#Writober Day 29: Alien Invasion

writober 29

Alien by Ivan Mityaev from artstation.com

Isn’t this image amazing? I love this creature. Such a great design and rendering.

Last year, the alien image inspired me to write a story about the subtle reptilian invasion going on under our noses; co-workers and friends in human form until “the change”. This year, I’m thinking full-scale, violent invasion. A whole army of these awesome aliens coming right atcha!

It makes me think of Mars Attacks! and Independence Day but I think I want my story to be less silly blockbuster and more The Elephant Man and Frankenstein. The plight of the poor, misunderstood monster, alien invasion style.

#vss very short story

When the Shnaggerfens arrived, they believed they were alone on Planet Gerfenx 1024. Their eyes did not register the billions of angry and confused occupants they kept squishing.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Breathtaking
form: Villanelle

The Day We Arrived

Today in the day we invade
Because it’s the day we arrived
Why do they look so afraid?

Leaders try to ply us with trade
But we are not in any need
Today is the day we invade

An officer thinks loud voice will persuade
Their weapons will do no harm
Why do they look so afraid?

Scientists use numbers in hope to dissuade
But we have no choice; our fate is set
Today is the day we invade

They ask for patience as options are weighed
Gathered in houses with spires and crosses
Why do they look so afraid?

Look at this mess they have made
Denying this inevitable day
Today is the day we invade
Why do they look so afraid?

 

#FlashFicHive

flash fic hive 29

graphic by Anjela Curtis

Since I didn’t participate in August, I looked back through October’s prompts. I had the most fun with Day 26‘s Circumlocution prompt, but I think my favorite writer’s prompts were the antagonist prompts on Day 23 and Day 24. I think I’ll take a look at an antagonists backstory and write from an antagonist’s point of view.

Are the alien invaders the antagonists, or the humans? Or are these aliens even invading earth? Maybe these awesome aliens have just discovered a new planet and encountered a completely different form of antagonist. So many ideas. Fun. Fun. Fun.

#RIP XII

Have you been doing the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge? How’s it going? Still a few days left. My planned reads kept changing, but I’ll make it. I only need to finish reading Slade House by David Mitchell for Peril of the Group Read and it’s good, so finishing shouldn’t be a problem.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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#Writober Day 25: Childhood Fears

writober 25

Bed by Joshua Hoffine

If you’re looking for more truly horrible visual prompts, I recommend visiting Joshua Hoffine Horror Photography. He has an amazing selection of prints for sale.

When I was little, I had a tall antique bed with a canopy. I had to run and jump to get on it. During the day, when I wanted to hide from my mom and/or the world, I would play under it and be completely hidden, so it was very easy for me to imagine there was a man under it at night ready to grab my ankles if I got out of bed. Needless to say, having to go to the bathroom in the night was a terrifying situation.

Joshua Hoffine’s image captures that middle-of-the-night fear so well. Is this story about the monster, the girl, the blocks, or maybe the teddy bear? Is it about literal monsters under the bed, or maybe hidden secrets sneaking out from the past? What childhood fears did you have? Have you put them in a story yet?

#vss very short story

Penelope flipped on the light when she heard the blocks click against the wood floor. She watched with satisfaction as the enormous furry paws tried to right them with long black claws.

(edited to fit in a tweet) Penelope flipped on the light. She watched with satisfaction as enormous furry paws tried to right the disturbed blocks with long claws.#vss

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Taste of Satisfaction

Ode To A Satisfying Meal

The sweet release
Months of hiding
Sneaking in silence
A den of darkness
Under the bed

Now the light
I am seen
In the open
Tricked by the girl
On top of the bed

I know she has seen me
I heard the catch of her breath
I’ll spell hello with the blocks
Then reveal my head

A long time in coming
Drool forms and drips
I’ll taste satisfaction
The sweet taste of fear
Of what’s under the bed

 

#FlashFicHive

Today’s prompt is fun on #FlashFicHive. We get to share how #Writober has gone so far.

flashfichive day 25

graphic by Anjela Curtis

Thanks to #Writober, I’ve had a very productive month so far. 25 very short stories, 25 poems, over 25 story premises, and 5 flash fiction and short stories.

