Oct. 13th, 2014 10:07 am
actionreaction: clip art of purple ankh in a red ouroboros on a blue background. ([symbols] ankh & ouroboros)
My name is Pandora Rich and on my birthday this year, I died.

I know. That raises a lot of questions. If I'm dead, how am I still here? How am I still able to tell people my story?

I'll tell you the same thing I was told when I 'woke up' after I flatlined.

Welcome to the Underworld.
actionreaction: phot of typewriter with text "writers write. everyone else makes excuses." ([writing] excuses)
Somehow I missed posting on Monday the 21st. Oh I know, I was off from work and my schedule was thrown off and I just plum forgot. Well I'm backdating this but here's something else I never posted here.

He liked the way her body pressed against his when they danced. He liked the scent of her hair, her skin, her. It infiltrated his senses, filled his nose and mind with dizzying thoughts. Whispers that started quiet, insistent, in the back of his head. They grew louder, taking over before he realized they were there.

He’d hear them later, triumphant, crowing, as his fingers slipped through dark silky hair. As blood stained his fingers, traces smeared on a face full of confusion. There was confusion at the handcuffs going around his wrists, at the sirens outside, and at the body bathed in red at his feet. There was blood everywhere. On his hands, on the walls, the bleached white walls. Blood pooled around that dark colored dress, staining pale shapely legs with crimson.

He could still see her, smell her, sense her, as the squad car took him away.

[personal profile] rabies miiiight remember this from a million years ago on GJ - the prompt was a picture of a man dancing with a woman and for some reason not one person who wrote for that prompt wrote anything bright and happy. There was just something dark in the photo that we all seemed to see.


Dec. 20th, 2012 12:25 pm
actionreaction: text: writers are often individuals with severe control issues ([writing] severe control issues)
So here is the next part, continued from yesterday.

That wasn't even remotely what I expected him to say. "Huh?"

Sahir shifted his weight, and as I was about to scold him again for moving, I realized how quickly his color had come back, how much better he looked. I shook my head, and realized that was a bad idea. I was still dizzy and even a little tired. He let got of my hands, slowly, almost reluctantly. "That's enough," he said quietly, that deep voice of his rumbling. "You've given too much already."

"What are you talking about," I said crossly, more irritated than I should have been.

"You have no idea, do you? Pan, did you ever wonder why you graduated from psychopomp to reaper-in-training so fast? Or did the Council feed you their BS line about how you have such 'great potential'?" He made finger quotes in the air as he spoke and I didn't reply, because that's exactly what they'd told me. I'd been happy to hear it, and now I wondered at the tone in his voice.

He actually looked a little remorseful at his choice of words then. "Ah, they did. Sorry. Well, yeah, you do have potential, but it's not what you think. It may not even be what I think, because I've never seen this before. I said that thing was too strong for me send back. I shouldn't have been able to call it up to start with. But I think I did both because you were there in the circle with me. There's something about your power, Pan. you're not just an ordinary reaper."

"You mean I'm more like you?" I hoped that's what he meant, and not something else. Not...a deathdealer.

He shook his head. "The Council probably thinks so."

"But you don't."

He took a long time in answering. "No, I think you're something the Council hasn't seen in a long time, maybe ever."

I didn't like how long he was taking to get to the frigging point. "What are you talking about? Stop beating around the bush already and just tell me!"

He threw up his hands. "I don't know, Pan! All I know is that you gave me the strength to summon that thing, even though that was an accident. You gave me the strength to send it back, and then you gave me the strength to heal from how much of my own power that took out of me. And you're barely more than a little dizzy. You ever hear of a reaper who could do that?"

I hadn't. Nor a necromancer, nor a deathdealer, and definitely not a mere psychopomp. I flopped down onto the stone floor, grateful to my ample curves for cushioning my landing. What in the name of the afterlife was I?


Dec. 19th, 2012 11:50 am
actionreaction: phot of typewriter with text "writers write. everyone else makes excuses." ([writing] excuses)
And the next bit! I would have posted this with yesterday's, but I didn't have time to finish this part.

Sahir's skin was ashen almost grey under his normally warm brown complexion and it worried me. But what worried me more was the tingling of my skin. It wasn't that buzz that I'd come to recognize when a sould needed to be reaped, but considering how Sahir looked - ironically - like death, I was starting to freak out. Okay yeah reapers and necromancers and even deathdealers and all of us ruled by the Council, weren't exactly among the living, but we weren't dead either. One thing I knew for sure was that we could still die, for real. So it was reasonable for me to be worried that what had just happened had taken too much of of Sahir and that he was not well.

