him die realizes the folly of her narcissism and stabs herself in the stomach; dying beside her love and only true friend in the midst of an all out riot in the hallways of their high school.  The scene fades out on the smoke filled hallway as the fight rages on around their embraced corpses.

So if anyone wants to write that long form knock yourself out.  Let me know and I would be happy to help.  I’m unwilling/unable to write in the style that the story requires.   I could probably do it as a play, but I’d probably lose interest in that as well.  I feel like there’s probably a movie from the eighties with a somewhat similar plot line (sans drugs, violence and death), but I can’t think of its name.

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Shakespeare Redux

Is there an odor that could contain the scent of rot in this once great estate.  Those dead walk to an fro as industries of war work deep into the night.  It has once come and then again in phantasm fashion.  What of the daughter, her lover, the wife, the uncle, actors, rival, traitorous friends, duels poison death love loss suicide the like of which has been seen before, but once again rises from the ground exhumed bones of the dead.  Where are Rose Crantz and Gilda Stern?  They are dead and fair Hamlet cloaked in inky black iced stares at the defiled mother and lecherous husband of days after the day of the father’s death stands to accuse and kill by undead pledge.  The poison is the play and is apt to act in err as the mother of her lover stabbed without knowledge is dragged through the house of halls.

Thoughts are bloody and nothing worth time, hesitation, betrothed betrayal in watery death he lies unknown to his expatriotess, dropped from the shoulders of men to a changeless sleep of no escape.  A man known well of infinite jest can laugh no more as he who in rapt madness removed his life in a river grave now known and passingly mourned by the young princess Denmark as a sporting duel looms with the sister of the dead and all but one slain will tell the tragic tale.


Unwriter excerpt

Rereading earlier drafts supplies the answer to all of the scene’s problems.  A pack of zombie (feral?) robots obviously breaks through the police lines late in the scene adding the random element that was missing.  Yes, robot butlers seemingly got the boot earlier, but Phillip favors the chaos and fear that would be generated by rusted crazed robots overrunning the SWAT team over uninteresting replicants that simply serve to make Sasha seem nigh invulnerable.

Rescene: Sasha wakes to the sound of movement downstairs.  She puts on her mask and looks over the upstairs railing and sees five members of a SWAT unit quietly searching the house.  Eduardo pretends to be asleep on the couch, but fingers the trigger of a shotgun.  The house is completely surrounded by the police and Flannan tanks mentioned earlier.  Phillip moves to an earlier point in the book and adds that George’s apartment is in a bad neighborhood which adds believability to what’s about to occur.  Sasha hides behind a door as two men in black body armor move quietly up the stairs.

There is some noise from outside.  The infiltrators stop and listen to their earpiece radios.  Gun fire and screaming from street.  One of the cops runs to the front door to tries and close it but is tackled and has a rusted arm repeatedly plunged into his chest.  The other members of the Swat team come to help but are similarly overrun.  Eduardo shoots the robots that have entered the house while Sasha runs to the basement to retrieve the CEO.  Bob blocks the front door as many hands pull him back and forth.

Real-life Sasha has been meeting Phillip after work for drinks almost two nights a week now; giving him levels of anxiety that he didn’t know were possible.  He has successfully dodged having her over to his apartment by repeatedly citing his brother’s lifestyle as the main deterrent, but he knows he can’t avoid the shame of his poverty forever.  Eventually she will want to see where he lives no matter how disgusting he describes Edward’s habits.  Edward, incidentally and unsurprisingly has not yet found a job and offers an unending critique of Phillip’s failure so far to sleep with Sasha.  General lack of experience with intimacy was the most likely reason for Phillip’s clumsy approach.  He had made it to her apartment twice, but both times resulted in only partial nudity and while fun, was somewhat unfulfilling.

On several occasions she had mentioned an ex-boyfriend who she was apparently still friends with; a situation which Phillip found concerning simply because of the English involved.  A boy who is a friend is a boyfriend of sorts and an ex-boyfriend implies that this friend who happened to be a boy was not acceptable in some way and making them an ex-friend who happened to be a boy, added intimacy or not, which should preclude any future friendship of any sort with this person.  Phillip also acknowledged the possibility that he attributed the lack of sex thus far to lingering feelings for this ex and was more than slightly bitter about it.  His name was Vinnie and she described him as a “bad boy” type.  He was apparently an occasional male model with a significant heroin problem which Phillip said sounded really awesome, but actually not at all.


