Posted in Fiction, Stories, Writing

Times of my Life- a short story

You’ll never quite know how valuable a life is until you take one for yourself. It’s sudden, when a life drains from the life of your opponent. But you know it’s a necessary evil. The monsters drop one by one, they’ve never seen a gun before.

The first one you’ll kill will be the toughest. A triceratops. A baby. When it falls it will leave a heavy weight on your shoulders. You’ll bury it under a thin layer of dirt. Next time you’ll bring a shovel.

It won’t be long before you go after another one. It will be bigger, a Titanosaur. Your father taught you that. You bury this one deeper, preserve it better.

Interest builds when they dig up your Pachycephalosaurus. You realise this is going to be happening much more often. Marking your location gets harder as your dad gets much more famous. They say your intuition is spot on. You don’t know what it means but that’s ok.

The money lets daddy get a bigger house. He’s nearly famous and your house nearly a museum. You start feeling like taking lives is worth it. The maid replaces your mom. The raptors die. Your dad is more busy with the more kills you make. The butler takes over his house work. You don’t have to go to school. You know more about the dinosaurs than the professionals; you’ve seen them.

You’re older now, used to you job. The killing is easier, cleaner. You aren’t as worried about showing off the time stone, it fits comfortably in your hand. Dad was supposed to be home but there are two black cars outside. You come in quietly. He’s on the floor in the living room, agents are standing over him, questioning him. You hide the stone but it’s not good enough.

You’re questioned and they take it from you. You don’t say what it’s really for. Silence is the key, you speak as little as possible. They don’t know how you kill them. They need to talk to your dad more. To bad he doesn’t know anything.

They put you on a plane. The ride takes hours. Your cousin was raised in Japan with your aunt and uncle. You speak little Japanese but they’re the only family you’ve got. They put you in the attic. It’s small and cold, nothing like the mansion in the hilltop. They put you in school with him.  It doesn’t help you’re a couple grade levels ahead of him.

You stay quiet in class. Keep your head down. Be respectful. You’re worried about your dad. You’re worried your brain will cave in. You’re worried about wording to much. Hikaru says you can’t worry yourself too much. Hikaru has bad grades. He likes to try speaking English at the dinner table. He doesn’t understand.

The adults grieve for you. They worry about you. You are cold to them because you have to much on your mind. Hikaru is worried about you too. He says to make friends.

Yuki tried to talk to you in class. You didn’t understand what he said. There was something about a club. You act shy but know you’re a killer. He’s cute, sweet even. He sits by you in class and keeps you from being picked on.

You’ve gotten pretty good at Japanese by the time Shion sits across the table from you. You know he’s been teasing you. Ignoring him is the only thing that shuts him up. He comes over to the house, one of Hikaru’s friends. You lock yourself in the attic.

Hikaru tells you to meet him in a different room after class. You get lost but find it and open the door. It smells of roses and sunshine pours in through the windows onto the huge open room. The tables are glass and sparkling and the room chatters happily. You tug the door closed but there he is, holding the door open. Sora’s eyes shine like the sky. He brings you into the room, flirtatious as always. Yuki and Shion are there. They are treating some girls to a tray of sweets. Hikaru is nowhere in sight.

Sora can speak English better than anyone. He’s move to Japan when he was 12. He started the club where they treat girls right. He calls it a host club, and gives me some tea. He asks about Hikaru and then runs me down on the rules. No touching only treating the girls like princess.

Hikaru is late. He comes in with his satule open and papers flying everywhere. Others find him attractive. He’s indoctrinated me into the club. I’m supposed to be the shy guy. I guess I was popular.

The first girl was Ame. It looked like she had silky hair. She liked to talk and wouldn’t mind if I didn’t say a word. I liked to listen to her stories, they taught me more Japanese.

Next was Toru. She came from another boy who graduated. She was a sad girl. I tried to care for her. Sora said I did well. I trust him.

The others wanted to hang out. They would skate board over to the house and we’d all go down town. Ikuto was there. He was a pushover but I liked him. Sora made eye contact with me a lot. He said a lot to me. I didn’t like to respond but he kept talking.

Things were easy. We had fun. Then one day it changed. It was near the end of the year. No one wanted to say good bye. The host club took the girls out to the museum of natural history. The boys didn’t know anything. I taught them all about each skeleton. I had brought down some of these beasts. I didn’t tell them that. The girls swooned. Sora was impressed. I liked the way he smiled at me.

