I do it for the joy it brings, because i'm a joyful girl. Because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world. ~ Ani DiFranco

Chapter 2

Chap­ter 1: A strange girl with strange dreams.

The Bus

Hag­gity slipped onto the green vinyl seat of the bus. Bas­tion slid next to her, eye­ing her as she pressed her fore­head against the win­dow, star­ing out at noth­ing in particular.

The bus doors hissed closed, and the bus grum­bled ahead. The manic voices of Haggity’s peers drowned out the top 40’s radio sta­tion that vainly tried to sedate them.

But Hag­gity didn’t hear any of it. Wad­ing deep in emo­tions she couldn’t name, she found her­self avoid­ing Bastion’s side­long glances, com­ing up with rea­sons to jus­tify her anger.

How could he expect me to go to Lucia’s party?” she fumed inwardly.

Thump.

Doesn’t he remem­ber how Lucia’s treated me? How they’ve all treated me?”

Thump.

I could never become friends with those peo­ple, even if I wanted to!” Hag­gity was win­ning her inner argu­ment, and her cer­tainty that she was right made her even more angry.

Thump.

The way they all look at me, as if they’re afraid of me…as if I can help being what I am.”

Thump.

What­ever I am.”

Thump.

Her anger reach­ing a crescendo, Hag­gity whirled in her seat, sat on her knees and glared at her attacker in the seat behind her.

Stop it!

Otis, a freck­led night­mare of a boy who tor­tured Hag­gity on a reg­u­lar basis, sim­ply smirked. Then, with a metal-toothed grin, he raised his foot and…

THUMP!

An extra big whack to her seat, just for her defiance.

Hag­gity, defeated, deflated back in her seat. She pulled her knees to her chest, and tried her best to fight the tears brim­ming in her eyes.

This was turn­ing out to be the most mis­er­able of days.

Bas­tion sighed. He raised up in his seat and lev­eled an even gaze at Otis.

Cut it out.” he said qui­etly, but in a tone that left lit­tle room for argument.

Otis’s smile van­ished. He low­ered his foot, even as he nar­rowed his eyes dan­ger­ously at Bas­tion. Their gazes locked for sev­eral sec­onds. Otis snorted a deri­sive “Pffft…” as he finally relented, turn­ing his gaze to the window.

Bas­tion low­ered back down, and turned to address Hag­gity. Her chin was on her knees, and she stared at the back of the seat in front of her. Her eyes were full of tears, but she refused to blink, lest she release them down her cheeks.

Hag­gie…” Bas­tion began softly.

Hag­gity, over­whelmed, buried her face in her knees and sobbed.

Bas­tion, uncer­tain of what to do, stroked her back in a lame attempt to comfort.

Lis­ten,” he started again, “You don’t have to come to that party with me. It was a stu­pid idea.”

She turned to face him, her cheeks red and wet with tears, “I can’t go,” she whim­pered, pleading.

I know.”

I’m sorry.”

It’s okay.”

But she could tell that it wasn’t okay. Bas­tion was disappointed…disappointed in her. It killed her that she couldn’t make him happy, but…what could she do?

Go to the party?

The mere thought of it pet­ri­fied her. Even in the com­pany of Bas­tion, they would stare, whis­per to each other, gig­gle conspiratorially…she couldn’t bear it.

As the bus rum­bled into the school park­ing lot, she finally had to admit…

She was dis­ap­pointed in her­self.

 

This is part of a children’s/young adult novel I’m writ­ing called Hag­gity Who? The Story of a Girl to whom Strange Things Hap­pen. Reac­tions? Crit­i­cisms? Please let me know!

Note: I’m also post­ing this novel on Press­Books.

Haggity Who?

This is the first chap­ter in a children’s/young adult novel I’m writ­ing called Hag­gity Who? The Story of a Girl to whom Strange Things Hap­pen. The essence of this story came to me in a dream. This is my first attempt at a novel in almost twenty years. Reac­tions? Crit­i­cisms? Please let me know!

Chap­ter 1

A strange girl with strange dreams.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?
A stranger girl we never knew!”

The chil­dren cir­cled round Hag­gity like hyae­nas, chant­ing. Hag­gity crouched into the dirt, cov­er­ing her head with her arms.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity hey!
She kissed the boy, he went away!”

The cir­cle grew smaller as they swarmed closer, chant­ing louder. Hag­gity tried to hide her face, but she could still feel their warm breath as they’re chant­ing grew into a crescendo, angry spit­tle fly­ing in her long hair, which now cov­ered her help­less form like a veil.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?
Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?”

They chanted over and over, louder and louder, now crouched over her, the mass of their bod­ies mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to breathe.

Where was he? Where was her savior?

Hag­gie…”

She heard him, from far away. They kicked sand in her face, and she shrieked, her eyes stinging.

He’d never make it in time.

Hag­gie…”

She could hear him; why won’t he come for her? Fin­gers were pulling at her hair, drag­ging her face to the ground. She pleaded with them, tears stream­ing, but their rage had peaked, and they showed no mercy.

Hag­gie…!”

He was closer now, but he was too late to save her. Her face in the dirt, suf­fo­cat­ing, she fran­ti­cally turned on her back, only to see one sneak­ered foot poised above her face, then crash­ing down with all its might…

HAGGIE!”