NaNoWriMo: My first and likely only attempt + free writing material

So I’ll be cranking out a novel next month.  The unfortunate part is that the novel I’ll be working on is probably on the 150,000 to 200,000 word variety based on my plot outline.  One of the reasons that I think this will be a good exercise is that I have a strong novel idea that I don’t take very seriously because it’s kind of Pop/Vonnegutty and I’ll be happy to have it done and move on to more complicated work.  Also I have machines to build and writing tends to consume a decent amount of time, even though time seems to pass at an accelerated rate when I’m doing it, which I guess indicates that I’m enjoying myself.

I guess what I’m saying is that for anyone who reads this blog, most of what I’ll be posting will be sections of the impending novel and not much else.  Because 50,000 words or 250,000 words, I’m starting and finishing it in the month of November.  If anyone is participating or is curious about participating and has an idea that they would like to flesh out a bit, I’d be happy to trade suggestions regarding your book.  That’s what I’m supposed to do I suppose, participate and get others to participate for the good cause and such, however as I stated earlier it’s also a good way to get a story over and done with rather than doing active editing for a year or two and forgetting the state of mind that you were in when you originally perceived your idea.

The below is not my NaNoWriMo subject but simply something fun.  If anyone would like to use it, go for it.

Two women sit at a table in vaguely post-apocalyptic Baltimore.  One eats a cookie with a child’s handprint on the back.

-I’m leaving her.

-No you’re not.  She’s leaving you.

-I’ll be here though.

-It’s not the same, I’ll always imagine you looking at me and thinking of her.  I can’t do this anymore.

-Janet wait.

Janet leaves the table leaving Susan staring at the cookie in front of her.  She works for Five Points Baking which is the company that makes the cookies.  Last month she had an affair with an executive behind her girlfriend Janet’s back and today was the reckoning.  The cookies are made by the children of members of the losing side of a somewhat recent American civil war.  These children roam the wastelands of the Midwest and are brought to the cookie mills to work the production lines and hand stamp the cookies as a symbol of their parent’s failed war and the consequences of opposing the North American Union.

Susan was one of those children. She worked her way up through the company and is now a marketing executive.  When a board member came onto her it was an almost instinctual response to do what she could to fulfill her request.  She remembered being chained to the oval rack on the ceiling and pushing her hand into the cold dough before it entered the ovens, sleeping in the factory basement with hundreds of other children who subsisted only on production line leftovers.  At age thirteen she took her place among her peers and started digging her own grave.  She was fortunate that her hands remained small for longer than most, giving her a chance to prove herself an asset to the company.

 

Alright, there you go, gift wrapped dystopian future with a dash of DFW’s marketing affinity.  Let me know if you use this, I would be happy to see it torn apart and rebuilt in any way you like.


Lunch with Unwriter

-Hi, I’m Phillip.

He shakes Sasha’s hand, sits down and attempts to move his facial muscles in such a way to indicate that he’s not staring, but is simply concerned with something else.  This makes him look doubly uncomfortable and seems to Sasha as if he’s avoiding eye contact.

-Nice to meet you.

-So you like the book so far?

-Yeah, it’s fun.  I don’t think I’ve read much like it.  Where did you get your idea?

-Lots of places, something like process of elimination.  I’ve never seen the plot before, so I thought I’d write something I would find entertaining.

-Who would you say are your influences?

-No one really, probably everyone.  I watch a lot of movies and read everything I can find.  Most of it is crap though, so sometimes I feel like I have to avoid all the mental junk food floating around in my head to think up anything I don’t hate.

The waitress arrives, Sasha orders coffee and a sandwich, Phillip orders coffee and would like to order the same sandwich that Sasha did, but ends up ordering something that sounds utterly disgusting to him.

-Sorry I took so long getting back to you.  I’ve had a crazy few months.

-You were travelling.  Where did you go?

-Just New York and Chicago, no place warm or fun.  Your questions were funny by the way.  Did they help with your story?

Phillip feels like his stomach is boiling and his heart is twitching, but in a good way.

