Pardon the Interruption
I have a couple of announcements.
First off, I am changing my profile name to OceanofStorms for the time being. I know many of you chose OceanofStars as your favorite when I asked for your thoughts on my new name ideas, but I am not feeling very starry right now. I am doing fine, the stars will always be reflected on my waves, they’re just a bit harder to see right now.
I also know some of you like my current name, and you are right in saying that it reflects who I am, or who I was. Elsie was a nickname from a numer of years ago and while people still use it occasionally, it’s from a part of my life that I’d rather not hold on to. To remember is a powerful thing, but to be stuck in the past will only inhibit my future.
Second, I’ll probably change my profile picture at some point as well. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I might as well let you all know.
Third, I am going to start my first book. I’ve been thinking about doing a color-inspired series and when I posted my Questions? post someone submitted the idea and reminded me of what I wanted to do. I’m not sure what it will be called yet, so if anyone has any ideas I am open to them.
Finally, I would like to make two comments on the recent issues surrounding the actions of some Prosers. I am not condoning their actions or attacking anyone, the situation was handled very well and I hope to see some changes made in how we interact with one another.
That being said, I would like to see some more critiquing in our community. We are all here to write and grow as writers and I feel as though it is harder to grow if issues are not pointed out with our writing. I am not saying that we should go around pointing out everyone’s flaws, far far far from it. I would never want to critique the poem of someone who does not appreciate it and I would never want to hurt them or discourage them from writing. All I propose is that we try to be more open to it. We are a close community and there are many writers I respect here. If an experienced writer who I have interacted with frequently (let's take @danceinsilence for example) commented on my post and said “I think it would be stronger if you did it this way” I would so so so appreciate it. The only writer I can think of who has done this for me is @TeaRise I think, and I am very grateful to her for it. When I have disagreed with what she thinks I should do, I have explained to her why I wrote something a certain way and she has been understanding. I have also taken some of her advice in the past and edited my posts.
If this is something only I want, I understand that. There’s nothing wrong with learning to do something by yourself and there are beautiful benefits to this method of learning. I guess I just want to point out that there have been times I’ve asked for honest critiques and been slightly disappointed when I didn’t really get any. Encouragement is wonderful, I love receiving it and giving it to others, but I think many people can also benefit from a well-said critique.
The second comment I wanted to make is that I have been honestly impressed with how our community handles issues. Are there outbursts? Yes. Do people say things that are too aggressive or misunderstood? Yes. Are we perfect? No. But we care, and we apologize, and we work to make it better. I know there are possibly some people leaving our site, which is understandable and is their choice, but I love the dedication our users have to this community.
Ok, that’s everything, thanks for reading my long post :)
He was becoming a Van Gogh before my very eyes. His form dissolved into streaks of browns and blacks and his words faded into a haze of intercom static. I felt the thud ripple through my body. His hands were everywhere. His voice was smeared across my field of vision. His scent was peppered around the room. Sirens harmonized with his screams for help. Reds and blues tangoed around his opaque face and a faint yellow laser tempting me to play with it. I felt myself rise, then roll, then fall, then pressure. Over and over and over. Speaking calmly though there were frantic undertones. Someone talking to him far away. Clear, zap! Clear, zap! Nos, low steady beeping, screams, the impact of bodies, crying, Save her! SAVE HER! Darkness.
Too small, always too small, I think every time I catch a glimpse of my fingers. If I was born to immigrants, my parents would think I failed. My friends always groaned at their dreaded lessons that impeded on any fun activities they had planned after school. Their mom would pull up in the minivan (you know the one) yelling at them, "You're going to be late to piano lessons!" They'd groan, murmur a sadass goodbye, and teeter with their large backpacks towards their car. I'd watch with faint envy. I still had gotten some musical training. I had played violin then cello (almost bass, but alas, I was five inches too short) and been forced to sing in music class until seventh grade when damns stopped being given. Yet, I would trade all of that just to hear, "Hey kid, want to learn piano?"
You Ever Notice How
You ever notice how little is actually needed for survival the closer that death appears.
You ever notice how....
You ever notice how predictive text always produces an incorrect but extremely amusing faux pas?
-"Man is condemned to be free."
