Tuesday, September 27, 2011


An entry for a contest at Figment.Com (my profile's under the "Writing links" sidebar). The prompt was this: write a prequel for an existing fairy tale. I chose Snow White. :) 

"Looking-glass," Adriane whispered, tracing a path down the ornate silver design carved down the side of the frame. "My friend." Slowly, she dragged her finger back up. It was a truly exquisite piece of art. The delicate workmanship, the purest of gems… Work truly befitting the masterful dwarfs who had sold this to her mother. Diamond studs on emerald branches, a bronze trunk twisting downwards. What a beautifully crafted apple tree. "Listen to me! You can hear me, can't you? Mother said you were magical, and she never lies."

Silence answered her.

"Lied," Adriane amended softly. "She never lied." Was it the mirror or her fingers that gave a slight tremble?

Still there was no answer. She pressed a finger against a diamond apple, digging her fingernail into the space between the gem and the emerald. A threat. "Answer me. I know you can hear me perfectly."
Distantly in the mirror, a faraway fog shifted behind Adriane's image in the glass.

"Come out!" Adriane hissed.

Instantly the mirror darkened to ebony black, like a solid wall of obsidian, and the fog which had lingered in the background rushed forward and solidified into a ghost-like face. But in contrast to its former reflection of Adriane's beautiful face, the ghost’s face looked decaying and shriveled—its cheeks drawn tight over bone, its sunken eyes like two depressions. "What," it breathed huskily, "do you want?"

Adriane stared at the mirror, eyes narrow with disbelief. “Mother told me you’d show my true reflection.”

The fog trembled under the gauzy skin of its face. "I am as you are to me."

“What?” Her face darkened. “Don’t play with me, Looking-glass.”

I am as you are to me,” it repeated.

For a moment, Adriane leveled a glare at the decrepit face. Her fingernails dug crescents into the palms of her hands. “You liar,” Adriane whispered, with a furious gleam in her eyes. “You liar. The king himself picked me! I am the most beautiful, fairest woman in this kingdom, and—and my mother told me I am. You’re just a looking-glass! What would you know about beauty?”

Adriane twisted her fingernail between the studded diamond apple and the emerald branch. “I am your master. I am the Queen of this land. Do you realize that if I wanted to, I could order the guards to smash you into a hundred shards?” The diamond gem was nearly wrenched out of its position.

The fog writhed violently, disintegrating the face into a thousand white particles. Slowly, they weaved together again – this time not into a wrinkled old woman’s face, but a face carefully wiped clean of any distinguishing features.

“Better,” Adriane allowed, though she did not pull away her fingernail from the mirror’s apple tree. “Now, Looking-glass: who in this land is fairest of all?”

The face said nothing.

“I said, who in this land is fairest of all?”

The fingernail dug in further, tearing the apple nearly out of its socket. The fog shook and abandoned the shape of the face, melting into a murky gray mist at the bottom of the mirror. “You are,” a weak, tiny voice choked.

Adriane clenched the sides of the mirror, digging her fingernails into the sides of the mirror. “I can’t hear you!” she snapped.

YOU ARE!” a thousand tiny voices screamed.

Adriane slowly released her breath, calming down. “Yes,” she murmured, leaning back in satisfaction and finally pulling her hands away from the mirror. “I am the fairest, aren’t I?”

Still quivering, the fog faded away, the ebony black disappeared, and the Queen could see her beautiful reflection again.

Once upon a time, a girl with snow-white skin and ebony hair entered the room.

“Oh! I didn’t know Step-Mum had a looking-glass,” a small girl said cheerfully. “And it’s such a nice one, too! Why’d she hide it away?” She gasped. “Maybe it’s—magical?” Tilting her head, she scrutinized the mirror carefully. “’Scuse me. Are you a magic looking-glass?”

Hesitantly, the mirror faded to black and the fog drifted into view, examining her. The small girl was staring curiously. Kindly. Innocently.

