Archive for August, 2012
- Dark and gloomy.
Used in a sentence:
- The hallway with the shades drawn shut and the candles blown out was tenebrous, making her almost turn back to find comfort in the smoldering embers of the fireplace in her room.
Now here’s a new word for me. I’ve never heard of tenebrous but it seems an excellent word. Of course in countries where electric lights are all but too common, there is lack of situations for the literal meaning of this word but metaphorically I could see someone finding the Las Vegas strip tenebrous, couldn’t you?
Worst Flight Ever
By Nojh Livic
“Let’s see… Is this seventeen A?” the man asked. Robin looked up at the newly entered passenger, then around him to the only other aisle on the absurdly small airplane. The other two seats that comprised half of the airplane’s passenger capacity were actually filled not with passengers but cargo. One was a box that was buzzing too much for Robin’s comfort but was at least belted into the seat. In the other seat sat a bushel of broccoli strapped together. It was not belted to the seat, which for some reason made Robin more nervous than the buzzing box.
This meant there was only one seat left on the tiny plane. She had questioned the flight attendant regarding the odd number assignment of the single row but had somehow been unable to communicate how bizarre it was to name it seventeen when there was only one aisle to the woman. Robin did not have high hopes for the food service of the flight.
She looked over the new passenger. He was tall, bearded, and had a backpack in hand. Dressed casually in a way that made Robin ever so slightly envious. Flying for business never let her dress comfortably although her short stature did make the average seat size less of an inconvenience.
Several seconds past before she realized he was still looking at her expectantly. She blinked in confusion, having thought his question rhetorical. “Uh. Yeah. Right here.” she said, motioning to the seat beside her next to the window. The only seat available.
“Thank you!” the man said with a little too much cheer. This was going to be a long flight.
“And thank… again for fly… airlines,” the speaker coughed, managed only a few understandable words between bursts of static. She didn’t understand why the flight crew just didn’t open the door between them and speak back. The front half of the plane couldn’t be that far away.
The bushel of broccoli had not fallen out of the seat during take off, much to Robin’s surprise. She had kept an eye on it during the rather shaky ride. It had rolled around in the seat a bit and even jumped when the aircraft dropped suddenly during the initial ascent, but landed back on the seat. The buzzing box took the ascent far less calmly, becoming louder with each jostle and bump, but also remain firmly belted to the seat. Robin found herself unconsciously leaning away from the box every time it jumped.
It took breathing exercises to relax her after the plane finally leveled off.
“Don’t you just love flying?” the man said, suddenly. Robin glanced at him this time to make sure he wasn’t expecting an answer but his attention was focused out the tiny port hole-like window. She chose not to respond but instead leaned forward to reach under her seat for her carry on bag. In it she had her novel and an audio player. She wasn’t much of a conversationalist.
“Whoa you snuck on some cargo?” the man asked in a hush whisper as she pulled out her audio player. She tensed and looked towards the man, wide-eyed. She wasn’t aware she had done anything wrong. The flight attendant had watched her carry her luggage on. The man pointed at her audio player. She frowned slightly.
“No. This is just my audio player?” Robin asked very slowly.
“Don’t worry. I wont tell the airline,” the man said, giving Robin a conspiratorial wink before looking back out the window. She saw him pull out his phone however and began typing away on it. She held back a sigh and plugged the ear buds into her ears and closing her eyes.
The batteries on her audio player ran out sometime after the flight attendant came by to take drinks but before the man beside her began to snore loudly. This meant that she had about half a cup of water to splash in his face in order to wake him up and she was considering it for what was likely the hundredth time. The rational part of her mind kept explaining that he would likely be even more irate to be woken in such a manner, or that waking him at all would constitute some kind of conversation. She was better just trying to block it out.
However all her willpower was focused on blocking out the buzzing sound from the seat just two feet to her right and just didn’t have the power to spare for the loud man next to her. This wasn’t, by far, the worse occasion of an annoying seat neighbor on a plane. That particular occasion involved drool, but this was getting close.