--Existence precedes essence.
---"...feeling... adventure is... irreversibility of time."
I was driving in my semi truck and daydreamed and prayed about somethings that I had to deal with in life. I was in a remote part of Montana on I-90 headed towards Wyoming and it was early morning with the sun just waking up and some light frost was still visible on the ground. On my right side and front windshield you look at the window and see the Big Horn mountain range that were covered with snow at the tops and the wide rolling valley that led to them. On my left side was the Crow Indian reservation,which was pretty flat in contrast to the other side.Where I was traveling it was pretty barren and not a house in sight. I had passed a large city in my journey south since coming off the I- 90/94 split and a few smaller ones and also cleared "the chicken coupes" as we call them or state scales, I was rolling right along about 70mph or so.
This stretch of hiway is a lot of rolling hills with bends and twists to keep a driver fairly alert and engaged with the business of driving, I had driven it often on my way from Spokane to Chicago. Montana usually has a slight breeze blowing, not as bad as Wyoming of course, but on this day it was unusually breezy. Big puffy white clouds amoung a brilliant blue sky made the ride really enjoyable. I was coming around one of the bends in the road and I saw someone walking along side in the shoulder all by himself. There was not a broke down car or truck in sight that he might have been coming from, very strange. He was lightly dressed for this type of weather which I imagined had to be near 20 degrees and held a "truck stop" coffee cup in his hand that held at least 20 ounces of coffee. So I checked my mirrors to make sure I could stop safely and stopped to pick him up.
Once he was safely inside my truck I asked him, "What in the world are you doing out there, where are you coming from?" The man who was a caucasian had a light black beard, blue eyes and an average build about 5'8" or so said, " I am coming from a minig town and going to another one in search of a better joy." I kinda believed him at the time and he asked me where I was going and I said, "Downtown Chicago to deliver this load, how far do you need to go? The man said, "not far the first town over the border in Wyoming would be good." and I said, "I can take you to a bigger town or Sheridan if you want?" He said, "That would be great."
As we rode along looking at the beautiful scenery we talked and talked. We asked about each other's families and stuff like that and I felt I could share some of the things that I had been daydreaming and praying about earlier. These things were about an impending life changing move I was about to make and he listened very intently and seemed concerned also. He asked if I new the Lord and I said that I had just come to know him about a year ago and that is why I was praying about this move if I should do it or not. The man said some things and as he said them it reminded me of some sciptures that I had read earlier. We continued to talk about this move and I felt an inner peace about it that I had not felt earlier. In retrospect,I think this man helped me to fell this way in some way.
Well, before you know it we arrived in Sheridan at a truck stop and I was letting him off and asked him if he wanted to have breakfast with me and he said, "no I have other business to attend to." I parked the truck and he opened the his door and got out before I could get ut of the truck and he was gone, literally disappeared. I walked around my truck and trailer and inspected it and went inside the store, poked my head into the little cafe they had, and around the outside of the truck stop too, not a trace. How could someone disappear like that so fast that I could not see him walk away? So I got back into my truck and skipped the breakfast, not really hungry anyway and had a lot of miles yet to cover. As I drove I was reminded of this scripture, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2). That has only happened to me once in all of the thirty some years I have been driving but I am positive that that man was an angel sent by God to help me with my problems and prayers.
A Reality in the Dream Realm
The story is set in present-day New York City (specifically The Bronx), but the world truly comes alive when everyone is asleep. Like the episode of Spongebob Squarepants when SpongeBob dream hops, people's dreams are visible. Between the dream bubbles, mythical creatures run loose. To get into a reality, they use windows from the sky to step into a dream cloud, effectively stepping into the present day and being able to do whatever they do. There are demons that slip into people's unconscious bodies and hurt them if they aren't protected. Their protectors, sandmen, fend them off by putting sand in the corners of people's eyes, which is like putting sandbags on the windows of the soul.