The fog became a beautiful young girl’s face, which smiled shyly and said, “I am as you are to me, O Fairest One.”

From behind a curtain, the Queen felt a furious fire lick away at the edges of her heart.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Prompt was to put a favorite literary character in Walmart, so naturally, I picked Sherlock Holmes. :)


"Are you quite certain that he came here, Holmes?" Watson shifted hesitantly from foot to foot. "I do not doubt your deductive skills, but this strange building cannot, it seems to me, be any sort of a warehouse."

"Sorry," a mother said as she bumped into his shoulder while pushing past him. Watson decided she must have possessed some extraordinary strength and agility, to carry two children in her arms, push a stroller, carry four shopping bags and maintain normal walking speed. Either that, or it was that mysterious "mother strength," as Mary was inclined to call it. Holmes, of course, did not acknowledge such an unscientific force.

"I cannot be surer," Holmes replied, waving a dismissive hand and eyeing the various brightly-colored food items with a disdainful eye. "I an informed that our good man has entered into this establishment, and as... strange as it may appear, he is a very sly man; although not quite, perhaps, as clever as I am. He would have picked the most expansive shop with the most number of people inside, so as to hide well. The gaudy merchandise is only another reason."

"Pardon me--he has a reason for this..." Words failed Watson as he motioned to the eye-wrenching labels and cage of neon rubber balls.

"He means to distract, inundate, or repulse us," Holmes said, before adding wryly, "I cannot say that he has not done a fair job."


"I did not realize England could produce such an extensive selection of children's toys," Watson remarked in awe.

"We have only walked two aisles," Holmes said, "and really, Watson. Your assumptions have misled you again. We are currently in the United States of America."

"What!" cried Watson, astonished. "America!"

"You must have heard the immediately recognizeable American accent and noticed the subtle switch from English grammar and spelling to American spelling in this text," Holmes explained mildly. "It must be excused. The author is not, after all, as competent a writer as our Doyle."

"Spelling! America!" Watson repeated. "And -- author!"

"Do not dwell on such a subject too long, Watson. I am afraid it may be too much for you to handle."


"Watson! Have you realized what an invaluable tool this 'laptop' is? With it I shall be able to access such a world of information that I have not been able to before. I am told that a man in the furthest corner of the Asian countries may send an 'e-mail' to a man in England in nearly no time at all! One with no knowledge of all could rise of the height of knowledge by reading on the 'Internet'! Why have I not heard of this before?"

"I -- I cannot be sure..."

"I must have it at once. Take that 'camera,' too; I'll need that as well."

"I... camera?"


"Sorry, we don't take English money," the cashier apologized, handing the money back.

"Pounds," Holmes replied shortly. "English pounds sterling."


Holmes' expression cooled. "You might begin to save money if you did not allow yourself the pleasure and luxury of cocaine and cigarettes, although I am sure a fellow like you might not have the strength to stop. Then you could quit this vile job as a cashier like you want to."

The cashier was aghast. "What?"

"In addition, your girlfriend has begun -- what is that peculiar American idiom? -- 'two-timing' you."

Watson felt sincerely sorry for the cashier; he looked quite young and distraught. There were not many instances in which he felt the need to interrupt Holmes' tirades, but for the sake of maintaining the peace, he tapped on his friend's shoulder. "Holmes, we really ought to be tracking our man, in any case," he said mildly. "I am sure there are fine enough laptops and cameras and Internets in England."


In the parking lot:

"Heaven's sake, Holmes," Lestrade said, passing the culprit to his aides. "What took you so long?"

Holmes gave him a tight smile. "I suppose we were -- distracted, of a sort..."

Friday, August 12, 2011

First poetry attempt.

there once is a girl named rhea.

if i tell this story

will you laugh at me?

don’t laugh. just don’t.

there once is a girl named rhea.

you heard me right,

that’s her name.

it’s not that bad of a name.

so she falls in love with a guy

and i know it’s predictable but

there’s something magical—

Like i said, there’s something magical.