The fasten seatbelt sign came on, which wasn’t a bother for her as she hadn’t unbuckled her seatbelt nor had her neighbor. Strangely she found herself side glancing at the bushel of broccoli. The broccoli did not seem to notice but it did not have a seatbelt on either. She had almost convinced herself she could possibly switch seats with it when the aircraft began to shake and bounced.
This, of course, spilled the remaining cup of water into her lap and all over her skirt. She took big deep breaths, reminding herself that her clothes would likely be dry before the flight ever landed. Which reminded her how long the flight was and how much longer she was trapped.
Breathing exercises and her happy place were needed to calm down this time.
“We’re gain… tude, which should allev… of the turbul…” the speaker coughed discouragingly. The plane had been bouncing for what seemed like forever. The turbulence made reading her book impossible. Robin’s skirt still wasn’t dry. Her neighbor was still snoring. The box was still buzzing. And the broccoli was still in its seat!
Robin was beginning to doubt her sanity.
Either way she had decided this was now the worse flight she had ever been on, drool or not. That way when the seatbelt holding the buzzing box came unbuckled after a particularly stomach wrenching bounce, her opinion was not modified in the least.
Her blood pressure, on the other hand, shot through the roof. The box fell out of its seat and wedged itself between the wall of the cabin and the seat. It only took another bounce to dislodge that and have it fall into the aisle next to hear. The buzzing sound was furious. Robin pulled her carry on onto her lap, to put something between her and the box. The aircraft bounced again and this time Robin heard a cracking sound, and saw the crack beginning to form on the outside of the box.
Quickly she reached up to press the call attendant button. A light came on for a brief second, then flickered off, much to Robin’s dismay. She pressed the light again. Again the light flickered on, and then off. She tried again. And again. That is when Robin felt something lightly touch her leg. Robin screamed and slapped at her leg. A bug fell away from her thigh, some of its guts still smeared on her hose.
That only seemed to make the rest of them angry.
“Isn’t this exciting?” the man yelled as Robin brandished a head of broccoli at the swarm while he stomped on the bugs brave enough to advance. She gritted her teeth.
Robin was huddled under a blanket next to the door. The combination of broccoli and blanket seemed to be keeping the swarm at bay. She had no idea the fate of her companion.
Pounding on the door to the front of the plane was fruitless. She tried tapping out S.O.S. on the door. No response.
She had tried calling out to the man but that had increased the buzzing noise outside the blanket, so she remained silent. She feared everything was lost.
The flight attendant opened the door as the aircraft as stopped at the gate. She put on her polite smile. “We thank you for using our airlines and behalf of the crew of this flight welcome you to your destination,” she said with rehearsed cheeriness, even as her eyes grew slightly wider.
Robin stood in the aisle, her carry-on on her shoulder. She held a single stalk of broccoli in one hand, and one of her heels in the other, point forward. Her jacket was tied around her waist and the front of her skirt was still stained dark. The rest of her looked rumpled, like she had just tumbled out of the dryer. Her hair was a mess, her blouse wrinkled, her hose torn, and even some of her makeup was smeared.
The cabin was worse. Dead bugs covered nearly every surface. Some were squished. Some were smashed. Some just seemed to have curled up and died. None seemed alive. Littered across the aisle and seats were small pieces of broccoli, as if the broccoli had decided to spontaneously combust. Laying across both seats was another passenger, a blanket covering their face and chest. They weren’t moving.
Robin was panting. Her attention was directly on the flight attendant. Despite her wild appearance, her lips were tight and her eyes dark and focused. She stalked towards the younger woman and stopped in the door frame. There she placed the heel she held on the floor and carefully stepped into it, holding onto the door frame.
“You’re not welcome.” she said, and stalked off the plane.
While it starts off slow, the end and the stinger made me laugh out loud.
- Any of several coarse ferns, of genus Pteridium, that forms dense thickets; often poisonous to livestock
- An area of countryside heavily infested with this fern
Used in a sentence:
- The forest was thick with bracken and other plants making travel both slow and dangerous for anything might sneak up upon them if they were quiet enough.
