This week’s topic was about going against authority. This story started out that way, but didn’t end up really being about that at all. I’m not even sure what I intended to do with it at first, but I sort of just followed the lead character down a spiral.
The image to the right will make sense in a minute or so.
Story after the break.
The prompt this week was a pair of themes:
1. Doing a good thing sometimes means being evil.
2. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
In my narrator’s head, he thinks he’s doing the first. But that’s only what developed after I started riffing on the second. Story after the break
This week’s Wendig challenge was a random image search using Flickr’s built-in randomizer according to an algorithm they call “interestingness.” I was not impressed at first, even though my friend Matt showed me a pretty cool image he got. I had to refresh mine 4 times before I got something that wasn’t a bird. That’s not an exaggeration. Each click popped up 9 photos in a grid. I got 27 straight birds. Birds aren’t that interesting, people. They really aren’t.
So eventually I ended up with this really cool image of a chicken satay street vendor in Jakarta, uploaded by photographer Alex Newman. At first I ran with that. Then, while browsing other pictures of Indonesia on Flickr, I ran across the image to the right. My character sketch of a lonely street vendor on a rainy day in Jakarta evolved into the story of a lecherous man who is coaxed into even greater evil by a demonic spirit. Story is after the break. Enjoy.
So, Matthew X. Gomez convinced me to get back on the weekly fiction bandwagon, and I’m going to try to keep up with him. Below is the first new story I’ve written in awhile.
The Porcelain Cat
I suppose I ought to document the strange occurrences at my house over the last month or so. It all started after my mother’s funeral and my having been willed an old porcelain cat that no one seems to recognize. Why she should wish me to have anything at all while my father is still alive is a mystery at best, but particularly when considering what it was she left me.
I am Samuel Jenkins, and Lilith is my daughter.
At first I assumed it was a typical school shooting. The fact that I can say those words is an indictment of the time period we’re living in, but there is such a thing now.
Hmm? No, I hadn’t known she was being bullied. She was at that age when girls don’t talk to parents, especially fathers, anymore. She found a few friends that I objected to, as fathers do, but I wasn’t worried about her.
The pocketknife was something I gave her a few summers back when we took our first camping trip. It was just a typical lock-back Buck knife.
No, to the best of my knowledge she did not stab anyone with it.
Yes, I taught her how to use it. I showed her first how to make sure the blade was sharp. We practiced honing blades with an oil stone, and then we worked on basic whittling techniques. She got quite good that summer, and then moved on to woodcarving. Her artistry is even on display in the school right now.
Because pocketknives are extraordinarily useful. The fact that they’ve fallen out of cultural consciousness is a travesty. When I was a Cub Scout in the 80s, we were even allowed to bring them into school if we had earned our Totin’ Chips.
It’s about as sharp as a well-kept kitchen knife.
Well, of course I showed her. How else would she have known where to draw the right amount of blood from her palm?
I am saying that, yes.
The best I can figure is the circle she drew was not completely connected.
Not unsupervised, no.
Balar was the family’s personal servant.
Of course I didn’t trust him. That’s why I paid to have a perfectly machined inlaid marble circle in the summoning room.
I don’t believe Lilith intended to release him.
I would appreciate your patience as my family deals with this troubling time. Now, if you’re quite done with the questions: phnglu gloz benath uth hatar…
Last week after a discussion with a teaching colleague, the idea for the beginning of a story came clear. I’m not sure if it will ever be publishable, but the research itself has been enlightening. The basic idea is about the current state of US Minuteman missile silos, and one possibly unstable operator standing his watch there.
I’ve still got another 1500 words or so before I’ll call the first draft done, but in order to write those, I need to go back and rework some of the ones already down, just because the time sequencing is all off. That’s my plan for later today now that I’m done grading papers, hopefully for the rest of the semester.