You don’t believe me.

You don’t understand.

shut up, then

and let me talk.

she falls in love with a guy

named chris.

so it’s a common name, shut up.

and it’s not like

it’s not like i was naming him after you.

she falls in love and her world

the world is more colorful. she

can see colors where she never looked before.

If you don’t be quiet i’m not going to finish.

there is something beautiful in looking, really looking

for once in your life stopping to—

i wasn’t going to say smell the roses. i wasn’t.

i was going to say stopping to look at someone, really

seeing who they are

as though you are meeting for the very first time

and falling in love.

i suppose you have never done it before.

Fine. so it’s a stupid story, so it’s cliche, so it’s

what? it’s not a self insert, stupid.

You don’t spell Rhianna like rhea.

yeah, like

i would name a character after myself.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

crack in the

A/N: From my old NaNo document. I wrote a bit of this and never posted it... Don't really know what I'll do with it. It's a piece with far too much stream-of-consciousness and italics, but hope you enjoy it anyway. :)
(In case you're completely confused, here's the little summary: If he's not careful, he'll start daydreaming. If he starts daydreaming, he'll fall into his fantasies. And if he falls into his fantasies... Well. They aren't the safest places, to say in the least.)

Crack. Crack in the ground. Crack on the wall. Crack on the ceiling. Little slither of black, just a slash, whispering, calling, murmuring Philippe... Phillip... Sir Phillip, Mister Phil, Phil-of-the-West, Song Weaver, Wretched One. Whoever you are.


Crack in the ground, crack on the wall, crack on the ceiling.

Crack in the boy.

Not quite here. Not all of him here. A crack and a vacancy in his mind: a reminder of the him out there.

“So, Phil. Are you ready to begin?”

The boy's head snaps up quickly, blue eyes wide. Guarded. Like an animal ready to bolt.

But no. That's not him. That's not Phil. Phil can't do that. He's in a – a psychiatrist's office. That place. Where they send the crazy, the loony, the insane. He's not insane. He doesn't belong there. But that doesn't mean he can run. He can't, shouldn't, won't. The Lady – Mom? – told him not to. Besides, he likes the cracks in this office. They have stories to tell.

Just like he has stories to tell.


“Yeah,” he mumbles.

“Good. My name is Dr. Stenson, but you can call me Miss Sophia. Alright? Good. So, Phil...”

My name's not Phil. Stop calling me that.

“... I hear from your family that you've – ”

Gone insane?

“ – been hearing voices lately?”

Like it's the most natural thing in the world.

He shrugs. Keep it neutral, keep it vague. Eyes on the ground. They can't torture it out of him. Can't. Never will. He'd keep their secrets to the end of the world.

“Would you mind telling me a bit about them?” the doctor asks.

“They won't shut up,” he replies immediately, and collapses into laughter like it's the funniest thing in the world. And it is. They haven't shut up for how many years? Ten. Give or take a few.

Unperturbed, the good doctor – no, she's not good until she proves herself, isn't that what Mav always says? – doctor nods and writes a bit on her clipboard. “I see.”

She says that exactly because she doesn't.

“What do they say to you?”

The boy ponders a bit. “Which one?”

“Whichever one you'd like to start with.”

“Well...” the boy trails off, tracing the scars on his wrist. Should he? Should he risk it – again? Because last time it worked so well... “There's Hadrian,” he started, hesitantly. Just – just throwing it out there. What she does with it is her problem.

“Hadrian?” Scribble, scribble. “And what's he like?”

“He's – a lot of things. He likes swords, but doesn't fight. That's just because his dad is... was… the king, and he was always getting into fights with his brothers until he accidentally hurt his sister in one of them. So he stopped. Um...” the boy pauses, gauging the doctor's reaction.

