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10/01 Direct Link
You have to wonder what kind of brain trusts inhabit the Dust Bowl when they come to the "shocking" conclusion that the state's social workers are overworked and underpaid. Gosh, I could never have guessed that in 100 years. They were only making $19,000 a year three years ago. Fast food restaurant managers make more money, with benefits to boot! Now, according to government sources, that number has gone up to about $25,000 a year, yet that still lags far behind the national average. Is it really any wonder that there aren't enough case workers for desperate families?
10/02 Direct Link
I don't remember the punch that I took to the head on that winter night in 1993. I do remember the sensation of not being able to breathe after I was struck in the ribs. I recall colors and a vague sense of shapes around me that came with the sensation of falling to the floor. There was mostly black, with streaks of red and something like yellow then. I heard a sound like somebody screaming; maybe it was me. People simply stared. I remember the taste and sight of blood Darkness can be a merciful thing. So is dying.
10/03 Direct Link
"Can you move your toes?" I tried. "Can you feel your legs?" Just before the doctor saw me, I had been trying to pound on the sides of my thighs with my fists, wanting to make them feel anything. I was paralyzed from the waist down for over 24 hours at that point, because a psychotic patient slammed me into a wall. The wall didn't cause the damage; the railing attached to it did. I refused to answer. I stared at the ceiling instead. There was nothing as terrifying as the thought of returning to my apartment in a wheelchair.
10/04 Direct Link
After a long day slogging through my job, the last thing I really wanted to do was come home and find him sitting by my front door. "You aren't supposed to be here," I told him as I stumbled out of my little car. He just looked at me with an easy grin and moved to the screen door, like I'd simply let him back inside. I set my little bag on top of the grill and walked over to the end of the porch to grab the hose. "You've really got to stop escaping and rolling in cow pies!"
10/05 Direct Link
There was movement on the bluff above him; Kadin could make that much out. He tried to sit up before a whistling arrow struck the ground by his bloodied left hand, reminding him that there was still at least one enemy somewhere on the battlefield. What was curious though was the fact that the whistling arrow missed him. Scythian archers never missed. Why waste such an arrow merely to warn him to keep still? Did they intend to make him a captive? He was merely a common soldier; surely they did not think the queen would waste gold on ransom.
10/06 Direct Link
Kadin saw the feet first.  Simple leather boots covered by red and green tartan leggings.  The footstrikes were strange, uneven.  He realized that he should have already grabbed his dagger if he were to strike any of his captors when they drew close enough.  Now he'd have to try to grab a leg. 
 
 A long spear touched his forehead.  He followed the length of the shaft to a mitted hand, attached to an arm covered in chain mail that belonged to a girl young enough to be his daughter. 
 
10/07 Direct Link

I can't even decide on what to write for NaNoWriMo, never mind come up with a farking title. Am I sticking with Sarmatians (or Caeli's bastardized equivalent)? Is Remy really going to be hunted by a monster in Scotland (why did my dream put her there anyway? Why not put her someplace I've actually BEEN)? Do I want to go with brain implants that go awry for one user? Skateboarding zombies get terrorized by Wal-Mart shoppers in Oklahoma! Hmm, that would make for a pretty quick read. I don't see Romero or Bruce Campbell wanting anything to do with it.

10/08 Direct Link

There are lots of interesting things that we have due to evolution. Like mitochondria. They were originally parasites who developed a symbiotic relationship with us. Let's not forget our opposable thumbs, which many of us now use for microscopic keyboards on cell phones and little else. But I'm still trying to crack the puzzle behind dandruff. It doesn't serve a purpose, yet those of us with hair are often stuck with it. Did our ancestors have to deal with it? Is that what chimps and apes go digging for on each other? Must Adam Lambert be stuck in my brain?

10/09 Direct Link

I had a new name for the physical therapist after the second session we tried working together: my personal torturer. Both of those visits lasted less than 15 minutes because I nearly threw up on the guy from the pain. I could feel my legs again by then, but it didn't make trying to walk any easier. My boyfriend back then wouldn't give me a ride out to the facility, so I would literally crawl into the car and drop the seat back as far as I could and still see over the steering wheel. I'm lucky to have survived.

