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First blog post

Well! I took a deep breath and jumped.

This is my very first blog. I’m kind of nervous and excited to get this started.

I’ve been writing stories on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts forum every week for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to take their prompts, no matter how weird or specific, and turn them into two or three completely different stories. I’ve written stories on there that I normally wouldn’t have considered writing – science fiction stories, vampire stories, and so on. My fellow forumites, who are awesome writers, have helped me with their suggestions and comments to grow as a writer.

So, after much mental fidgeting and nail biting, I finally decided to create this blog to give my prompt stories a proper home.

Hope you enjoy them!

AK

Uncanny Valley

Somewhere in the heart of the land is a place where sky is a distant reality. For there is no sky here. If you look up, you will see roughened stone, as hard as granite and as white as Antarctic snow. Its surface is eerily reminiscent of the ocean frozen during a storm.

Such a sky is supported by impossibly wide, impossibly thick rock formations. They are so wide they are unfathomable. They beggar any attempt at description. They seem to be made of the same substance as the “sky”. And for most of that place, those formations are the only sight to be seen.

The ground is uneven and rocky.

All is still and gray.

The air smells like fresh chalk dust. Not the worst possible smell. Some might say it’s bittersweet and nostalgic. But it is a tiring smell after one has walked through so many miles of smelling nothing else.

But if you are patient, if you can brave the chalk scent and the pervading silence, if you can keep walking onward, you will be rewarded.

No one knows how many miles it takes to get there. The distance is always changing, never remaining the same. Some say that it’s because the place isn’t real. It’s a hallucination or a most uncommon dream.

Whatever the case may be, if you continue walking through the silence, you will reach the shore of a lake. Some say it’s an ocean. Some say it’s merely a pond, a puddle, a spot of water in the landscape.

The lake is safe and dangerous, easy and hard to cross.

Only one person at a time can cross it. Two at a time is simply not allowed.

Cross the lake and see it.

Cross the lake and you will see it.

A valley lush with green and vibrant with life. Delicate deer run through the meadows. Colorful birds sing like wind chimes, sing like bells, sing like angels, sing like Heaven’s light. Flowers bloom with audacious glory.

If you choose to seek this fabled land, be sure to do it before December 27. For on December 27, the land shifts and turns and switches places with the sky. What was once up is now down and what was down is now up. What was once the sky melts into a storm-tossed ocean, crashing and raging against its boundaries. What was once the ground becomes a world out of reach. The deer somehow adjust to living upside down. They romp and run and live as if it were the most average day thing. The trees grow. The flowers bloom….all upside down.

All upside down until March 26. Then, the ocean freezes and the storm ceases. The ground shifts and reality returns to how it should be. The frozen ocean is the sky and the grass is the ground.

So? What do you think? Do you want to seek out this world with me?

https://caroljforrester.com/2022/01/01/speculative-fiction-prompt-january-2022/#more-16840

Hansel Lost — An Illusion Hidden By The Lack Of Light.

It was all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. At least, that’s what he told himself over and over. He said it so many times his words tangled into something that had no meaning. “It all light lack illusion elucidate hidden was an all the by light illusion all was it light of light lack of lack lackerty hidden illusion it an it all it was it by it the…”

Gretel’s voice called to him again.

He shivered in the cold. “Illusion lack light light by illusion all by light.”

“Hansel.” Her voice was just as how he’d remembered it. Young and sweet and shimmery. Like gold dust. Like dust motes. Like snow.

“Illusion.” His shivering worsened. “Light illusion cavalcade cold snow light cold snow lack light.”

The snow crunched under his boots. It sounded like ice. It sounded like bones.

It sounded like her bones being devoured by the witch woman’s teeth.

“Not Gretel. Can’t be Gretel. It is an illusion. It is all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. Not Gretel. Not her. Can’t be her.”

“Haaaaaaanselllllllllllllllllllll…”

He kept walking forward. Forward to the sound of her voice. Forward to whatever was using her voice. “Illusin. Illusion. Ill. Ooo. Shun. Not real. It is all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. The lack of light. The lack of light. The lack of—-”

Light burst into life ahead of him.

He ran to it. The ground crunched a warning with every step. Il…lu…sion. Il….lu…sion. But Hansel did not heed his own warnings. Nor did he heed the ground’s.

He ran forward to his dead sister’s voice.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/01/01/january-2022-writing-prompts/

Merry Christmas!!

Author’s Note: Clarity and Mariposa are characters that I created for an RP on Discord. He was supposed to be an evil MirrorFolk of Isellta and be the complete opposite of everything that Isellta is. I had such wonderful plans for him. He, however, came out as an absolute fluffball who goes on an amazing self-discovery character arc. He has grown so much from his starting point. 