She looks up from her clipboard and smiles at him encouragingly. It’s so obvious it’s just a mask for her disbelief. “Go on,” she presses.

“He... he's exiled right now because of Rydian. Rydian's always – ”

“Rydian? Is that another one of your voices?”

“Um, no, he's the king's magician. He... doesn't talk to me. I wouldn't want him to.” The boy shuddered.

“Why not?”

“He’s… weird. He’s always doing weird stuff. Casting spells, making potions. That stuff. He spends all of his time in his dungeons. And he gives us a creepy feeling.”

The doctor’s good, as in well-trained. There’s only a flicker of the eyes when she hears the plural pronoun. “Okay. But he’s not one of your voices, so how do you know about him?”

“Hadrian told me,” the boy says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “He’s been investigating Rydian for years.”

The doctor nods slowly. Maybe she isn’t sure she believes him. She probably doesn’t. But she hasn’t gotten out the phone yet, so that’s a point in his book already. “Okay. And what about your other voices?”

“There’s Solena. She’s kind of quiet, since she moved to a new school. And I think she likes me.” He wrinkles his forehead, just a little. “I don’t know why. And then there’s Chase, he lives on a spaceship called The Infinity. And…”

He stops. What is he doing?

“Phil?” the doctor prompts. “Is there something wrong?”

“You don’t believe me,” he states.

She looks taken aback. Unsure. Uncertain of what to say. “Well,” she says slowly. “I’ve never met them before.”

“No. But you didn’t know me before, and you believed I existed.”

“But I had proof of you,” she says as gently as possible. “I had reports, papers, pictures. I only have what you tell me for them.”

He stares at her, then grunts. “Whatever,” he says. “Believe me or not. I don’t care.” He doesn’t. He doesn’t care. Once, he did. Not anymore. He doesn’t care about this world anymore.

She puts the clipboard on lap. “I’m trying to help,” she tells him quietly. “That’s my job.”

“What if I don’t need help?” he snaps.

“Then just tell me like you’d tell anyone else,” she replies. “I’m not your psychiatrist right now. I’m just your friend.”

“I already have friends.”

“I believe you,” she says, so utterly serious that she shocks him into silence. “Would you mind letting me into that group of friends?”

He stares at her for a long time. She’s asking for his trust. She’s asking for his friendship. Why would he even consider

But she’s the first one. The first one who cares. Does she really believe him? She might not – that’s most likely. She probably doesn’t. No one of this world does. But if she did –

“Okay,” he mutters. And shrugs like it isn’t a big deal. It isn’t, it isn’t.

“Good.” She smiles, but doesn’t pick up her clipboard again. “Alright. Now, who else’s in your head?”

Kicking off his shoes, he pulls up his legs onto the chair and folds them. Cross-legged is the position he’s most comfortable with, ever since Mahawa – that time. “I don’t really have voices,” he begins.


“But they are my friends.”

“How so?”

His blank, solid black eyes bore into hers. “Do you… Have you ever daydreamed?”

She laughs. “Of course I have. A lot more when I was younger, and even more in college during my professors’ boring lectures, but yes, I have. Many people have.”

“Okay.” He pauses. Here it comes, here it comes. “Then will you believe me when I say I fall into my daydreams?”

She blinks. “Pardon me? Did you just say…”

“Yeah,” he affirms. “I fall into my daydreams. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and some kid with a Harry Potter book will go by, and I’ll think – ”

He stops abruptly.

“You’ll think wiz– ”

“Don’t say it!” he barks suddenly. “I told you, if I think – ” His expression was tormented, pained, stiff. For a long moment he remains frozen and blank; then finally he relaxes and sighs. “I told you,” he mutters. “If I think anything, I’ll start daydreaming. And if I daydream, I’ll fall into it.”

The doctor is pale and shocked. Her eyes are wide; he can just see the thoughts running around in her head: what do I do with this crazy kid? She’ll probably report him as a nutcase. Insane. He’s not insane. He’s never been and never will be, but people don’t believe him anyway. This is the truth. Sometimes the truth’s crazy, Mav says. And Mav’s usually right.