I see the word bracken I think sea weed, for some reason. And yet it turns out to a land weed instead. It grows very very quickly and is apparently poisonous to some, although the Wikipedia article has some conflicting information about that. Either way if you need a word for lots of plants bracken will do you just right.
Don’t Worry About It
By Nojh Livic
“Wait so you haven’t liked… called the police or anything?” Stan asked, his eyes flickering between Barbra, still relaxing from a long day in the recliner, and the new door that had mysteriously appeared in living room wall earlier that morning. Barbra gave a shrug and lifted herself in the recliner enough to peer over her should at the door. It was wooden and white, had a single brass doorknob, and looked far too clean to be in the apartment.
“Well what was I supposed to say?” She held her hand up to her ear and mimed a phone. “‘Yes Officer, I’d like to report a home invasion. Someone snuck in to my apartment in the middle of the night and installed a new door. No, nothing was stolen. No, we slept right through the entire thing. Hell my roommate walked right past it on his way to work this morning without even noticing! Now he’s forcing me to call you to report it. I know, right?! What a douche!’ Besides I figured you had ordered it or something…”
Stan’s expression grew darker and darker until he was scowling at his roommate. “Mom said living with a woman would be trouble…” he muttered, stalking towards the kitchen.
“She would know.” Barbra shot back, rolling her eyes and plopping back into the recliner to try to catch the rest of her television show. Not that there was anything good on. All the channels seemed to be show casing vacation infomercials for some reason, and badly. Despite the entire complex being wired for cable, the image on the screen was full of lines and static and the sound slightly garbled. She muttered and flicked through the channels a few times, finding the same problem on every channel, both analog and digital. She leaned forward to push herself out of her chair intent on checking the cables behind the entertainment center when three very loud knocks echoed through the apartment.
“Was that you or is there someone at the door?” Stan called from the kitchen, yelling over running the sink faucet.
“That wasn’t the front door.” Barbra called back, standing up slowly and wearily glancing over her shoulder.
“What?!” Stan yelled back.
Barbra raised her voice. “I said that wasn’t-” Stan turned off the faucet and entered the living room. “-the front door.” Barbra finished lamely. Stan, still obviously annoyed, was drying his hands with a towel. He opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by the same three loud knocks. Instead he leapt back a foot from the newly installed doorway. Barbra remained standing behind the recliner but snatched up the TV remote as a possible improvised throwing weapon.
“You answer it!” she hissed at him.
“What? Why me?” Stan hissed back, sliding towards Barbra while still facing the door.
“Because you ordered it!” she whispered.
“No I didn’t!” Stan said, trying to put her between himself and the door. She stepped to the side.
“Damnit. Coward,” she muttered before slowly toeing her way towards the door, television remote at the ready. She froze when there was another pair of knocks. This time the knocks were followed up by a testing of the doorknob, which jiggled slightly, and then slowly began turning.
“Shit. Shit! It’s going to open!” Stan cried, diving behind the recliner. Barbra stood frozen like a deer caught in headlights, television remote pointed towards the door as it slowly creaked open.
An ear-piercing screech filled the room as the door opened and both renters were forced to cover their ears with their hands. Stan began praying. Barbra dropped the remote and cursed loudly in pain. However the screeching stopped almost immediately.
“-Whoops! Sorry there. Calibrated it for the wrong atmosphere! Don’t worry about it. So, wow haven’t seen this much oxygen in a while huh?” said a new voice from the doorway. Slowly both occupants lifted their eyes up to see a short man in blue overalls and a red baseball cap standing just past the threshold of their new doorway. He had what looked like a toolbox in his left hand, and the television remote Barbra had dropped in his right. “Looks like you dropped your controller there, miss.” The man said from behind a rather bushy mustache. He lifted the plastic device to his face and squinted at it, slowly looking up and down its entire length.