So, I decided to introduce him over here in a small Christmas story starring him.

(Danadad and Clarissa are not my characters. They belong to their own creator — ballofflame on the NaNoWriMo forums. Mart belongs to fionaH on the NaNoWriMo forums)

****************************************************

The night was crisp and clear. The stars were on full display. And there was just a light layer of snow on the ground.

Clarity couldn’t remember being so cold before. The mirrored woods were not in a jungle zone, but he had no memory of it ever snowing there. And, of course, Danadad’s world was a desert. So, that was that.

He’d dressed in his warmest clothes, complete with a poofy winter coat that fwipped and whfffted with every movement of his arms. He’d also sent Mariposa, his familiar, into his shoulder to help keep her warm.

Mariposa was a white, fluffy, flying bunny with long ears, blue jay colored wings, and a long tail with a tufted tip. She’d come to life in Danadad’s world. So, she had never been exposed to cold weather at all. Clarity had no idea how well she’d handle it. So, he’d told her to stay in his shoulder until he said she could come out.

To be honest, he had no idea how she was able to go in and out of his shoulder. The best he could figure was it was similar to him being able to pull his wings in and out of his back. Maybe it was the same kind of magic. Or somehow related. It was something he’d have to read up on when he returned home.

He shivered as he walked up Raven’s driveway.

<What’s wrong, Clarity? You’ve been worried ever since we left Danadad’s world.> Her voice was an expressive trill, but he could hear her words inside his head because of their familiar-wizard bond.

He sighed. “I’m not worried. Just nervous. It’s silly for me to be so nervous. They were the ones who invited me here for Christmas. Still. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Isellta and I only know his friends from his memories. I don’t really know them as me and they don’t really know me as me.” He frowned. “I’m not sure if that really made sense.”

<Makes sense to me. Are you worried they won’t like you?>

He nodded.

<Why wouldn’t they like you?>

Clarity stopped in the middle of the driveway to consider how to answer that question. It seemed simple enough to do, but the answer was a complex tangle of feelings and fears. He wasn’t sure how to start untangling them. “I guess…I guess because I look like Isellta, but I’m not really him. They might see me and be creeped out. Or they might see me as some sort of imposter who wants to take Isellta’s place.”

An old memory surfaced, but its sharp edges had been dulled by time and by love. It couldn’t stab and pierce him the way it once did. Nor could it break and shatter him. The only thing it could do was just exist amidst dust and mental mothballs.

“But I am not Mart. And I am not Isellta. I am me. No matter how I look and sound, I want them to see me as me. Just as Clarity.”

<And so they will.>

“I hope so.”

<They will.>

Clarity smiled and resumed his journey up the driveway. “I’ll say this much for sure: It’s going to be weird to actually meet them after seeing them only in Isellta’s memories.” His large, black wings fluttered. “I’m going to meet Robin, Ambrose, Raven, Jay, Maelin, and I don’t even know who else!”

Mariposa trilled happily inside his mind.

Clarity stopped at the front door, took a deep breath, and rang the doorbell. “Who do you suppose will answer the door? Raven, I guess. It is his house. Right? Or maybe Isellta will. That would be nice. That would diffuse and kill any awkwardness that—“

The front door opened. A young man stood on the other side.

It was not Isellta.

The young man was at least 25 years old with tossled brown hair and one brown eye. A scar ran from the middle of his forehead, through his right eyebrow, through his eyelid and eye, down his face, and all the way under his jaw. Yet, despite that hard to miss scar, he had a good face. He was dressed in a simple Henley shirt, black slacks and shoes, and a black vest with sequined candy canes all over it.

I know him, Mariposa. Clarity mentally projected to his familiar. I KNOW him. This is Isellta’s Robin! 

<Well, you should introduce yourself before this becomes super awkward.>

Right. “Um, hi. I’m—“

“Clarity. I know.” Robin smiled. “It’s amazin’ how much you look like my ‘sellta.”

“Well, I am his reflection. But I’m more than that. I’m a MirrorFolk of the mirrored woods. And I am me. I am Clarity.”

Robin nodded. “I know. ‘sellta told me all about you.”

<Clarity? Can I come out now? I want to meet him too.>

Sure!

Mariposa emerged from his shoulder as easily and as natural as can be. She flew up to the top of Clarity’s head and perched up there. She looked at Robin and trilled her approval.

Robin looked at her with curiosity and wonder. “And you’re—?”

<Mariposa. I’m Clarity’s familiar, friend, and companion.>

“Famil’ar, huh? Sounds like there’s a good, long story ’bout you.”

Mariposa sparkled. <Actually, there is.>

Robin grinned. “I can’t wait to hear it all.”

Clarity nervously bit his lower lip before asking, “Do you mind me being here? After all, when I left the mirrored woods, I trapped Isellta in my world and tried to take his place.”

“I know. Like I said, ‘sellta told me ev’rythin’ about you.” His grin softened into a smile. “But he don’t hold it against you, e’en though he could. But he don’t. If he ain’t gonna hold a grudge ’bout it, I sure ain’t gonna be no grudge-holder.” 

Isellta came outside, dressed in a red turtleneck and slacks combo. Fluffy white trim decorated the collar and cuffs. His face lit up when he saw their visitor. “Clarity!” He rushed forward and hugged him.

Clarity hugged him in return. 

“Oh! It’s been so long!”

“Far too long!”

Isellta released him and just beamed. “How are you doing?”

“Very well. I’ve settled down in Danadad’s world with Clarissa and….” Clarity’s wings fluttered. “Oh, Isellta! I have so much I want to tell you about. So many things!”

Isellta took his hands. “Then, come inside. I’ll introduce you to everyone and you can tell me about everything.”

“Okay!”

Clarity released Isellta’s hands and went inside. Mariposa hopped off his head and flew around to investigate the foyer. 

***

Robin embraced Isellta on the front porch. “For the record, I weren’t fooled at all. I knew he wasn’t you.”

Isellta smiled. “Well, you had just seen me in the kitchen. There’s no way I could have changed my clothes that quickly and teleported myself to the front door in that small amount of time.”

Robin laughed. “True. But it’s more’n that and whole lot simpler than that. I know you, ‘sellta. I’d recognize you in a whole crew and clan of Isellta wannabes, clones, and impersonators. I’d see you. Just you. And he ain’t you. It ain’t somethin’ I can pinpoint, like the exact color of your hair or the shape of your lips. It’s somethin’ I feel inside.” He laid his hand above his own heart. “Right here. Somethin’ that tells me ‘This is my ‘sellta. This one right here.'”

“You didn’t feel that with Clarity?”

Robin shook his head. “Just you. Only you.”

Isellta looped his arms around Robin’s neck. “I love you so much.” He kissed him, a sweet, gentle kiss. “Merry Christmas, my Robin.”

Love and deep affection showed plain in Robin’s eyes. “Merry Christmas, ‘sellta.”

The Daily Spur Presents….Two Foals Meeting

It had been a long time.
Such a long time coming.
Coming and going.
Leaving and returning.

So many times we came close
So close to being so close.
But time would always get in our way.
Time would separate us.
Tear us apart.

And we’d be apart
For far too long
Before finding each other
Once again.

This time.
I found you.
Our lives were young.
The world was so new.

And I found you.
And I knew you.
You knew me too.

Though our forms were so different.
Different from what they usually were.
I knew you.
And you.
You remembered us.

I could see it in your large dark eyes.
The familiarity.
The memories.
Memories of all of our lifetimes.

And we were together.
For this one last lifetime.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2021/12/23/two-foals/

A Penny For…

She gave me a penny for my thoughts.
I gave her a quarter for her time.
She gave me a nickel for my smile.
I gave her a half-dollar for her lies.

And how she lied.
She was a master at it.
Her lies felt like truth.
Her truth felt like lies.

I never knew where I stood with her.
Maybe I never will.

But she gave me a penny for her thoughts.
She gave me nothing but lies.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2021/11/01/november-2021-writing-prompts/

Becoming A Prisoner One More Time

I shudder at the thought of becoming a prisoner again.

I had been imprisoned before. Locked away with no hope of escape. I’d been set free through a ridiculous twist of fate. The sort of twist that was unlikely to repeat itself. 

I look at the man standing before me. He’s waiting for my willing surrender. I can’t. I won’t. My freedom is too precious to me. I can’t be imprisoned again. I won’t.

But then, I look at her. I see her fear. If I do not surrender myself to that man, he will take her away. I can’t let that happen. She is far too precious to me.

I really don’t have a choice in the matter.

I close my eyes and shudder at the thought of being a prisoner again.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2021/11/01/november-2021-writing-prompts/

A Damsel In Distress

Raven was a damsel and she was in legitimate distress.

Raven looked down at the frilly princess dress in deep disapproval. The plunging neckline would have been quite daring if he were a she. He was not in fact a she. “I hardly understand the reason for this cross-dressing scenario.”

Author chose to ignore Raven’s complaint.

Every day, Raven stood  before the tower window with her delicate chin resting in the palm of her hand. Her elbow perched like a swan on the window sill.

Raven shook his head at the above sentence. “My elbow is naught like a swan. At any rate, I do believe that is not the correct simile. Swans do not perch on window sills.” He stood up straight and messed with getting the skirt into decent order. “Tsk! So wrinkly. May I have a change of clothes so that I may iron this dress?”

Author did not give Raven a change of clothes or an iron for that matter.

She sighed and sighed, awaiting her true love’s arrival. She knew that he would come, astride a gallant horse of pristine white goodness and gleam. “Oh, my heart! Oh, my love! How I doth pine mightily for thee!”

Raven looked out the window. “I do not see the need to wait for anyone to rescue me. The ground is not that far down. I could make the jump and land easily.”

Author swats the back of Raven’s head. 

But, alas, every day came and went and her true love did not arrive. Raven did not sleep or eat or drink, so eagerly did she await her love.

“Pardon me, but I have no interest in starving myself needlessly.” He climbed into the window.

Wait. What are you doing???

“It ought to be quite clear what I am doing. I am leaving.”

But that’s not how this story goes! You’re a damsel in distress! You’re supposed to pine and wait and—

Raven smiled. “Perhaps I would do that….if I were a damsel.” He removed the bodice and the skirt and dropped them on the tower’s floor.

Don’t you dare!

He stood in his delicate, lace-edged pantaloons and high-heels. He looked at the Author and defiantly kicked off the shoes off into the distance.

I ORDER YOU TO STAY!

“I would obey you, if I were a water-blooded damsel. I would obey you quite willingly, if this were my story. Yet, this is not my story.” He jumped out the window.

………………………..Fine.

Raven landed in a graceful tumble, twisting her ankle in the process.

“That is just uncalled for spitefulness.” Raven said as he rubbed his ankle.

Then, it happened. A glorious, white stallion with hair like ribbons of milk and silk and every finery imaginable approached. Riding on the steed’s back was a noble knight. His eyes were black opals, iridescent with glints of color. His hair—rippling ebony blowing wildly in the wind.

Raven raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Ambrose?”

Ambrose got off the horse. “Yeah, it’s me. Not quite how I was planning to spend this Saturday afternoon, but whatever.”

The noble knight stretched his hand to the fair and lovely Raven. “Please, my dear lady. Allow me to assist you.”

Ambrose ignored the Author. “So, since I got this horse and you seem to be injured, we might as well get you up on its back.”

“Indeed. Please be careful, sir.”

“Of course. I am always careful.”

Raven fell into her rescuer’s arms. “Oh, my love. Take me away from this place.”

The noble knight gazed at her with shimmering love. “Oh, have no fears, my lady fair. I shall do so. But first permit me to bestow a kiss upon your full and trembling lips.”

Raven gave the Author such a look. “No.” He climbed onto the back of the horse without Ambrose’s assistance.

The noble knight crept up onto the saddle and took the reins into his masculine, muscular hands.

“Muscular, huh?”

Yes. Muscular. Muscular hands are attractive.

Ambrose smirked. “Whatever floats your boat, lady.” He patted the side of the horse’s neck. “Come on, Beulah. Let’s get out of here, before she throws any more weird descriptors at me.”

The horse was only too happy to oblige.

And so the fair damsel Raven rode off into the sunset, embracing her knight’s expansive chest and whispering sweet—-

“NO.” Ambrose and Raven said in unison before disappearing over the horizon.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2021/10/01/october-2021-writing-prompts/

Her Eyes

Her eyes
Blue as the ocean
Clear as the sky
Vibrant and expressive.

She looked at him.
He was brown and green
Like trees and grass.
And she loved him.

But she could not speak her love.
Her lips were sealed.
Her voice closed tight.

All she could do was look at him.
Look at him and hope that he would see
Everything she wanted to say.

The words were there.
Her hope.
Her love.
Her longing to make herself known.

All he had to do was look into her eyes.
Her eyes would tell him everything that she wanted to say.
And he would hear it all
If only he just looked.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2021/10/01/october-2021-writing-prompts/

Created For His Pleasure

Syl’yanna was created for Prince Herrin’s pleasure.

He loved pretty things.
So, they made her very pretty.

He loved soft, silky hair.
So, they gave her hair that felt like the softest silk.

He loved blue eyes.
So, they made her eyes the exact shade of Monday blues.

Every detail that he loved,
They made sure Syl’yanna possessed.

But they didn’t know.
Because Prince Herrin never said.
Because Prince Herrin never wanted to admit.

They made Syl’yanna everything he could love.
Everything he’d find attractive.

But Prince Herrin was not attracted to Syl’yanna.
He could not love her.
For his heart refused to turn that way.

But he did not turn her away.
He let Syl’yanna stay with him.

They became good friends.
In time, she became his trusted friend and counselor.
Syl’yanna became the one he trusted more than anyone else.

And Syl’yanna was happy.
For though they had created her for his pleasure,
They had given no thought at all to her pleasure.
So, she had no interest at all in such things.

It made her happy to be his friend and to be the one he trusted.
She did not need anything more than that.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2021/10/01/october-2021-writing-prompts/