Hag­gity gasped awake, her heart pounding.

Con­tinue read­ing

The Bride

This story was writ­ten for the Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower, in honor of Anna Meade and Michael Loy’s upcom­ing nup­tials. To the joy­ous cou­ple: May you have an ecsta­tic life together, full of shared sun­sets and fairy dust. And Anna: watch out for Krakens!

The bride stepped gin­gerly into her wed­ding dress, and two maids care­fully laced the gown up her back. The gown sparkled like the starry night above her, aglow with thou­sands of dia­monds sewn into the white thread. She waited patiently as the maids attended the dress, lac­ing, smooth­ing, gath­er­ing the long train around her feet. The maids then addressed the glo­ri­ous mane of her hair, tam­ing her wild dark curls. They ran exotic oils through her tresses, till her ringlets shone and shim­mered. With diamond-encrusted ivory combs they cap­tured her hair atop her head, while way­ward curls framed her alabaster face and spilled down her back. With sweet berry juices they del­i­cately col­ored her full lips, her creamy cheeks.

The wind swirled around her and she looked up to the night sky. A dis­tant howl echoed, and she shivered.

The queen emerged from the shad­ows, and her eyes widened as she regarded the bride.

You look glo­ri­ous, my child,” an approv­ing smile curved her blood-red lips.

The bride cast her eyes down­ward, blushing.

The queen came towards her, then cir­cled around her, lightly fuss­ing with her gown, run­ning her taloned fin­gers through her curls. As the queen came round and faced the bride, she gen­tly caressed the bride’s cheek, attempt­ing a com­fort­ing smile.

Are you ner­vous about the wed­ding night?” she purred.

The bride said noth­ing, but trem­bled, her blush deepening.

The queen leaned in, her lips against the brides ear. The bride could feel her warm, cloy­ing breath as she whis­pered, “There is noth­ing to fear. It will be over before you know it.”

Tears sprung to the bride’s eyes.

You must yield to him,” the queen mur­mured, cap­tur­ing a sin­gle tear on the bride’s cheek with her long, thin fin­ger, “Your body must be wholly his. Your skin…” she ran her fin­ger down her cheek, her neck, trac­ing the soft, swelling flesh of her decoutage, “…must be warm. You body must open to him.”

The queen stepped back, leav­ing the bride’s heart pound­ing, her exposed white skin shivering.

It is time,” the queen growled to the maids, avert­ing her eyes from the bride.

The maids gen­tly led the bride across the sand, to the cliff that over­looked  the churn­ing ocean. The wind whipped her curls, the salty spray of the sea sting­ing her eyes. Blink­ing the mist from her dark lashes, she looked up at the night sky, try­ing to swal­low the tears and bile that rose up in her throat.

Paul_Gustave_Dore_AndromedaThe maids pressed the bride’s body rev­er­ently against the rock face, cap­tured her del­i­cate wrists in heavy chains. The ocean waves height­ened, swelled, and her gown was soon soaked by sea water.

The queen came to her once more, her large eyes wet with tears. Cap­tur­ing her face in her hands, the queen planted one last kiss upon the bride’s cheek. The queen closed her eyes, breath­ing in the sweet and salty scent of the bride’s curls, then turned away.

The bride sobbed as the queen dis­ap­peared into the darkness.

A deep howl swept across the ocean, echo­ing above the ocean waves which rose higher and higher, now lap­ping at her feet. In the dark water, the bride could see an even darker shadow beneath its sur­face, impos­si­bly huge, trav­el­ling with hor­ri­fy­ing speed towards the cliff.

The bride breathed one last des­per­ate sob, then, at the queen’s behest, relaxed her chained arms, soft­ened her shoul­ders, weak­ened her knees. She yielded to her groom, who, with a tri­umphant and deaf­en­ing wail, rose to meet and con­sume his bride.

Title: The Bride
Author: Christina Ramey
eBook: Yes


(Photo Credit: s0ulsurfing via Comp­fight cc)

I used to write

I have a fat, white binder col­lect­ing dust in the garage. In it are the yel­low­ing pages of my child­hood cre­ativ­ity — poems, draw­ings and sto­ries — span­ning fifth grade through early col­lege. My binder is brim­ming with the begin­nings of nov­els — romance sto­ries thinly dis­guised as epic fantasies. I was an insa­tiable writer, com­pletely lack­ing any self-consciousness, and con­vinced that I was des­tined to be the next great novelist.

But, then things got in the way  (as they inevitably do). First: school. Writ­ing phi­los­o­phy papers tend to steal your focus and suck your cre­ativ­ity dry. Then: life. Job. Mar­riage. Baby. I try to sat­isfy my cre­ative crav­ings with web design, and help­ing oth­ers ful­fill their dreams. My own pas­sion for writ­ing got stuffed in the crevices of my life story…stuffed into a binder mold­ing in the garage.

And now, as my writ­ing fin­gers creak to life again…I find myself a much more cau­tious, timid writer, afraid that I sim­ply don’t have the chops. Never did. Amid the din of every­one vying for their place in the sun, I wonder…

Do I still have it in me?

Burn

The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn. Sophie Scholl