I rested my hand on his forehead, feeling his cool and clammy skin. As soon as I touched him, he stirred, his head shifting towards me, and a sound rumbling in his throat. A few seconds more and he opened his eyes, trying to focus. When he saw me there, he smiled, weakly, and my heart skipped a beat. It wasn't just because he was awake. "Pan," he croaked. "What...happened?"

He sounded as terrible as he looked. I didn't move my hand. "That...thing you summoned. It was really strong. It almost broke through the circle," I explained, shivering as I remembered it. That thing had made this horrific hissing noise as it dissipated, its angry red eyes glaring at Sahir. I worried that it would take any opportunity it could to come back for him. Us.

Sahir struggled to sit up and with a frown I held him down where he was. "Don't move, jackass, you're almost dead. You look like hell and the more you move the more you make my skin buzz okay?" I tried to sound nonchalant and joking about it, but my voice shook and Sahir squinted at him, those striking eyes of his faded and tired.

"How did it- did I make it go away?" He seemed really confused, and his hand moved, reaching for mine. I swallowed a lump in my throat and let him take it. His hand was cool, slightly clammy but not ice cold. I wanted to just warm him up and wow, this was not the right time to be thinking like that.

"Yeah. You...looked like you were having a really hard time, like it was too strong.."

He sat up then, so quickly I nearly fell over. "It was. It was too strong for me. I know what that thing was and there's no way I could have summoned it, much less sent it back alone. Something else, no someone else helped." He stared at me color coming back into his skin as he held both my hands now. He looked like he was feeling better, meanwhile I was getting a little dizzy from him just staring at me like that, so close. "Pan?"


"I think I know why the Council picked me to train you."


Dec. 18th, 2012 02:12 pm
actionreaction: phot of typewriter with text "writers write. everyone else makes excuses." ([writing] excuses)
Oh hey managed to squeeze this out! I have the next segment started but not finished yet, so you just get a teaser.

The thing Sahir had called up was not human. If it had been once, it was so far removed from humanity that I couldn't begin to connect it. It was tall, over seven feet easy, with shiny grey skin, an oversized head, four arms, and a tail. But what really terrified me was Sahir's response. He was shaking and I didn't think it was from fear. I think it was from exertion. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead and he struggled- and then I realized why. The thing was snarling the tendrils it had for hair whipping back and forth, near to our protective circle, but not crossing it. It couldn't, because Sahir was using every ounce of his will power to keep it at bay.

Unsure of what else to do, I tightened my fist around the coin and laid that hand on Sahir's shoulder. Then I guess I sort of hoped, prayed, willed Sahir to be strong enough to send that thing back. There was sudden gasp from him and I could feel power pouring out of him, crashing into the creature like waves in the fury of a storm. It shrieked, a horrible noise that could have woken the dead, and considering what we were, I was afraid it actually could do that. But nothing surfaced and the creatures two a step back, then another, screaming in agony until it finally disappeared the same way it appeared.

Sahir immediately slumped to the ground, no longer shaking. In fact, he wasn't even moving.

PS I see what you did there, iTunes.
actionreaction: phot of typewriter with text "writers write. everyone else makes excuses." ([writing] excuses)
So I actually started writing this yesterday, for [personal profile] yabamena and "finished it" today. That's in quotes because haha this scene isn't even done, much less the story as a whole.

Sahir? Can you show me what it is you do? )

I have a better idea where this particular scene and some overall character development is going now.
actionreaction: text: we do not write because we want to. we write because we have to. [Somerset Maugham] ([quote] we write because)
I'm having a brain-splodey kind of day. Did some housekeeping on a few different things, came up with a better idea for February's Less Than Three anthology (I had been thinking pen-pals, but I'm going with secret admirer instead. Still epistolary fiction though so yay), and actually had to force my brain to pick one thing to write so I wasn't all over the place. This is what I went with.

I still wasn't really used all of this. )

Still not 100% sure of the direction of this, but then, I still haven't outlined it at all. Just a bunch of free-form writing and braindumps. I like the direction it's going in though.
actionreaction: text: writers are often individuals with severe control issues ([writing] severe control issues)
So happy to get back to this! I don't know why it's crawled into my brain and died but I know better than to fight it.

Truth be told, Angus was angry at Sinead. )

Jeebus I have lost the ability to just write short snippets of this thing.
actionreaction: mini icons of coffee, computer, pens and paper. text: can't feel my brain ([writing] can't feel my brain)
One day I will actually have to outline this series better so I know what is actually happening >.>

Julia had heard the phrase said before: it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you. It was true. In that circumstance, it was being aware and being prepared. The low growls in the distance were a warning. They weren't coming from either Terry or Nico, and briefly she wondered when she got to the point where she could tell one wolf's howl apart from another's. Even the twins sounded different to her, Nico's howl being a little deeper and wilder, Terry's being softer, and almost recognizable as vaguely human. These cries were were even more wild than Nico's.