See what your blathering has done? A little voice sneers. You should have known better than to trust someone from this world.

“Oh,” she manages finally. Suddenly she looks reluctant.

He bites his lip. That’s probably the end of the game for them. “Sorry,” he says, though he doesn’t know why he’s apologizing. It’s not like he said anything bad. It’s not like he cursed or raved or hit her. But sorry just feels like the right word to say right now.

It’s hard when you sound crazy even to your own ears.

“It’s okay,” she reassures him, her composure back. “I was just a bit surprised. Go on.”

But he doesn’t now, because he sees clearly that she wasn’t just a bit surprised. So he keeps his mouth shut.

“Go ahead. I believe you.”

“No you don’t,” he spits out, almost startled with the amount of disgust in his own voice. “No one does.”

“I can’t help you if you won’t talk.”

“Maybe I don’t need help.”

“Phil. If you’re falling into your daydreams, you do need help.”

She says it so utterly seriously that he looks up, wide eyed and disbelieving. And sees the truth in her eyes.

Truth? Truth? Why does she believe him? She should be laughing, or scowling, or shaking her head at him. No one believes him. No one.

“Why...” the boy whispers in disbelief. “Why do you believe me?”

She smiles and crosses her arms. “I used to do it myself, pretty often. When I was a child.”


She shrugs. “Had a big imagination. I’m guessing you have the same. I used to black out for days in my early teens – had to take weeks of sick days and even repeated a year.” She chuckled. “Those were hard times. But then they stopped.”

“How?” he rasps out, hope daring to kindle in his chest. If only. If only if only if only. He doesn’t know what to think – could he dare hope?

“It’s torture, isn’t it? To have to control every thought you think. To shut down your brain so you won’t zap to another world. It’s hard.”

“What do I do?”

“It’s easy.” She reaches opens a drawer in her desk, pulls something rectangular and black out, and places it in his hands.

It’s a notebook.

“Write it down,” she tells him. “That helped me more than any drug I took, any of the stuff doctors forced down my throat. You’ve got to write it down. It’s the only way to get them out.”

He doesn’t speak a word, but gratitude is there. Clutching the notebook, he nods at her as she tells him that the session’s over, and see you next week. Doesn’t look in her eyes, because maybe she’ll see his eyes and the shine in them. Doesn’t talk to the Lady as she escorts him out of the offices, doesn’t speak when she asks him how thing with the psychiatrist went.

Breathe. Don’t think. Don’t think at all.

As they walk out to the car, he keeps his eyes on the ground, still clutching the notebook she gave him. Keeps his eyes on the cracks. So reliable, cracks. Don’t lie, don’t tell people there is nothing wrong with you.


Cracks in the asphalt, cracks in the sidewalk, cracks in the boy. Cracks where reality ends and dragons begin. Spaceships shuttle colonies. Giant machines run the entire world. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think.

“Mom,” he says. “Do you have a pen?”


Once upon a time. Onceuponatime. There was..

“Whatcha writing?” Hadrian asks.

The boy looks down in his hands. Oh. The notebook followed him here. Can’t think why. Maybe it’s because he was writing in it when he…?

“Dunno,” he says. “Something. I don’t know yet.”

“Hm,” Hadrian says, flopping down onto the grass and stretching out like a cat. The boy sits down next to him. Cross legged as always. “How did your psy – what did you call it?”

“Psychiatrist session,” the boy reminds him.

“Right, that. How did it go?”

Somehow, when Hadrian asks him, it isn’t as hard to answer as the Lady’s questioning. “It went okay,” the boy said. “She gave me this book.”

“Ooh. A lady. Was she hot?”

The boy shrugs.