10/10 Direct Link
We don't like to go outside much anymore, especially when the sun goes down. The girl and me, we sometimes brave the tunnels to my friends' hideout just before the sewers. With enough candles, we can fool ourselves into thinking it's just like the old days, back before she came here. The meteors came down soon after her. That's why we play D&D, to forget. Most of the locals are dead and those who aren't, well... that's why we're here isn't it? The last of the homo sapiens. That's us. We didn't even go out with a bang. Weird, huh?
10/11 Direct Link
We walk through the old garden behind the stone walls at dawn. I used to welcome that time of day; it was when I'd finally get to go to bed after a night of drinking and whatever shit me and the guys would decide to do. Now, it means something more. It means we survived one more night, and we need to find whatever food we can. So me and the girl move quiet-like out here, just in case any newcomers still hang about, eating whoever they caught last night. Newcomers, heh. I sometimes forget they used to be human.
10/12 Direct Link

The angry red mare raised her head, snorted, and ran. She didn't trust me whatsoever, but I couldn't quit on her. After four hours of trying to catch and work with her (and nothing to show for it besides a face full of cactus), I knew why the trainer gave up and gave her to me with his blessing. But I didn't trust humans either. Horses can break bones. Humans will break hearts and crush spirits. Some will lie and do one or all of the above. With similar outlooks, I figured we had a chance. Preferably before winter came.

10/13 Direct Link

It was a long way down. A fifty foot drop off the side of a cliff on the far side of Arcadia Mountain. I sighed and looked at my brother.

I kicked off my unwieldy hiking boots and dropped them down, hoping they didn't hit anybody down there. We did make it down (slowly and with a few "Oh shit!" moments) and off of the mountain before the thunderstorm rolled in. I didn't realize it then, but it would be the last time we'd do anything together. The Army would claim him a few months later. Iraq and Afghanistan followed.

10/14 Direct Link

It wasn't easy being the only "mundane" in a my family. My grandmother could control the weather. My mom could read auras and predict futures. My little brother was a telepath. My older brother could levitate small objects. Me? All I could do was work an old deck of Tarot cards and see ghosts. Seeing ghosts isn't all that useful if you can't get them to talk to you. I'd ask why they stayed on and they'd just ask if I was their mommy and walk right through me, like I didn't matter. I guess I didn't in either world.

10/15 Direct Link

Four years. That's how long it will be next month since you took off without warning. You said she was the love of your life, that I was just something to pass the time. So why the hell are you trying to work your way back into my life? Do you really think that I stood in the dark of the living room crying nonstop since you walked out? Or that every song of a love unrequited on the radio still makes me shake and sob in the car? Yeah, right. Turns out I didn't need you then... or now.

10/16 Direct Link
"What are you doing here?" he asked me as I stood on the roof of our old duplex.  To the west was the skyline of my old city of Boston.  A bit to the south was the landing port for the space shuttle to Luna.

"I'm leaving tomorrow," I told him gently.  "for Europa."

"'bout time," Dad said in between wheezes as he moved to stand beside me.  "There's no future here."

But how will I know Europa will be better? I wanted to ask.  He said only, "It's better there.  Has to be."
10/17 Direct Link
It had been eight months since I had lost my ability to run.  Doctors, therapists, common sense... all said I should start slow.  Normally, running up the tallest hill in the city isn't supposed to be on the agenda after a broken back.  I didn't care.

I can't say I sprinted up.  That would be dishonest.  I shuffled.  That's putting it nicely.  One small step after another.  My atrophied leg muscles screamed 45 seconds in.  My lungs wanted to explode. Seven minutes later, I made it up. And vomited.    
10/18 Direct Link
The new skin snapped into place over the old aluminum frame.  It appeared tanned but without the obvious "orange glow" that previous skins had.  It was also wrinkle-free.  The eyebrows were obviously plucked, but there was no time to fix it now.  The buyer was standing in the showroom and looking rather impatient.  "Make sure she's got the default program," the foreman said to the assistant. 

/runprogram happy_airhead1

"Done," the assistant replied.  Turning to the new girlfriend he said, "Follow me."

/query who am I?

"Whatever he wants you to be."
10/19 Direct Link
Thomas was checking the clearing behind them and getting frantic.  "Do you ever plan for anything?" 

Remy shrugged.  "I work better if I don't." With that, she calmly snipped one wire.  The shriek of a siren nearly deafened them both.

"Terrific! They know where we are now,"

She ignored him and cut two more barbed wires. There were really only two options left:  certain incarceration if they stayed on the grounds, or a chance at freedom if they ran past this fence. At least the owners had forgotten to electrify it.

"We staying or going?"
10/20 Direct Link
"How much tranquilizer do we have left?" I asked Thomas.

"Enough to knock out a horse."

Not the answer I wanted to hear. "Will it actually bring down an elephant?"

He looked at me and shrugged. Honestly, we should have just taken it all and done ourselves in. It would've been a lot more convenient, but probably a lot less fun. I didn't see it that way that night though. I should have, but I didn't. I was too high from the thrill of stealing again, and it was going to bite us in the ass in about fifteen hours. 
10/21 Direct Link
It's that time of year again, when the leaves change, the sun goes down a couple hours too soon, and I get my semi-annual sinus infection-- complete with 102 degree fever.  I'm just so ecstatic about that. What, you sense sarcasm? How shocking!