How has your writing gone? Have you been inspired to write some flash fiction? I hope so. Head on over to #FlashFicHive and share your great accomplishments.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 24: Strangers At The Door

Writober 24

by Maria L. Berg 2016

This image is so creepy! I find the idea of someone looking back at me when I look through the peephole in my door, terrifying. It makes me think of strangers spying on people. These days it’s so easy and prevalent. There are so many creepers in the world. It must be a strange, base human desire some people can’t rise above.

This image makes me think of Rear Window (Did you know they made a re-make in 1998 with Christopher Reeve: Rear Window ?), Disturbia and The Burbs. One of my novels (still editing) explores the unseen underbelly of a quiet neighborhood. When you don’t know your neighbors, you’re surrounded by strangers.

It makes me think of the adages, “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.” and “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean someone’s not trying to kill you.”

#vss very short story

I was about to leave when I heard a shuffling on the other side of the door. I placed my eye to the peep hole only to see a bloated purple eye staring back at me. How long had he been there, watching?

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: When Lovers Meet

This theme is a little awkward with our visual prompt at first glance. It lends to stalker stories which I don’t want to write a poem about. However, we could twist it to be about overcoming the fear (for some the terror) of meeting new people. It could be a poem/story of social-phobia, or agoraphobia.

Blitz poem I would not have figured this out without examples, but once you see one, it makes sense and looks like fun.

The Song Of The Hermit

Someone is knocking
Someone I don’t know
Know no better
Know thyself alone
Alone in the dark
Alone against them all
All the wolves at the door
All knowledge is key
Key to success
Key to the safe
Safe from harm
Safe, not out
Out in the crowd
Out of time
Time to kill
Time will come
Come here little girl
Come from behind
Behind the line
Behind the door
Door to tomorrow
Door slammed shut
Shut it quick!
Shut out the fear
Fear of the world
Fear of a stranger
Stranger than fiction
Stranger things can happen
Happen to see
Happen upon love
Love the one you’re with
Love is blind
Blind as a bat
Blind to evil
Evil is as evil does
Evil all-seeing eye
Eye for an eye
Eye in the sky
Sky of blue
Sky wide open
Open the door
Open the lock
Lock your lips
Lock your heart
Heart of glass
Heart is broken
Broken . . .
Glass . . .

#FlashFicHive

Antagonist’s backstory

flashfichive day 24

graphic by Anjela Curtis

I obviously got very excited about creating well-rounded antagonists yesterday. If you haven’t looked at it yet, there are a ton of great links in the #FlashFicHive section of #Writober Day 23. This prompt is also great for #NaNoWriMo prep.

If you want more information about writing great antagonists, here are more links:

How to Write Multiple Antagonists from K.M. Weiland’s website Helping Writers Become Authors

Should You Ever Redeem Your Bad Guy? K.M. Weiland video

6 Ways to Write Better Bad Guys a guest post by Laura DiSilverio on Writer’s Digest

Ellen Brock has a great post as part of her Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #8: Writing Believable Antagonists

And here’s a fun one from Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward – Fiction Writing Exercises: Becoming the Antagonist

Once you’ve become your antagonist, don’t forget to head over to #FlashFicHive and share some lines from your backstory.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 22: Let Me Out

writober 22

from weheartit.com

This image makes me think of the TV people in the first Poltergeist. It also makes me think of the powerful, creepy kid from Twilight Zone: The Movie who puts his sister in the television to be eaten by cartoons. The way the lines of the palm are clear against the screen makes me think of palm reading.

For today’s story, is the main character the one trapped, or did he or she wish someone else into that old TV? Was some sort of demon or monster trapped in an old TV and your character accidentally lets it out? Or is the story about the pit-falls of knowing your own future? So many great story ideas from one hand against a screen.

#vss very short story

Donald found out the hard way that the saying “You are what you eat” did not refer to the physical act of eating but the more metaphorical act of perceptual input.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Purposeful Passion

I took a look at Shadow Poetry and thought a Kyrielle would fit nicely with the visual prompt and the poetry theme.

Passions Wither

Lines carved by constant movement
Press hard against the doubt
Passion for constant improvement
Let me out

My hand waves to draw your attention
Planting seeds of ideas to sprout
Stroking the glass raises tension
Let me out

Lines left in grease cloud my future
No one can hear when I shout
Wide open screams my new embouchure
Let me out

I wither in stagnant space longing
Creative passions frozen in drought
For now there is nothing worth watching
Let me out!

#FlashFicHive

Today’s theme is a retweet Storm.