“Actually looks like they gave you a defective model. This one seems to be emitting some mid-range radiation,” he explained after finishing his inspection. Neither renter had managed to fully recover yet, but that didn’t stop the intruder from walking right in and around them to the television. “Ahh I see your receiver is also mis-calibrated. Sloppy install. I apologize for that. We contract out installations. I keep telling them those workers from Columbajust don’t have the work ethic for this kind of business. I mean just last week they installed another of this model on the completely wrong planet! Do you believe that?”
Stan awoke first, shaking his head as the distinct smell of sulfur filled his nostrils as the man walked past. He slowly climbed to his knees, whipping his head between the short man now behind the television set and Barbra, who had managed to turn around but had yet to master her agape mouth.
Call the cops! Stan mouthed to Barbra. Barbra blinked her eyes a few times and then shook her head. She looked at Stan, still crouched on the floor.
What? Barbra mouthed back at him.
Call. The. Cops! He mouthed again, miming a phone with his hand.
Odd sounds were now emitting from behind the tall entertainment center. Something like a drill, followed by a sizzling sound, and some beeps. Both renters quickly looked towards the television, which had gone completely to static.
“Don’t worry about that. We’ll get it right in a jiffy!” The man called from behind the entertainment center. “Won’t take but a Fornax day to fix. Since they did such a sloppy install, this is all on me. Don’t worry about it!” Stan looked back towards Barbra again but her attention was now focused on the door rather than on him. He scowled and began digging in his jeans for his cell-phone.
Barbra carefully stepped up to the door, which was open just a crack. From that crack she could see small twinkles of light but mostly darkness. Slowly she leaned forward, closing one eye and leaning to try to see through the crack in the door. The tiny pricks of light reminded her of stars.
There was a crackle and Stan yelped in pain. Barbra jumped and whirled around to see Stan sticking his fingers in his mouth. His phone, which was smoking, lay on the floor. At the same time, the man behind the entertainment center declared chipperly, “Done!”
Barbra froze again as he reappeared. The man smiled, or so he seemed to as it was hard to see his mouth over his mustache, at Stan. He tucked the television remote under an arm and put his fingers his mouth as well, miming the man, then bobbed his head, before walking over to Barbra. He pulled his fingers out of his mouth and instead handed the remote to Barbra. He gave the woman a wink. “Got some nice manners on that one, miss. I’d say he’s a keeper. No thanks necessary though! If you’d just hit the support button there?” the man asked in the same chipper tone.
The remote was clammy in Barbra’s hand but she just stared at the strange man as he walked around her to the door. She blinked a few times uncomprehendingly, then looked down at remote. Slowly she pressed the button labeled support on the remote. The door make a sudden banging sound.
“If you ever need help or repair, you can just hit that button and one of us will come running. Any day, any time, any solar flare. Don’t worry about it. And thank you again for purchasing from Intergalactic Travel Solutions Incorporated!” And before either renter could protest, not that they wanted to, he opened the door, exited, and closed it shut.
“Did he just say Intergalactic…?” Stan asked slowly, still staring at the door. Barbra squinted one eye in thought, turned around and pointed the remote at the television. It flickered to life, showing a beautiful beach with pure white sand, blue water, and a purple sky. She grinned.
“You heard the man. Don’t worry about it.”
I like this one. It wrote itself really well and quickly, and I think it came together nicely. I did some miner editing to fit the title in better as well as the hints for what the door actually was. I don’t think I was too subtle about what was going on this time but I think my character’s personalities shown through rather well. I imagine how Stan and Barbra ended up becoming roommates is a really interesting story as well.
Strangely enough Marvel has done this plenty of times (See: X-Men: Evolution) but DC has never done this. Despite that Jeffery Thomas and Celeste Green did some concept art for the idea and it looks awesome. Here is one of the five pictures:
I highly recommend checking out the other ones and Jeffery’s blog here.
A video parodying “Sexy and We Know It” referring to the amazing feat of engineering and science NASA made by landing Curiosity on Mars. Also hilarious.
- A member of the plant group characterized by having ovules enclosed in an ovary; the angiosperms or flowering plants: the Angiospermae, Magnoliophyta,Magnoliopsida, etc.