Julia leaped over fallen branches with the kind of ease that didn't come naturally for a human, but she was a runner and years of training had given her speed above and beyond normal people. It would help, but she wasn't sure it was enough. They were after her, and she was sure they wouldn't stop until she - or they - were dead.

Which was why she was stunned when she put on another burst of speed, ducking and dodging through the trees as well as they were, better than, since she'd had a head start. Somehow, she, an ordinary human, was outrunning werewolves out for her blood. It was only when she made it into the safety of her own mountain-ash and wolfsbane-lined room, did she relax enough to wonder at the strangeness of it.

Who were they? Why were then after her? And how had she managed to outrun them.

She balled her hands into fists. Somehow, she knew Nico and Terry would have the answers, and if Terry wouldn't tell her, then Nico would.

It was time to find out everything that they were keeping from her.
actionreaction: text: we do not write because we want to. we write because we have to. [Somerset Maugham] ([quote] we write because)
This pretty much follows this. This came out longer than expected so to save your friends pages (who even reads this anyway?) behind a cut it goes.

Sinead should have planned better. )

Interesting what happens when you write with no outline, not even much of an idea. Now I know where this is going though. Oh Sinead.
actionreaction: phot of typewriter with text "writers write. everyone else makes excuses." ([writing] excuses)
I seem to really lean towards writing about Corvus and Mars with these prompts and today is no exception.

In the days before Mars, when he'd first been cursed, Corvus spent a lot of time in his bird form, wondering how much he would pay, what he would sacrifice to get his freedom back. Anaximander had him under control - mostly. He could force Corvus into that shape, keep him from being hum, and make him do his bidding, but he couldn't break Corvus's will. One hundred years later and Corvus still fought back before he did what he was commanded. Like he'd fought over Mars.

He didn't mean to let on that Mars meant something to him, but after decades of refusing to get close to anyone, suddenly cozying up to someone new was a giant red flag to Anaximander. It meant Mars was different. Mars was special. Corvus had been drawn to him, and Anaximander wanted to know why. In his human form Corvus stepped out of the shower, towel wrapped around his waist, and wiped the mirror clear. On his chest above his heart was what looked like a tattoo, that of a bird in a cage. Corvus passed a hand over it and sighed, the sound deep as though he'd pulled it up from his toes and dragged it through hell before issuing it from his mouth.

He could only hope that the price of his freedom wasn't Mars's life. If it was, he'd rather remain in that cage for eternity.

Writing about Corvus gives me feels.
actionreaction: phot of garbage can full of paper and with a typerwiter in it. text: don't give up ([writing] never give up)
I'm so happy I managed to write something today. I considered taking the day off because it was a holiday, but I didn't want to lose my groove. Anyway, this pretty much follows this.

Corvus spent the entire night outside of Mars's window. He didn't sleep. Instead he watched Mars and he watched the hummingbird. It took him only a little while to realize that the bird was watching them both. Its attention was split between the young man tangled in his sheets and the large black bird keeping watch. It was almost as though the humming bird wasn't here just for Mars.

Corvus cocked his head, staring at the bright and tiny green bird that watched him back. Its small eyes were pools of secrets of knowledge Corvus yearned for even a hint at. He cawed softly at the hummingbird as if worried the sound of his voice would wake Mars. The hummingbird made no reply, instead glanced meaningfully from Corvus to Mars and back.

Frustration filled Corvus. What was that supposed to mean? Yes he knew he and Mars were connected somehow. It was the reason Corvus moved to Portland, the reason behind that little pull he got that told him something was going to happen. Only this time it had been a huge pull and Corvus had no idea why. Not until Anaximander got himself involved again.

Now Mars's life was in danger and Corvus was swallowing guilt, thinking it was his fault. The hummingbird made a strangely sympathetic sound, ruffled its wings and took to the air. It had imparted whatever message it wanted to send. It was up to Corvus to figure out its meaning. Until then, until he could turn back to human form, he was going to keep an eye on Mars.
actionreaction: mini icons of coffee, computer, pens and paper. text: can't feel my brain ([writing] can't feel my brain)
So this came out of nowhere again. I was drawn to the photo that prompted this one and next thing I knew I was writing about characters I didn't know but were connected to ones I know very well and have written about for years. Funny how that happens.
The seal meant nothing to most people who walked by. Some assumed it was some long-defunct ironworks company that had left its mark to be remembered - or forgotten - by future generations. People walked on in, children jumped on it, and drunks vomited on the Celtic knotwork that didn't really stand out there in the alleyway. It didn't matter if it was light or dark out. It wasn't important. It wasn't noticed.