On the plus side, I realized as I struggled to breathe and swallow last night, at least I'm dealing with it now and not in the middle of November.  My immune system has, incredibly, developed a good sense of timing.  It's also keeping me out of class with my joints on fire.  
10/22 Direct Link
I'm barely sitting upright at the moment.  My attempt to cook dinner has consisted of looking at the contents of the fridge and asking the dog, "What requires the least amount of effort to make?" Honestly, soup would be easier, but I've already eaten enough of that two nights in a row.

It still hurts to breathe and I honestly wonder if I breathe too deeply, will that start another round of dry heaving? Better to sniffle inhalations than to try again and find out the hard way.  Hell of a way to get 100 words, isn't it?
10/23 Direct Link
"I used to know the ways to the slipstreams and conduits, back before I turned eighteen.  You don't know what I'm talking about, do you? Figured as much.  See, slipstreams are kinda like... doorways to the parallel places.  Like, we're here in New York, and if you find one and slip through, you end up in New Amsterdam eventually.  You spend a lot of time traveling to make it through, usually on something like an ocean. Conduits? Those just take you where you need to be.  I'm stuck here though, because I killed a butterfly."
10/24 Direct Link
"Ever think of making a career out of this?"

I wondered what the hell Thomas was going on about.  "You mean coming up with ways to nearly off ourselves three nights in a row? No."

"What do you usually do?"

Did he want the truth? I doubted it.  Hell, who really wants to know that the criminal dilettante they've been chasing after thinks of six different ways to die every morning before she gets her ass out of bed? I don't, and I have to deal with her every day and night. That's why I'm good at cons. 
10/25 Direct Link
Rabbitmen.  Every traveler heard of them but they hadn't been seen in the portways for decades.  Now I heard their scratchings in my brain, seeking me out.  Streaks of red and black would flash in front of my eyes as their thought-scratchings got louder. The only info I knew came from Mom, and she was never Ms. Reliable for shit. "Hold your breath.  Don't look straight ahead.  Keep your thoughts dark." So me and Nikki waited until we thought they moved off. Nikki exhaled loudly- idiot- and they grabbed her before I could move.
10/26 Direct Link
I remember being the ugliest girl in the world. It wasn't hard. The other girls in town were blonde and petite with pretty little hands. I was taller, darker, and my hands were anything but small and dainty. By the time I was 12, I was wanting to carve my face off with a razor blade. When I was 13 and had my nose broken for the first time, my mother said "Well at least your brothers will grow up better looking than you." She was right, but that's still a terrible thing to say to your own awkward daughter.
10/27 Direct Link
I guess I don't have it in me to write any fiction today. That's okay.  I've done more than enough plotting and planning for NaNo that my brain probably needs a day off before the 30 days of insanity begins.  So this is just a filler post to bag the daily quota, because coming back later to try to fill it all in would be a real pain in the arse.  Come to think of it, I might have to do that Sunday before the NaNo kick- of party anyway.  Still not sure about the 750.
10/28 Direct Link
Thomas looks at me.  "You're in deep shit when you go back to the States, aren't you?"

"I'm not going back."

"But you're a wanted woman! You've even said that there's no way you're not getting caught!"

I shrug.  "When I'm caught, I'll be dead."

"The cops don't kill people here."

"The cops aren't who's after me," I tell him.  "As far as they can tell, that girl just died of exposure. But my ex-boss knows, and that's what will do me in."

"If the rabbitmen don't get you first."

Being dead isn't a bad option. 
10/29 Direct Link
It's about 48 hours from the start of NaNoWriMo. I still don't feel like I've prepared enough.  Who are Wilcox and Markham, exactly? How is the story going to end around 50,000 words and not halfway before then? And on it goes. I have vastly better notes set aside for "Farsvarn" and look how far I got with that when Caeli set fire to the tavern and assaulted the king's men. Is it too early to say, "Eek"?

Is this the best way to get 100 words? Not really, but I'm so tired that I quit caring.

 
10/30 Direct Link
Fuck politeness.  My brother just got out of the hospital yet again.  This time, the lovely American health care system decided that a disabled guy with multiple health issues, who genuinely NEEDED pain control meds, should instead be locked up and forced to undergo involuntary electroshock therapy instead.  The doctor's visit that determined this took less than ten goddamn minutes.

I work in health care, and holy hell I cannot see why or how they can justify this. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO COMPASSION AND COMPETENCY? Don't even TRY to tell me that this one's on Obama. 
10/31 Direct Link

brother is dying

those four words hurt like five hells

for me and my mom


mom self- destructs now

here we go once more

more despair for us


breathe deep keep it in

don't ever let it show here

explode from within


i so wish

what do i want more

we'd never met


they all want pictures

prettiness nature autumn

i just want to cry


fix me up

if i'm fake enough

you might want


where'd you go

nowhere near here, gone

i'm still here


welcome to hell folks

it's called oklahoma

dustbowls and despair


over and out i'm done