Hadrian sighs. “Theila is being a pest right now,” he says amiably. “Can’t buy the dresses she wants, can’t go out with her friends, can’t stand to be stuck in the palace – ” He sat up suddenly. “Can’t she understand that we’re in a war right now?”

“She’s only sixteen,” the boy says. “She probably can’t.”

“You’re only fourteen,” Hadrian points out.

“No I’m not.” The boy stares at him. “I’m not ‘only fourteen.’”

Hadrian lets out a breath. “No,” he says. “I suppose you’re not.”


Onceuponatime onceuponatime the world fell into chaos and disorder. Only a percentage of mankind escaped with their lives, braving the perils of galactic travel and establishing rudimentary colonies on Mars.

Once upon a time, there was a –

“Spaceship,” the boy mutters, letting the ball of his pen drag over the paper deliberately.

“What did you say?” Mav swivels his captain’s chair around and gives him a look.

The boy shrugs.

Exasperated, Mav swivels back to his controls. “I’ve told you a hundred times,” he says. “It’s not a spaceship. It’s a – ”

“Highly esteemed transport for use in high space,” the boy murmurs, letting a ghost of a smile drift over his face. “I know.”

Mav snorts. “Sure you do. Everyone does. Never mind that I hear that word every day from some snot-nosed newbie who thinks he can call this beauty of a transport a spaceship. That’s the word they teach toddlers for the letter ‘S’!” He swears loudly. The boy lifts his pen from the paper. Maybe he won’t put that in.

It’s comforting in Mav’s cockpit. Usually there are other pilots in the chamber, but late in the night – like now – it’s just them. Mav’s a bit like a father to him – well, maybe more like an uncle or godfather. For all his rough edges, Mav likes to spoil him. In general, the boy likes the people of this world. Mostly they’re pilots or crewmen. They were intimidating strangers before, but now they’re like family. This world’s one of the ones he most likes.

“Mav,” the boy says after staring at the blank pages of his notebook for a while. He hasn’t gotten further than spaceship. “Do you have any stories to tell?”

It’s a redundant question. Mav grins slowly. “Who do you think you’re asking? This is the captain of The Infinity speaking, Phil. Now which one do you want to hear?”


Once upon a time, there was a castle forgotten by many, even by the most avid of historians. It had no name, no ruler, and no rules to govern its domain. No human ever entered and came out alive without its permission. Those who had been unfortunate to stumble upon its gates disappeared as soon as they crept through the castle’s barriers. One day, a boy, brave and blessed with the protection of nature itself, ventured into the castle and its maze of corridors and rooms in search for the rumored treasure, the Ruby Penchant of Angolin…

“Hullo, Phil!” Tyr exclaims, looking down at him curiously.

The boy looks up at the other, pausing his scribbling. He felt something cold and familiar against his back a while ago. It’s just the stone walls of this castle. The two of them are in a long, dark hall that smells damp and moldy. Tyr’s dressed for the weather, but Phil isn’t.

Shivering a bit, the boy pulls into himself and balls up.

“Hang on a bit, I think I’ve got a blanket.” Tyr rummages in his light backpack and pulls out a thick, wool blanket that looks too big to fit in the backpack. He tosses it to him. “’ere you go.”

“Thanks,” the boy mumbles.

“So what’s in the book?” Tyr asks, sitting down next to him.

The boy shrugs and hands Tyr the notebook.

After reading a bit, Tyr leans back and smiles. “Nice!” he says, and passes it back. “Here. I’ll narrate and you can write it down. That way you won’t miss out on the stuff I’ve been doing while you weren’t here.”

Phil nods and places his pen on the paper.

A/N: This is my experiment to combine messy narrative and fantastical worlds in one story. Except I haven't finished it. I hope this wasn't too messy to read. o.o;;

Saturday, May 7, 2011


A/N: I... don't really know where this came from. It's quite a bit more serious than any of my other pieces. Don't worry, it doesn't have any relation to my real life. :/

My watch says it's five minutes to twelve. Yesterday, I was sitting in my cubicle filing reports, glancing at the clock over the receptionist's desk, watching that sliver of a hand creep forward second by second. Yesterday I thought, wouldn't it be nice if I had a promotion so I could drink espresso while doing paperwork and all of this junk?