Unless you knew what it was you were looking for. Sinead Callaghan did. Her parents had told her stories, some ranging back to a time when one couldn't believe they were even always. Well, perhaps her father hadn't been, not that long ago. But they, her parents weren't normal, and neither was Sinead. That abnormality is why she hung back from the iron workings and looked to her friend Angus instead. "Please, Angus. It's iron. Might be cold iron. You know I can't."

It was new for Angus. Sinead had only recently told him what she was and his head was still spinning from the shock of it. It made him wonder about the rest of the Callaghan family, not just Sinead's parents. It made him wonder about himself. He crouched by the seal, now realizing it was a grate, one that Sinead somehow knew how to open.

"Yeah, hold it there, in the upper left corner, then twist about a quarter turn clockwise and push." Angus followed the instructions, pushing his auburn hair out of his eyes. He needed a haircut. Again. Sinead directions got increasingly complicated and Angus briefly wondered why a faery who couldn't even touch this seal wanted to go where it led. But he didn't ask. He knew it had to do with her parents. Something or someone down here had answers for her.

He knew what kind of fairy she was: her desire to fly, her ability to go unseen, her clear affinity with the very air: she was a sylph. He dreamed of her often flying through the cold winter night sky, and it was those dreams that kept him by her side when she revealed the truth to him. He just didn't know how he knew to dream it, what his connection to her really was. He tugged opened the grate and slipped in first, invisible thanks to Sinead's glamour. Maybe down below they'd find answers not just for her, but for him as well.

prompted by this picture.
actionreaction: photo of arthur and eames from inception. text: keep calm and dream bigger darling ([inception] keep calm and dream bigger)
So did another prompt today and this one was "first to arrive" and this went...absolutely nowhere I expected. At all. What. Also, don't read this before bed. It's a little creepy.

The room was dark, silent, and almost unwelcoming when I arrived. Windows were still shuttered, places weren't set, and the overall atmosphere was foreboding. I checked my watched. I was early, sure, but this wasn't a simple case of me being the first to arrive. No I was either in the wrong place entirely...

Or it had happened again.

A cold shiver ran up my arm as I turned around, waiting for the temperature to drop, waiting for my breath to become visible. Waiting for the spirits to walk. At the far end of the room was a door. Maybe it led to a kitchen or pantry, or even down to a cellar. Through it, silent and pale, nearly translucent, came a figure dressed in what was once servant's clothing. It still looked neatly pressed, crisp and perfectly in place, down to the cap on the maid's dark hair. Her face was serious, solemn, and somewhat plain, not at all remarkable.

Then she turned and I stumbled back, stifling a scream. Her face was half gone, flesh and skin peeled or rotted back to show teeth and bone. Her entire left check was missing, her left eye drooping slighting into the cavity. The maid noticed me then and not for the first time, I wished that the dead couldn't see me, that they didn't need me. I stepped back, into something warm and living, and the scream I'd been holding back erupted.

"Pan, whoa, it's just me! You okay?" Large hands settled on my shoulders as I recognized the voice.

"Dammit, Sahir! Warn me before you creep up on me like that!" I glared at him, punching him hard on the shoulder. I looked back towards the maid, but the spirit was gone, disappeared as if she hadn't been there at all.

"Ow!" Sahir rubbed his arm and glared right back, but then he noticed by expression. "Happened again?" His voice was calm and quiet as his other hand slipped down my shoulder to my hand. "Tell me about it."

I have no idea where I'm going with this.

EDIT: Also, changed my layout. I needed something less busy because it was too distracting.
actionreaction: photo of two different styles of keyboards. text: choose your weapon ([writing] choose your weapon)
I just wanted to write something so I went looking for a prompt, and found one in the form of a hummingbird. This is what I got.

Corvus watched the hummingbird with shiny dark eyes from where he perched on the roof of the building. He'd come to watch Mars, like he frequently did, but the young man was asleep, tangled in his sheets, and lost in his dreams. Corvus hoped he was in those dreams, since he couldn't be with Mars right now. It was Anaximander's doing. Corvus was spending the night trapped his in bird form because of the sorcerer's whim, and that meant watching Mars from afar.

But tonight, there was a hummingbird and that caught Corvus's attention immediately. It was out of place, just as he was, and he knew it wasn't a coincidence. Two bird connected to life and death outside one young man's window couldn't be a coincidence. But where Corvus was a harbinger and a young man trapped in a bird's form, the hummingbird was resurrection. It was green, it was life, it was hope. But it was fragile, delicate, just as thin as the hope Corvus had for Mars.

But if there was one thing he would cling to, it was this sign. A hummingbird could mean that Mars might survive this after all.


actionreaction: text: not so much writing as making a mess with a pen (Default)

December 2016




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