-Yeah, I mean just seeing some of your photos online helped me make some decisions regarding the plot.

-Do you have a publisher yet?

-No, I’m trying to get it done first, then I’ll shop it around.  What about the last few months was so crazy?

Coffee is delivered.

-I had some great opportunities that kind of fell through or became disappointing, but I just got a new job and apartment, so things are looking up.

Phillip now shifts in his seat and feels like he might be shaking with excitement at how nice this girl is.  He tries hard to stop the shaking and hopes that the coffee will help, even though he knows it will more than likely exacerbate the situation and he’ll have to try even harder to speak without his lips looking like they’re quivering.  At this point he’s certain he looks like a twitching mental patient though, so continues as best he can.

-Wow.  Thanks again for taking the time to read the section I sent you; you seem to be in the midst of a lot of upheaval.

-It’s really no big deal.  I haven’t been going out much and it was nice to have something light to relax and read.  I want to know how it’s going to end though, you totally have my attention.

-I got rid of the robot butlers.  I just didn’t think they were necessary.

-Oh…. I guess that works, I hadn’t really paid much attention to them other than your Bob guy. Are you cold?

-Maybe a little.

-It is a little chilly in here; you look like you’re shivering though.  Do you want to move away from the door?

Sasha’s observation increases the intensity of Phillips shaking and he buttons his jacket up to appear to be trying to warm up.  He feels completely psychotic at this point.  It takes every ounce of concentration he has to appear relatively normal.

-No, I’m okay.  I must be under a vent or something.

The waitress drops off their sandwiches.  Phillip successfully resists grimacing at the sandwich placed in front of him.  His teeth are chattering as he looks to the ceiling at an air vent that isn’t there.   A few French fries seem to help the situation and he focuses on relaxing in his chair a bit and continues the conversation.

-So is your new job like an office job or something else?

-It’s just a hostess job.  I’ll still be doing temp work, but the money’s not always consistent and I have rent to pay.

-Saw something in your hobbies about martial arts?

-I do kickboxing a few days a week, a lot of girls do.

-So nothing exotic like Krav Maga or Drunken Boxing?

-I’ve never heard of the Krav one and no, no Drunken Boxing. (Smiles)

-I’m envisioning the character in the book using the Krav one, it’s the one used in the Bourne movies.

-Oh, okay.

Sasha takes a bite of her sandwich and looks out the window.   Phillip is convinced he is coming off as a basket case nerd and needs to pull this conversation out of the mire it’s sinking into immediately.

-Sorry, the visualization makes writing it more fun.  I know it might not make sense.

-I get it.  You’re pretty imaginative.  Tell me again why you wanted to interview me specifically again.

-You look pretty much exactly the same as I envisioned the Sasha character in the book.

-You don’t think you may have seen me somewhere before you started?

-Maybe, I don’t think so though.  Do you go the bars on South Street.

-Sometimes, not consistently for a couple years though.

-I guess I could have seen you there.

-So were there any other specific questions you wanted to ask me?

Phillip freezes for what feels like 5 minutes, but is actually about ten seconds.  The shaking has stopped and his mind now feels like an overheating hard drive spinning harder and harder to find something that isn’t there.  With nothing constructive to say, he finds himself asking the question that’s been getting louder in his mind since he saw this girl through the café window, there is no more room for other thoughts it is now at critical mass.

-Are you in a relationship?

-No, does that have something to do with the character or is that a personal question. (Smiles)

-Well, the character isn’t in a relationship either, although I thought that I might give her a romantic interest, but sort of backed out of it because I thought it might compromise her believability as a strong female character.  (says all of this in roughly 5 seconds)

-Woah, you can talk pretty fast when you get going.  I don’t think it makes a female any less strong to be attracted to someone as long as that someone isn’t a tool.

-Interesting, I might go with that later in the story then.  Also, would you like to get a drink later this week or something?

-Maybe, will you have some more of your book done?

-Most definitely.

-Well here’s my number.  Just text me Thursday after 7, I might get out of work early that night.

-Thanks

They finish their meal split the check and go on their ways.  Phillip has trouble standing, but holds the door for her and walks in the opposite direction that she does even though he’s now walking away from where he parked his delivery truck.  He circles the block a couple of times, partially out of excitement and partially because he wants to be sure that Sasha doesn’t see him climbing into his truck and changing back into his uniform.


She (cont.)

She had found that the best way to maintain a sunny demeanor in a soul-crushing relationship was to store away horrible things about her significant other for potential future use.  It was entirely probable that these observations and feelings would never need to be used, but simply their presence was all that she needed to remain cordial in most scenarios.  In instances of extreme discontent she would write down her thoughts and leave them scattered about his apartment.  This gave her a slight thrill every time she received an incoming phone call in that it could be the beginning of a relationship ending fight, or it could be him calling just to say that he loved her.

She was entertained by the thought that in either case answering her phone with a chipper attitude was completely appropriate, in that if he had found the notes, he would be doubly enraged at her amicability and if he was calling to say hi, he was receiving the status quo.  The notes generally contained her musings on the relationship with topics such as, “how can I respect a weakling”, “people I can think about during sex so that I can enjoy myself” and “ways I shut down part of my brain to not think that someone is not a slob”.


Illegitimate Piece

It is a small dark space and it is moving

 

1.

Thomas wears a light brown sport jacket and is hunched over eating mashed potatoes.  Melinda sits across the table and watches him carefully.

-Why do you do that?

-Do what?

-Eat like that.

-Eat. What?

-You’re eating your sides and letting your main course get cold.

-I didn’t really think about it.

-Well you’re paying the bulk of the money for the pork chop, so I don’t understand letting it go to waste like that.

-I’m still going to eat it.

-But it’s cold; I just think you’d enjoy it more if it was warm.

-Okay, I’ll think about it more next time.

-I don’t know why you didn’t think about it this time.

A waitress stops by the table and refreshes their drinks.  She tells Thomas that she likes his ring and says it reminds her of steam punk art, and then shows Thomas a tattoo on her wrist that has a similarly jointed retro look to it.  He tells her that it’s neat, then turns back to his food.

Melinda watches the waitress walk back to the kitchen.

-What was that about?

-I don’t know.

-Do you know her?

-No.

-Where did you get that ring again?

-A shop in Hamden.  I don’t know if it’s even there anymore.

-No one bought it for you?  Because it looks like it was a gift.

-Why?

-I just don’t see you buying something like that.

-No, I did.  I think I was just bored.

-Her skirt is really short.

-Oh, I hadn’t noticed.

The remainder of dinner is incident free.  During dessert Melinda inquires as to when Thomas is going to get a better job so that he can help her put a down payment on a house in Mount Washington.  He has been looking for some time, but has not been terribly inspired by his options, or to the idea of living with Melinda, despite his being engaged to her.

He drives her back to her apartment and moves in to give a kiss, but is dodged and given a kiss on the cheek instead.  They exchange “I love you’s” and he drives home feeling familiarly unfulfilled.  His apartment is on the tenth floor of a well-regarded building in downtown Baltimore.  He is not particularly fond of animals, but upon hearing of Melinda’s allergy to cats, quickly adopted one and named it kernel as a means to delay cohabitation for as long as possible.

Their dinner this evening was supposed to be a casual discussion concerning the guest list for their wedding, however descended into what has now become fairly standard squabbling.  He’s fairly sure he loves Melinda.  The feeling comes and goes, but he feels it more times than less, so figures that things aren’t too bad.  Thomas Newton is 26, 5’9.5”, 140 lbs., wears  silver rimmed glasses with ¼” thick lenses , has brown eyes, black hair and walks with consistently bad posture; a fact that is pointed out to him at least once a week as of late.

The sparsely furnished apartment smells vaguely of cat urine and burnt toast.  Thomas opens his refrigerator, gets a beer and sits down in front of his computer to engage in what he considers his only guilty pleasure.  It was entirely accidental, but after a more spirited than usual fight with Melinda he came home to view internet pornography and saw a video featuring a girl who he was almost certain was Melinda.  After multiple viewings, screen captures, pausing and the like, he determined that the actress was not her, but had been unexpectedly satisfied at seeing this girl repeatedly sodomized and humiliated.  So began Thomas’s habit of ending arguments without much bravado so he could go home and watch what his eyes determined was Melinda being tied upside down and used like a sexual piñata for hours on end.