[Shaky breath.]

I still want the promotion, but I don't think it's likely anymore. I'll be lucky if I even return to my old job. I'll be lucky if I get out of this mess.

My watch says it's four minutes to twelve now. They hung it in front of me, so I could see how much time I've got left till the bomb detonates and freak out, or something. They're probably sitting behind a computer screen in a building four hundred miles from here, watching to seem me break.

I won't. I swear I won't. I won't let them see how terrified I am, even if I die.

But--I am terrified, and you know what's funny? I'm terrified of dying. Dying, can you believe it? Because yesterday, when I was crossing over the bridge on the way back from work, I looked at the railing and wondered what it'd be like to jump off. I read somewhere that jumping from a height into water feels like you're hitting concrete. And I wondered if my body would shatter like clay when it hit the water, and what it'd be like to be torn apart by the impact. Would it be quick? I hope it'd be quick. But then again, I wonder about the source of that information. Can anyone alive really verify that comment?

[He pauses, then seems to deflate. Nearly mumbling, he continues.]

I wonder... I wonder if Kate misses me. Probably not. Yesterday at seven I called her, left a voice message. Told her I loved her. Missed her. She hates all of that sentimental stuff, but I wasn't going to tell her that I'd thought of suicide because she'd left me. She'd probably laugh at me and say, "You thought I was leaving you? Stop worrying. Just because I haven't called you in a few days doesn't mean I dumped you. You're really overreacting, Peter." And I would nod and ignore the marks on her neck and the smudged layer of lipstick under the fresh layer.

Three minutes. Can't they hurry it up? The waiting is going to kill me.

Bad words. I know. All this tension--dead men've gotta make a bad joke, 'kay?

[A shaky, bitter bark of laughter.]

It's kind of funny (or maybe it's not), but yesterday I wanted to die. Today I don't. I'm tense, I'm shaky, I'm sweating, and I can feel the press of the bomb strapped to my back. Death is that close to me. Maybe I didn't want to die all along? Yesterday I really thought I wanted to die, because there was just no way to go on--I wanted to. And now.

Well. It's too late, now.

Two minutes. The wait is going to kill me. This wait... I can't think. I can't think anymore. The drops of sweat rolling down my face are making me itch. Or maybe I'm restless because of the bomb. I really don't know anymore. What do I know? I know that I am going to die. I am going to blast apart. They won't even find a body.

... I don't really want to die.

Yesterday night my mom called. Told me I needed to move on, told me in tears how Kate was taking away the son she loved, prayed for every day. And I, I told her to stop wasting her time telling me--

I hung up. What a son. I wish my last words hadn't been "Just stay away, Mom. I'm fine" because maybe I'm not. I'm not sentimental either, but times like these--well. I wish I'd told her thanks. Or "Love you." Or anything. So that maybe I'd have been the son she was so proud of. I wish I was.

One minute. I have one minute left to live. You see this in movies: the hero struggles till the last second to get out, and suddenly he does. But I've been trying for hours, and at this last second, I'm tired. And resigned. But I don't really want to die.

... forty-five seconds.

... thirty.

... fifteen.


Five. (Wish I told Kate I loved her.)

Four. (Wish I told all of the people who deserve it, thanks.)

Three. (Wish I had more time.)

Two. (Wish this wasn't happening.)

One. (Wish I--)

The second hand inches past the twelve. Ticks slowly down the side of my watch.

I'm not dead yet.

I hold my breath, chest tight and tense, waiting for the white-hot, burning, explosion on my back. But the hard plastic just shifts on my back, heavy and bulky and still intact. I wait, terrified, as the second hand keeps going. And it keeps going.