The Sunday hashtags and themes on Twitter are:

#SunWIP  – Sweet
#SaidSun – Dialogue only – Power
#WhosYourCharacter – Share bios, insp. pics, etc.
#TurtleWriters – What’s the hook/inciting incident in your WIP

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 21: Invasion of Red Foxes

writober day 21

by Sandy Skoglund

Sandy Skoglund’s images are so creepy because she actually made all of those foxes and created a real scene for her photographs. They look so real and fake at the same time. Her choice of color adds to the surrealism. She’s done many images like this such as green cats and swarming squirrels. If you’re interested in seeing more of her work and work of other great photographers, she’s included in the book Focus: Five Women Photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron/Margaret Bourke-White/Flor Garduño/Sandy Skoglund/Lorna Simpson.
This image makes me think of The Fox And The Hound because the foxes look so playful, but it also makes me think of Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge which has been turned into a TV show Zoo: Season 1. In Zoo, the animals of the earth “change”. They become violent and start to exterminate the humans. I could see these foxes suddenly turning on those diners and having a nice meal of their own.

So what are these foxes up to? Did they change like in Zoo, or are they a new mutant species? They might have recently arrived from another dimension, perhaps a land like Narnia or Oz where animals can talk and the foxes are the bad guys. They might be aliens that arrived from another planet and took the form of the last thing they saw. Maybe they see color differently on their planet and thus can’t replicate color correctly. That could make replicating disguises pretty funny.

#vss very short story

When the first fox ran into the restaurant and jumped on the table, she thought it was fun and extraordinary. When the restaurant was full of red foxes, her soup didn’t sit well.

edited to fit in a tweet: A fox ran in & jumped on the table. She thought it fun and extraordinary. Now the room is full of red foxes. Her soup doesn’t sit well.

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s theme is Nothing Remains the Same

I think today’s image goes a lot better with the theme Fox and Foxy from day 19 and since I didn’t get a chance at the form prompt Florette (due to power outage that day), I think I’ll try it now. A Florette has a rhyme scheme and meter rules with a combination of both in the fourth line of each stanza. It should be a good challenge for the story of the invading red foxes.

Bad Date

When fox first approached, he was shy
He crept up close then hopped up, spry
He sniffed the plate then stole a bone
We thought he was a scout alone, but fox was sly

He wouldn’t look me in the eye
Rubbing his tail against my thigh
I bit my lip, began to suck
I swear he winked at and stuck his nose in pie

Then it came, his announcing cry
A thousand responses pitched high
The room flooded with fluffy tails
My date’s pallor sickens and pales, absent any lie

The fox, it stole his favorite tie
Another ate his last steak fry
“If we’re quiet they’ll let us be”
But we are far from being free “We are about to die”

Note: As with all of the poem-form prompts, this was a fun challenge. I did a mind map for Fox and Foxy and found the connections interesting. I also used the rhyme one rhyming dictionary for “sly” and found inspiration there. I love how the #Writober images combined with the #OctPoWriMo prompts have me writing story poems that I wouldn’t usually write.

 

#FlashFicHive

day21

graphic by Anjela Curtis

I have managed to finish a few of my #Writober stories this week which is exciting. So today may be a good day for hashtag games. Let’s see what’s on for Saturdays.

sat hashtags

graphic by Mica Scotti Cole

Themes:

#SciFiSat: No theme, but jfx mcloughlin @SciFiPrompt did put up the #Writober Day 1 image and I finished that story, so that’s convenient.
#SlapDashSAT – Any Lines/ No theme
I looked at a couple more and it looks like Saturday is a themeless free-for-all, so sharing lines entails picking the best lines. Nice.

I found a hashtag not on the list: #storysaturday and the theme is GHOSTS!

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 20: The Darwin Pool

writober day 20

This guy looks like something that crawled out of The Darwin Pool. The Darwin Pool is what my friend and I call a tide pool at the ocean with weird looking sea life in it, like an albino tadpole looking thing or a creepy piranha with legs like our friend in the picture.

So how will this little monster fit into your story? Is it a new species? Are they invading aliens? Is it the latest pet craze? Share your ideas in the comments.

And don’t forget ti head over to #pessimisticmoustache. I bet you can come up with a bunch of isms to describe our little monster.

#vss very short story

When the fish started walking around, they looked like cute Ray Harryhausen creations. But then they got a taste for blood and they weren’t so cute anymore.

#OctPoWriMo

Desires and Remembering

Today’s prompt is a challenge to remember something that you really wanted and remember it with all the senses. I’m pretty sure I’ve never really wanted a fish with legs, but I’ll give it a go.

I haven’t written a haiku yet during #OctPoWriMo and something came to me, so here goes.

Walking On Land

A fish walks on land
It yearns for air without salt
but only knows thirst

#FlashFicHive

Question for your main character:

question for MC

graphic by Anjela Curtis

If my MC ends up being the walking, fanged fish, I’m pretty sure it hopes for world domination.

Happy Reading and Writing!

 

#Writober Day 19: The Blob

writober day 19

photo by Maria L. Berg 2015

When this thing fist appeared on the ramp, I could not get my head around what it could possibly be. When I walked up to it, I thought it was a horrifying clump of eggs. But then I did some research. It is a colony of pectinatella magnifica. I wrote a post back in 2015 and titled it Inspiration: Stay Ready.

I think that sums up what I’m enjoying about my 2017 #Writober experience. My poems are more challenging and exciting because I’m blending a Halloween image prompt with an #OctPoWriMo prompt. And my flash fiction stories are sometimes being guided by an #OctPoWriMo prompt and a #FlashFicHive prompt. Inspiration is everywhere. Purposeful combinations of inspiration can truly develop creative idea.

That all being said, this image is all about The Blob.

#vss very short story

She poked it with a stick. The stick was consumed. It still didn’t appear to be alive. The blob on her foot grew until it was her size.

#OctPoWriMo

I didn’t have the prompt–fox and foxy–when I wrote my poem due to power-outage, but using my visual prompt, I think I covered part of the prompt; It’s playful, cunning, crafty and creative.

The Blob

All consuming
No discretion
A conjoined entity
Of mouths without minds

Surging, rolling, engulfing
You cannot escape
Growth exponential
of girth; not potential
A colony of wasted life

A sign of health? This monster?
Perhaps of wealth and greed, vile
It rolls over all opposers
Forcing them to join the bile
Dissolved to mindless absorbers in the pile.

The blob, it keeps on growing
Oozing through our towns and burbs
And everyone surrenders
Not a voice left to be heard.
Individuals dissolved as
The mass it wraps them in
To One Big Blob

#FlashFicHive

When it comes to music and writing, it’s weird for me. As a musician, listening to music can sometimes be more of a stressor than a release. Most of my songs were relevant for yesterday’s poem, but today, I think it will be fun to see if I can find the soundtrack for The Blob.

FlashFicHive day 19

Again, I can’t say how great it is to combine all of these inspirations. I just looked up the music for The Blob. First I got the music from the remake and it will probably be a good soundtrack for creepy, but then I looked up the soundtrack for the 1958 Title theme and it is so amazingly wrong, it might go into the theme-song of my life. So I found all this quickly on youtube, so I didn’t do any research, but . . .fun either way.

Sorry this is getting out so late, but again, LIFE. BE CAREFUL OF THE BLOB!

I can’t help myself. I have to add the song from Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes!

 

#Writober Day 16: Shiny, Shiny Lure

writober day 16

‘Drowning Salvation’ by Matt Dangler

I love the concept of this image, a creature that evolved to trap its prey by appealing to their impulse to help someone. Kind of like the Ted Bundy of water monsters. This image makes me think of Jaws. It also makes me think of the angler fish in Finding Nemo.

The monster looks like a jolly sort with a nice personality. Maybe he or she wants to tell his or her side of the story.

#vss very short story

The monster was having trouble finding food. No one was willing to help someone drowning in this lake anymore.

#OctPoWriMo

Losing Your Fears and Tears

Today’s prompt is perfect for #Writober and pairs well with the image prompt.

Pick one of your fears and have a conversation with it. I think I’ll contemplate what my sea monster fears, after exploring some of my own fears: like helping a drowning person who turns out to be only a lure for a hungry water monster.

Conditioned Fear

Why do you haunt me in the darkness
Make it impossible for me to sleep
Why do you linger at my pillow
Keeping me from rest that’s sound and deep
Why am I conditioned now to fear you
Images of life enjoyed before
The dreams that always bring me near you
Are a torture that my waking self abhors

Your over-active mind, it calls me
Wanting things to return to before
You hate the pain when you awaken
But in the silence you beg me for more
It is not me that you’re fearing
But whether your soul he will keep
And if your tired eyes that are seering
Will close and get stuck in the deep.