Some creep showed up. He hung around the back of the girls. I could tell the club was watching him. We were all worried. He grabbed a girl’s butt. I stepped right up to him and grabbed his arm. He was plastered against the wall, quaking under my shouts. When I left him to help the girls they all clumped around me. I was much more popular then. There was a glittery stone on display that I wanted. No one noticed when the clumsy guy knocked the display over. The security guard didn’t know anything was missing.

That night Hikaru told me I could go back home for summer. I wasn’t as happy as I thought. He told the club too. I went out into the woods that night with the stone. When I hunted my pray I was grinning. I found it by the sea shore and slaughtered it with a box cutter and too much dry air. I buried it and said a prayer.

I surprised the guys with tickets to England by the end of the week. They were all thrilled. The plane ride was much less boring. I was happy to drive the up to the house on the hill. They were very impressed. I introduced the maid and butler. They had taken very good care of the house while I was gone.

The next morning I came down for breakfast in a sundress. Everyone was dead silent and stared at me. I got worried. Sora was the last to speak but the first one I understood. ‘Boku’. I had been referring to myself as male like my dad had. They thought I was a boy. They all seemed confused. I understood. But Sora was different. He seemed more relaxed around me, more joking.

I set up a dance at my place. I wished my dad had been there. The long red and gold dress I had on made the boys blush. I set them up one by one with my old friends. Sora seemed pissed by the time I had finished setting up the others. He asked the me where his wife was. That wasn’t something he would normally say. I said on the deck and he walked outside.

I followed him out and closed the door. He was dense at first so I just kissed him. He turned into an emotional mess after that. He danced well though. Sora treated me like a princess long after we finished dating. My dad was back in time to see our wedding.

Posted in Writing

How I Force Perfect Conditions for Writing

As a writer, it is my dream to sit in a warm, sunny spot, surrounded by plants and my cat where it is very quiet. I would sit there and be undisturbed for a whole day, having food be delivered every four hours so I don’t have to move. If I ever become a bestseller then maybe I will get to have writing days like this, but until then I have to sacrifice some things.

To get settled I have to get into a semi-public space, like my living room, when no one else is around so I don’t get distracted by the many wonders of the internet. I can’t go to a super public place, like a coffee shop because that’s too distracting and traveling there feels like a waste of time. I sit in a big chair that already has a soft blanket in it and sit at the table with all of my plants and my fish. I would have my cat but she’s not allowed in my building.

The next thing I do is put on white noise. I used to listen to music but found lyrics would seep into my writing or the beat would change the pace of the story. So anything I listen to either can’t have talking or has to be in another language, this usually blocks out the rest of the world. If it’s cloudy outside, though, I won’t be inspired to do anything and will often time just crawl back into bed. If this is the case, I have to write at night with all the lights on. I’ll also need a sweatshirt nearby so I can regulate my temperature instead of standing up and messing with the thermostat.

I know that the more I move in between writing sentences, the more likely I am to stop writing. So before I start I get all my notebooks and some pencils and a sketchbook, the charger for my laptop, some CDs, a whole pot of tea, and some cookies or other snacks. That way I won’t ever have to stop and grab something.

So now I have my writing station all set up, it seems to be the perfect conditions for writing, but then I have to go on the quest for inspiration. This starts long before I actually write my novel, during the pre-production stage so to speak. When developing the idea I find three or four songs that really fit what I’m going for and save those to a folder. If I need to get in the mood, I listen to those. I also gather pictures of what my characters look like and paste them at the to of the document as well as any world building pictures or props I might forget. My goal with this is to have a strong mental image of what I want to convey and what my characters are doing.

I also need my plot written out in as much detail as I can to be paste at the bottom of the page so I can reference it constantly. I always need to be moving towards the next plot point or be inspired to get to what is next. This will let me get in the flow as opposed to jumping around documents trying to find inspiration. I need to write really quickly so I don’t loose my steam so I’ll either turn off spell check or just not bother with it. I might even turn on text to speech.

That’s everything I do to make the perfect conditions around me, it leaves little to the outside world except for one thing. I always seem to be busy with something else and need to get other work done, or submit something, or read something. Life just gets in the way and sometimes you can’t ignore it. I heard once that writers should wake up earlier or go to bed later than their problems so they can write when they don’t have anything else to do. When I did that it just opened the gates for me to procrastinate on real work until later in the night. I hear some people scheduled time but that has just never worked for me. The only thing I can do is make writing my priority, either by setting a due date or challenging myself. Nanowrimo is very useful for this purpose, it will get me writing 3000 words a day or more. Sometimes I can’t write and I accept that, but I always try to make writing at least a sentence every day a priority of mine.

I hope you can stop waiting for your perfect writing conditions and do your best to force them like I do. Even if what you need isn’t the same as what I need I’m sure you can figure out a hack way to do it too.