It keeps going?

I don't know where the time's gone. Every second feels like a halted moment in time, slower than it's ever been before. I'm barely breathing now. It's like standing on the top of a cliff and putting out your foot to step off; it's like the moment you creak past the top of the rollercoaster and you're staring at the two hundred feet you haven't dropped yet. I don't think at all. I just watch that hand climb up my watch's face again, up to the nine, up to the twelve...

I keep waiting for something, anything, almost wishing the bomb to detonate already and just get it done with, but. It keeps going. I hardly dare to breathe now, hardly dare to feel the glimmer deep down of hope.

Time keeps passing, I know, but I don't feel it. The watch is still there, the bomb is still there, I am still there--even though none of us should still exist. I should be dead but I'm not--

[He fidgets, unable to decide how to act--those expecting death cannot always deal with life.]

Like a sudden burst of thunder someone booms behind me words--after it sends my strained heart into a pounding fury and me into a startled jump, I swallow breaths of air. The sudden noise was there and then it was not, leaving me wondering, terrified, if it was only my imagination. My mind is racing; is someone behind me? I don't remember there being an intercom, but there must have been--what did it say, I can't remember for the life of me the thing was so suddenly--

I try to backtrack. Was it a man? I think it was--what did he say? I think he said 'hello?'...

"Hello?" It definitely was a man's voice, curt and firm and staticky; then he says more softly, like he's leaning away from the microphone: "Doesn't seem like anyone's in there, sir."

"H-Hello--" But my voice is barely a hoarse whisper. I try again, rasping air out until it almost hurts. "Hello!"

"Good heavens. The man's still in there. Someone, Carol--get a team in there pronto." The man pauses, then continues in a more reassuring tone. "Just stay there. We'll get you out in no time."

Staying? Here? No time? I'm bound in ropes, of course I'm not going anywhere--and time, I've been here for hours and hours; "no time" will really be no time at all. Relief and hysteria and the ridiculous of it all slams into me like a freight train. I'm not going to die? I'm not going to die. They're going to get me out in no time. I'm not going to die.

I'm not going to.

The doors to my little room burst open behind me as policemen emerge like flies, swarming in. Someone fiddles with the bomb for seconds as all of us hold our breath, then cuts the rope that's bound me for how long? and pulls that **** bomb away. They're talking to me, I can tell, but standing up suddenly fills my limbs with jelly and my head with bricks. Someone lifts my right arm over their shoulder, and another one takes my left; I have only a split second to snatch my watch from the hook it's hanging on.

Time passed so slowly before, but now it's flying by. Before I know it, I'm walking to a policeman's car outside of the building, hanging onto a policeman with one hand and holding my watch in the other.

[He stops abruptly, though.]

"Sir?" the policeman looks at me curiously. "We should get you to the hospital right away."

I know that, but an irresistible thought occurs to me. "Hang on," I tell him, then move before he can stop me.

Walking back a few steps, I pull out my watch and without a look at it, toss it in a garbage can on the side of the hallway we'd passed on our way out. The watch was expensive but I've never felt more wonderful; I will never have to stare at that thing again. Walking away from that room, that bomb, that watch, and that building is glorious.

Yesterday I was determined to die; but now. Now, I think I'll live.

[The End]

Um. Hi? Update.

It's been a loooong time.... and I really don't have an excuse this time! Le gasp.
I like art and writing equally, so sometimes I'll have a writer's block and start drawing, or sometimes I'll have an artist's block and just write... I've kind of been doing a lot of art lately. Um.

But. I figured that since I'm going to Iowa and all, I should probably start writing more... XD My entire sample was school-related stuff and some miscellaneous stuff from NaNo. Oh. And speaking of NaNo, I didn't end up using that plot (see previous post). I don't know why I can never pick a plot and stick with it. Sigh.

Maybe I should keep practicing on short stories?

Anyway. I need to do some more writing, so look for some soon.