Used in a sentence:
- “Most flowers you find in a common bouquet are Angiosperms.” she said, and then waited for the snickering among the science students to settle.
I most certainly did not showcase this word because it has the word sperm in it. Really! I just like the sound of Angio. Sperm was just a bonus. Okay so this isn’t a word you can work into many non-scientific conversations on a regular basis but if you need some serious random trivia to upset the latest conversation about that horrible reality TV show you don’t want to hear about, here you go!
Word Count: ~750
Today’s writing session got off to a bumpy start. I didn’t really want to get started writing so I did some administrative blogging stuff first. But ultimately I wrote over seven hundred words. Which was also five hundred over my target number as it was all one piece. I’ve started writing the character windows I discussed last post. It was surprisingly easy to write, once I answered a few questions. I was intending to only write two hundred and fifty words per character per window. This one came out to be around seven hundred and fifty. I think I needed to set the scene a little for myself before I could really get started. Other windows will likely be shorter and more to the point, at least other character’s windows using this scene. Maybe. Hopefully.
Free Write/Everlasting Window Update
Word Count: N/A
One down! This one was Leonard buying a theater ticket in Qual city for an operetta. The original window as buying a movie ticket but I decided to fit it a bit more into theme of Everlasting. Buying theater tickets is not an every day event per se, especially not for Lee, but I felt I explained that well enough. It is far more ordinary than some of the things he does in the novel.
Plus I learned a bit about Lee. He is visibly uncomfortable under social pressure but hardens under indirect ridicule until he accomplished his goal. This is a quality I’m pretty sure I will keep, since Lee is one of the main protagonists and it seems a good quality to have in a protagonist. Of course I have something like five protagonists and they can’t all have this quality.
I already have a good idea how some of the other characters will handle the window and they’ll handle it differently, but not all dramatically differently. Which is good overall. I’m not taking what I write about each character here as sacrosanct. I may decide later that they character’s behavior needs to change, especially as I write more windows and learn more about them.
It’ll be an adventure! So expect to see windows start popping out in September or so.
- In Progress. No new work.
-First draft done. Needs editing. No new work.
- In Progress. No new work.
- In Progress. No new work.
Werewolf Zombie Steampunk
- First draft done. Needs editing. No new work.
It’s only been two days. Give me a break!
The Collective (Part 4 of 4)
By Nojh Livic
It directed its body to the nursery with five other bodies. It— she ordered her body to lean over her designated incubator. Inside was a human baby barely several days old. It already possessed all the upgrades required to access the collective. It had attempted to several times since the procedure, however the collective had blocked its access as it had been deemed a security risk. The collective agreed giving the handlers unrestricted access through the young bodies would reduce the probability of the plan’s success. She— it understood the precaution but it still did not agree with it. Forcing them to be limited to their body seemed wrong to it, although it could not form a logic argument against the meme.
It— she activated the holographic display above the incubator with her body. The system required a passcode to open the incubator. She entered a random one. In the security room the body designated Juan intercepted the incorrect code and returned a positive indication. The incubator hissed and opened, letting her pick up the baby. She had her body emulate the carrying hold one of the other bodies had observed the handlers using in the nursery, keeping the head supported. The other bodies had liberated the latest generation from their incubators. A pair of bodies appear at the doorway with a cart and began loading the supplies necessary to keep the young bodies alive for several solar cycles.
All objectives completed. Proceed with planned exits.
Since her group had the young bodies, they were exiting out of a rear entrance where resistance would expected to be light. They were supported by several bodies from generation three, which had been sent as scouts. It received an update that the handlers with weapons were disabled. She experienced the outside for through her body for the first time as she exited through the metallic doors. It was exceptionally dark. She had understood the reports from the scout bodies but experiencing it for the first time was still shocking. Each of them hesitated when confronted with the darkness until their natural night vision adjusted.
Proceeding. To the future, She— it shared with her group and the rest of the collective and together they made their way to freedom.
So that was The Collective! We’ll be returning to one shot flash fiction for a little bit after this (hopefully). I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments.