A Micro Fiction: Salt Water

The blue stretches out before me, deceptively cloudy once submerged. Though from above it looks crystal clear and blue, beneath the waves, there is an otherworldly feel to the depths. Depths that began as shallows and slowly grow deeper and cooler, gliding over my skin like a soft, cold, kiss.

Below me bright flashes of colour catch in the filtered sunlight, darting off before I can fully catch them in my sight. The faint click of the disposable camera echoes through the water. I roll the dial back, concentrating, trying to ignore the tangy, bitterness that creeps around my snorkel and settles in my mouth. No matter how much I readjust, the taste never leaves. It makes my teeth clench around the soft rubber piece in my mouth as I work on keeping my breathing even.

Further out we go. More bright flashes of colour. Some small and tiny, whisking away in schools; others bigger and more defensive.

Speckled with blue and purple strips, one determined fish swims right at us, warding us off his territory. I click the camera, and it whirs as I wind it forward, preparing for the small creature to make it’s return trip.

Larger fish, longer than my arm, swim in lazy grey circles in the cloudy distance, drifting in and out of view. The water becomes deeper. Far below, a giant shell beckons. It’s larger than the fish, larger than me, even. It’s faded and bleached and lies in two pieces. A colossal fossil lying on the sea bed. I struggle to keep my breathing even, taken back by it’s magnitude. There’s a strange sense of overwhelming wonder, and I stare, captured by this relic of the ocean.

My view fogs over. More shallow breathing. My heart rate quickens as I turn my head, trying to focus on something below. No use, my vision is encased in fog.

The air is as salty as the water. I breathe in deep gulps, staring about at how far we’ve come. A snorkel pokes up out of the water not a metre away, still trailing about in lazy arcs.

My legs work to keep me afloat, pumping double time as I pull the goggles loose, wincing as they tangle in my hair. Strands come loose, caught within the straps. A quick rinse, a bit of spit. A deep breath and another wince or three as the goggles go back on. Pressing down on the front so the rubber sticks, suctioning onto my skin—almost too tight and yet comforting in the near pain.

More salt. My legs are not used to this endless tread, and I dip too low. Water over my mouthpiece and in my mouth. My nose wrinkles. I spit salt and long for fresh water. Back at the shore is safety and warmth and water and food. But out here, there is more to be discovered. More clam shells, more bright fish, and turtles. There are turtles out here.

I take a deep breath, and put the snorkel back between my teeth, and delve back into the cool blue water.

A Micro Fiction: Mosh

Dear Reader,

I have been at CMC Rocks the past two days. I love country music. It speaks to me on a deeper level than other music (though I love many genres and bands).

So for this week’s Micro Fiction, I decided to write about my experiences in the Pit, which I normally avoid.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy Mosh.

Sincerly,

The Jade Writer Girl

Mosh

There is a moment of silence – brief and overshadowed – a hush that falls just before the rumble of noise begins. 

A feeling grows in the momentary quiet (which is not quite silence but rather anticipation). There is a noise to anticipation. A hum. A buzz that starts in your feet and builds to your chest, igniting in your soul.

Lights go up, the sound check crackles and a voice cat calls. A single, solitary call. But not for long.

Voice upon voice, fire upon smoke, elation upon joy. The crowd erupts. You close your eyes and scream, right from the bottom of your heart, dragging it up from your toes until your throat is raw and you still can’t help but grin and all the while – you can’t hear your own cry amongst the call of the crowd.

Bodies press in. Heat erupts. Summer is over, but not in the crowd. Hearts thud in time with your feet in time with the beat.

This moment lasts forever, and yet also no more than a single, ephemeral, nanosecond.

They arrive on stage and the noise, impossibly and beautifully and euphorically, becomes an eruption upon an eruption. 

Still, it is not yet the peak of noise, which comes as the words spill forth from speakers bulging past their limits. The ground pounds, boots thump, ears pop from the sheer volume of voices screaming the lyrics – half wrong and half right and all the while elbows poke into backs and feet stomp on feet and reaching hands bump heads in an attempt to catch that one perfect picture and a smell of sweat and heat and musk pervades the air that in any other circumstance would not be acceptable.

But we don’t care. YOU don’t care. You flow with a crowd you wouldn’t otherwise delve into. You scream words you cannot hear. You ignore the elbows you cannot feel. Because you are lost in the moment, in the pure, unadulterated sound of it all.

The intensity is almost overwhelming…and yet…it is not nearly enough.

Too soon, though it feels like forever, the lights dim, and the soundboard dies. Spotlights flare. Boots trudge down on crushed empties scattered across the ground.

Your muscles ache, your calves burn, you can’t feel your toes and your voice is making rasping noises it shouldn’t.

Yet you grin. You dance. You hum words to songs you heard hours ago.

Your world is at it’s highest height and nothing can bring you down.

Nothing… except perhaps the morning after.

A (Late) Micro Fiction: Literally

The speech had started about nuclear explosions and, in a way, that was how it had ended. It could have been the fact that the blonde twit before him had attached herself to his best friend’s face for the last three days. Maybe it was that said best friend was currently eyeing off the blonde twit’s brother. Perhaps it was the little pro gay rights badge hanging off her shirt. But in the end it was the thousandth misuse of the word “literally” that ignited the fuse.

‘Jesus Christ have you ever read a dictionary?’ he exploded, stopping the girl mid explanation. ‘It’s literal, as in the sky is literally blue. Or I will literally slap you if you don’t stop saying that word! Or literally tear that stupid pin from your shirt because you’re literally a vapid moron!’

‘Anthony!’ Mrs Goldberg gasped.

‘Do you really think you can just flounce around promoting gay rights when you know nothing about it?’ snarled Ant, ignoring Mrs Goldberg’s outrage – it was too late to stop, the fuse had been lit, and the built up explosion erupted. ‘You don’t even realise that your “boyfriend” is shagging your brother behind your back. No gay kid in his right mind will take up your ridiculous rally. Not in this town. Not when all their parents attend the same church, with the same pompous, hell preaching, homophobic minister! You think it’s so easy for a gay kid to admit how they feel? Like a crush won’t look at you like you’ve grown a second head and run screaming in terror? Like it’s that easy to ignore years of rules and examples and ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t say that’ and the countless stories of men loving women and women loving men and my Mother telling me that ‘boys don’t love boy’s like your father loves me’ and you standing up there preaching at me while you’re making out with my, with my, my…’

The explosion petered out. Realisation crossed the girl’s red tinged face and mortification crossed his.

He fled.

Red faced—in a potent combination of anger, shame and horror—he flung himself down on the front steps of the school and buried his head in hands.

Five minutes later, someone stepped down onto the stair next him, sitting in a swish of skirts and stockings and patting him lightly on the arm. ‘You know,’ said a soft, sympathetic voice. ‘you should start your own gay rally. You’re really very good at it.’

Muffled and mortified be asked, ‘Was it bad?’

‘It was quite spectacular,’ she said. ‘Although, I think most people knew about you and were just being polite about it. Except Tim. And if he doesn’t get it by now, I’ll skywrite it for you. And,’ she added, casting him a wicked grin, ‘just think how fun church will be this Sunday.’

He groaned, reburying his head and praying to whatever god was out there, to open up the ground and swallow him whole.

An Engagement Becomes a Marriage

Dear reader,

Yesterday was a perfect.

Yesterday was full of love.

Yesterday was easier than I thought it would be.

Yesterday was full of friends and family and laughter.

Yesterday was warm and sunny with a beautiful and pleasant breeze.

Yesterday was full of stress, and rapidly beating hearts, and trying to breathe.

Yesterday was full of big, floofy skirts and pink and gold satin, and silver and pearls.

Yesterday was all blue skies and no clouds with the most beautiful sunset I could I have ever asked for.

Yesterday I was married to the most perfect man I could ever have hoped to meet.

Sincerely,

The Jade Writer Girl.

Micro Fiction Week 10: Vows

 

A Micro Fiction: The First Kiss

Seeing as my wedding is coming up (in two weeks! Help!), I thought I’d share something that I included in my wedding invites. A short little clip about how my hubby-to-be and I met.

  Chapter

I

The First Kiss

They shared a hug at the top of the stairwell, just outside her front door.

‘Drive safe tomorrow,’ he said.

‘Thanks,’ she murmured.

‘See you later,’ he said.

‘Yeah, you too,’ she replied, her heart fluttering in  her chest, her courage failing.

As he descended the stairs, getting further and further away from her, a voice hissed out from behind her.

‘What are you doing? Go after him!’

‘I can’t!’

‘Of course you can! It’s the 21st century, girls can make the first move!’

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and nodded. ‘You’re right.’

She yanked open the door and flew down the stairs after him. He was already in his car, already starting to pull out of the driveway, but, by some chance of luck, he stopped. Had he seen her?

She slowed, drawing up next to the car to peek in at him through the drivers window, a shy smile spreading across her face.

‘I forgot something,’ she said, and then, before she could change her mind, she leaned in and kissed him through the window. ‘Goodbye!’

With her heart pounding in her chest, and a brilliant smile blossoming, she raced back to the stairwell, completely forgetting to wait for a response.

Incomplete

Things have been a bit hectic lately, so this was all I managed for last week’s aspirations – it’s not complete, but it’s something.

Guerrilla

The next turn was three kilometres up the road. Just three. I’m counting the metres. Five more to the next electricity pole. To that red mailbox. To the blue car with the smashed windows. And bullet holes. Eyes on the road not on the red. Glass crinkles under the tires. Don’t pop, don’t pop. No, no, no just keep peddling. Don’t burst. Now to that overturned truck. Two more k’s. Whirring tires and panting breaths, keeping match to my heart. Thud, thud, thud. Just one more K. Just…one…more.

Writerly Aspirations: Week 6

Dear Reader,

To say that I have been enjoying my self-set Writerly Aspirations would be an understatement. While I don’t consider myself very literary, or very good at short fiction, I have certainly surprised myself over the last month and a half.

With that said, with my wedding coming up in just four weeks (yikes!), and my book – Extinguish – almost at completion, I found this weeks Short Story due date snuck up a little too fast for my liking.

As such, I did end up late. Also, I cheated. This is not a fresh story, nor did I rework it before I posted it her, as I do with other older stories that I want to revisit.

Instead, I rather liked it as it was. It has a certain melancholy, a bittersweetness that I quite like. It’s not a happy story, not even close, but I do enjoy it and I hope that you will too – even if it makes you sad.

As Anne of Green Gables once said, “I’d rather make them cry.”

Sincerely,

The Jade Writer Girl.

Happy Birthday

An Obsession

Dear Reader,

Today I want to talk about obsessions.

Obsession
əbˈsɛʃ(ə)n/
noun
noun: obsession
  1. the state of being obsessed with someone or something.
    “she cared for him with a devotion bordering on obsession”
    • an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.
      plural noun: obsessions
      “he was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist”

Anyone who knows me will agree that when I enter into a conversation about anything I am passionate about, I tend to get a little…obsessive. Enthralled even…enraptured, ardent, zealous, or perhaps heated.

Any of these things can describe my tone and body language when in discussion about a passion of mine. Now, you may disagree with this, but I think passions and obsessions have a lot of similarities.

I have many passions, and I am often obsessive about them.

You can always tell when people are talking about their passions. It’s in their eyes. There’s this wild gleam that only grows the longer you talk. This gleam can be frightening to those who have never felt the effects of a passionate obsession.

Some people think that passionate obsessions – or obsessive passions – can be unhealthy, and in some cases this is true. However, they can also be incredibly fulfilling. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking animatedly with another person who shares a joy of something I love. It’s thrilling in a way no other conversation topic is.

I feel this way about many things, things that other people won’t entirely understand. I feel passionate about wolves, about clouds and nature, about training my unsocial dog to get along with others. I feel passionate about Harry Potter, and Fairy Tail and a scant few other fandoms.

The difference between unhealthy obsession and healthy obsession, is knowing how it affects you and others. Those who do not understand the power of a fandom, will mock those who take part in them. Yet, I pity these people. I consider myself part of several fandoms, and often they are a wonderful thing to partake in. Where else can you find the kind of devotion that leads to dozens of people gathering outside the premier of a movie and raising their wands and lightsabers to the sky in respect for a fallen actor? This, to me, is beautiful.

What is the harm, I ask, in becoming passionate about something that brings you joy? What is wrong in sharing that joy with others who are also passionate about it? If it doesn’t harm anyone, then, nothing. It is, in fact, quite wonderful.

This is what leads me to writing, day after day. Passion and obsession. The desire to create a place for others, like that which I have been a part of. I hope that one day Fandoms of Extinguish or Riverwood feel the way that I feel about Harry Potter and Fairy Tail. I hope they have people to talk to in animated excitement. I hope that they find the same acceptance and wonder that I have found. I hope they feel that special something, when they turn the last page, that I have often felt.

This hope – passion, obsession – along with the desire to do justice to the characters within my mind, is what drives me.

This is what should drive you. Find your passion, and chase it with healthy obsession. If there is something you love that makes you happy, you should go after it with all your strength.

That is my belief, and that is what I strive for. I hope that you strive for it too.

Sincerely,

The Jade Writer Girl.

A Micro Fiction: Wings

Away to their left, a flight of cockatoos lifted from the gums and swung a pink cloud over the road and into the sun-burned bush. She watched them go, shielding her eyes and savouring the sight, knowing that was this could be the last time she ever saw a living bird.

Not two weeks later she stood upon the edge of a frothing sea. The water was no longer tepid and refreshing, but bubbled and boiled, evaporating off into steam before her eyes. Behind her, society lay in pieces, crumbled along the ravaged earth that lay stretched out behind her – like a scar upon the planet.

They were a scar, a plague that wrought destruction upon all it touched. She stood, waiting for her penance, as the world burned. Millions of years of evolution brought to it’s knees in mere moments. The steam rose, the fire raged, and she waited. She stood, ready to face it—too proud to hide frightened and cowering in pointless, useless bunkers—she was ready meet her end. The end they had brought upon themselves.

They thought, with their guns and their bombs and their nuclear warfare, that they could conquer the world. How wrong they had been. Mother Earth was still teaching them, up to the last, just how small they really were in the universe.

As the planet conquered that which strove to destroy it, she stood, breathing in the first hint of clean air in decades, and a soft smile replaced her fear. This was more true than anything she had experienced in her entire wireless, disconnected life.

A flash of a shadow overhead. She flinched, glancing up into the broiling sky, and saw wings.

Her faint smile blossomed. Here, on the last edge of the world, she could be content in knowing they hadn’t defeated everything.

A Micro Fiction: Dosage

Dear Reader,

When I asked some friends for some ideas for this week’s micro fiction I thought I might get a few fun ideas or prompts that would inspire something quirky or experimental like I have been doing recently.

Instead I got some requirements that led to a rather odd idea.

Those requirements were: a bee, a tree, something unsettling and “I am the first sentient houseplant.”.

This, as you can imagine, was rather tricky but I actually enjoy how it turned out. It’s something different, and not at all what I would have written without those suggestions.

It is somewhat unconventional and I’m not entirely sure it makes sense or that it’s clear what’s going on in the story, but hopefully you get the idea and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sincerely,

The Jade Writer Girl.

Dosage

‘I am the first sentient houseplant.’

Eve glanced up from her detailed depiction of a bee, raising her eyebrows as she surveyed the small bonsai plant sitting on her window sill.

“You can hardly call yourself a houseplant,” she said, tapping her pen against the pad of paper on her desk. “This isn’t a house, after all.”

‘I am the first sentient houseplant.’

‘Repeating it doesn’t make it so,’ said Eve, looking back down at her drawing.

Despite the drawbacks of having only a single blue, ballpoint pen, it wasn’t bad. It was one of her finest works, in fact. She liked bees. They were full of wonderful, anaphylactic wonder.

Like wasps and spiders and snakes. And the old frangipani plant she’d had, filled with it’s core of poisonous wonder. She sighed, missing Fran. After “The incident” they’d taken Fran away, and now Eve was stuck with an identity confused bonsai plant.

She had pens, at least, non-toxic though they were.

A sharp rap on the door pulled her attention away from the mechanics of the pen. The locks unclicked and rattled as the heavy, padded door swung inwards.

Eve dropped the pen onto her notebook and placed her hands flat on either side of the table as Troy entered, an easy smile on his face, despite his slow caution.

“How are you today, Eve?”

‘I am the first sentient houseplant.’

“Good,” said Eve. “George thinks he’s a houseplant. It’s laughable. He doesn’t realise he’s just crazy.”

Troy closed the door, nodding. He smiled, good-natured as always. He didn’t pretended like I was crazy. After all, we shared a mother, so he understood the situation. Mother was the whole reason I was here. With George, no less.

“George seems chatty.”

‘I am the first sentient houseplant.’

“It’s the new dose,” said Eve. “It makes me itchy, and it gives George an attitude.”

‘I am the first sentient houseplant.’

“You’ve been sharing your dose with George again?” asked Troy, crossing the room to examine George.

Troy shifted through the crushed up pills in George’s soil.

“They make him itchy too,” said Eve.

Troy straightened, shaking his head.

He gave me a wry look. “I can’t keep switching your meds. You know we won’t give you anything you can overdose on. Moth…uh, they are working on something new for you. Something that’ll clear your mind.”

Eve sighed. She stood and walked to the bed, careful not to cross within Troy’s personal space—always keep a one metre distance at all times. She flopped down onto the bed and glanced up at Troy from beneath her lashes.

“You’re very handsome,” she said, shifting her body on the bed.

A wry, somewhat uncomfortable, smile split Troy’s face. “Save it for George. I’ll talk to the doctors about upping your dose.”

“You’re a doll.”

As he left, the locks clicking back into place, George sighed wistfully after him. ‘I am the first sentient houseplant,’ he whispered huskilly.

“Oh, shut up already.”