 

#FlashFicHive

flashfichive day 16

graphic by Anjela Curtis

If I do write today’s story from the perspective of the monster, how would I fill in the blanks? Let’s try a few:

Apathy was the main reason I left Lake Eerie. People just turned away from my lure like they didn’t see that hand begging for help.

Nessie was the main reason I left Loch Ness. That girl needed her space. She did not like to share.

Raw sewage was the main reason I left the waters of Victoria, B.C. I mean, who’s going to dive into that, even to save someone. It was gross.

How will you fill in that sentence?

Have a great day of reading and writing!

 

#Writober Day 15: The Hill Has An Eye

An altered photograph of an eyeball looking out of a hill.

Joan Fontcuberta

This image, as my title suggests, made me think of the horror classic The Hills Have Eyes. It also makes me think of the wonderful faux documentary Troll Hunter and that super creepy mind-altering underground man-eating mushroom X-files episode Field Trip (Season Six episode 21).
How would your character or characters react to coming across a giant eye in a hill, in the ground, in the forest? Or is the hill with an eye your character?

Wanna try your hand at pairing some isms with this eye? Join me over at #pessimisticmoustache.

#vss very short story

Today was different. Today, Earth’s eye had opened and she did not enjoy her view. The ground began to quake and the oceans boiled.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Fighting The Urge To Vomit

The suggested form for this provocative prompt is a storytelling poem. I think this could probably work with our visual prompt. One might feel the urge to vomit when they encounter a disembodied eye in a hill. I really enjoyed the storytelling poem The Croft and Dalton Cats. I’ll use it as inspiration for today’s poem.

The Eye

The earth quivered with a sigh, when
From the hill emerged an eye, then
It moved to stare at me and
I stood still as a tree.

It moved slowly without sound, when
I felt a signal through the ground, then
I thought I knew its voice and
It said I had a choice.

It warned me of a comet, when
I fought the urge to vomit, then
The eye became the hill and
The wind tickled wild dill.

The choice the monster gave, when
It emerged from deep its grave, then
Showed me all life’s fate and
Sunk away to mitigate.

Was to join it in its bed, when
All life on earth was shed, then
Repopulate the earth and
Eternally give birth.

Or watch as the comet comes, when
Life’s destruction total sums, then
Be no more of eternal matter and
I clearly chose the latter.

I am so glad I’m doing #OctPoWriMo. I wasn’t sure how I was going to write a poem with Fighting the Urge to Vomit, but with my #Writober image and the inspiration of Edward the Killer Carney‘s storytelling poem, I came up with something unique and fun. Thank you everyone for all the inspiration!

#FlashFicHive

flashfichive day 15

graphic by Anjela Curtis

This is a great prompt to get some words out into the world. For those of you that have been reading these #Writober posts, you know I write a #vss very short story for each of the picture prompts. I post most of them on twitter with the hashtag #vss but there are other places to post your #microstories as well.

is posting his tweet-long stories at #vss365 with a word prompt. Today’s word appears to be “signal”.

Here are some more you can try:

#microfiction        #140novel        #tinytales        #microtales        #nanotales

I hope you’ve found some inspiration for today’s writing.

We’re already half-way to Halloween. Got your costume ready?

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 14: Monsters under the microscope.

writober day 14

Now here’s a real monster from The Science Library/Getty Images.

I think if you watch Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and compare this guy to the storm-trooper carrying at-ats you’ll see some design similarities.

This four-eyed alien-like face, belonging to the larva of a water-dwelling beetle, can be the last thing a tadpole sees before it’s snapped up and eaten.

But what if it wasn’t microscopic, or what if you were?

#vss very short story

When the giant monsters emerged from the water, they were still in larval form. The survivors didn’t know how to prepare for the change.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Movement and Words

Words In Motion

wiggly squiggly
swirling whirling
higgledy piggledy
turning churning
shaky quaky
twisting resisting
twittery jittery
toeing flowing growing

 

#FlashFicHive

Write a “dialogue only” flash story.

flashfichive day 14

graphic by Anjela Curtis

I really like today’s #FlashFicHive prompt. One of my main tricks for getting words on the page is to put my characters in dialogue. Writing an entire story in dialogue isn’t easy, but I’ve done it before, so it looks like today’s monster, based on the water-dwelling beetle larva, can talk!

Happy Reading and Writing!