The story is focused on the fairies, particularly the tooth fairies, that come to children and sprinkle fairy dust on their foreheads to keep their souls from wandering between realms while they move their bodies. If they forget, the soul can get up and walk off, which the fairies can't stop. Typically, the soul runs back to the body within a few minutes, resulting in a "falling dream" or a sense that the body has hit something in the dream world which wakes the person up. The fairies don't have much of a purpose though, which is my struggle. There could be "dark fairies" that want to take the teeth and grind them up to create make-up to keep them looking young or some other grown-up shit. Therefore, the tooth fairy would have a portal where they put the teeth into a sack that distributes the teeth to the parents' "safe space" (typically a closeted locked box that appeared when they gave birth with the child's name etched on it) that keeps the teeth safe from the safe space.
My characters are very young so I don't want to put them in danger so if their souls wander and get hurt or damaged, they just have a "falling dream" and wake up, but they don't remember anything which means they could get separated. That's not dangerous enough for a plot to be furthered though, and just because they are kids, doesn't mean they can't get hurt. Maybe they would be witnesses to something, but I'm not quite sure yet. I have two tooth fairies thought out already that have some flesh on them though they still need to be fleshed out more. I'd be at their knees in flesh right now, which is only enough for a Lifetime movie.
I do have how they got to be tooth fairies. They were born human, as most of the mystical things in this story are, but they are in a sort of purgatory where they can "earn their wings" in a sense. Though one loves her job and the other is terrified of what could happen and the occasional pissed off hamster, so I don't think the purgatory thing holds water. I just don't want them to be "born that way" and for there to be something to be learned. Maybe they're in the in-between space because something tethers them to Earthly life? I just know the female tooth fairy is from Lansing so far, is barely twenty-six years old, and loves being a tooth fairy because she's always believed in them and now she gets her chance. Unlike her, the male tooth fairy is new and has no idea what to do and is trying to just do his job as best he can.
Maybe it is more than a job? I still have no idea where they go afterward when the Western world is asleep. The obvious answer is to some breakroom style place or they just go to the East and never stop working. What if it's torture? (This is moving further and further from "kid-friendly") Or what if it's a Monsters Inc. type set up where they don't meet kids until she accidentally talks to my main character? I guess I have a lot more thinking to do, though it's coming along nicely compared to everything else I'm doing right now.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Please, I want to improve this!
I stood alongside my freinds as we saw what we had always considered our homes to be destroyed.
Most people had fled, but we stood strong. We aproached the man behind this all, and with one swift motion, he was gone.
So were his plans.
We were safe again.
Prelude - Fairy Dust and the Dream Realm
The window in the sky opened for a brief moment, and the onyx woman stepped out onto a cloud, shutting the door behind her softly. She secured her blue pouch onto her dress, and effortlessly scaled the clouds until she was at the window of a dilapidated apartment building. Within, she heard the soft snores of a young boy under the voices of George Lopez and Belita Moreno. She slipped into the window and shut it softly, so as to not awaken the boy’s exhausted mother. She crept into the living room, sprinkling sparkly fairy dust on the Rottweiler that slept at the boy’s feet. She sprinkled a bit on the child’s forehead and rolled him over gently.
A tiny canine lie covered in dried blood with a note. She smiled as she read. i tryed too klean it of butt i amost droped it n the sink. Sory. Omarian. She took out her pen and scrawled that it was okay and that she hoped he had a good day in school the next day. She dropped the bloody little tooth into her blue pouch and slipped a crisp five-dollar bill into the folded paper. She placed it back, pet the dog, and slipped out through a new door in the ceiling. She appeared in the room of a little girl living a block or two away. Squished in a large bed between her mother and three brothers, the girl slept soundly with her tooth and a small note left in a shoe. The woman took the note, wrote a response for the girl in Spanish then put a five-dollar bill in the note and left again.
“Acacia? Acacia, where are you?” her ear buzzed.
“I’m in the Bronx, Darien. Where are you?” she whispered.
“I think I got lost. Can you come help me out?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there in a bit.”
She looked at her watch. There was still a lot of sand, but it was falling fast. She retied the pouch to her belt and undid the belt that held her wings down. Two golden wings spread out. She rolled her shoulders and glitter shook from her wings onto the floor. The glitter swirled into a mini-tornado and dispersed around the room. In a minute and a half, her outstretched hands were filled with tiny teeth of all shapes and sizes. She nodded approvingly, dropping the teeth into her hands and collecting whatever glitter was left over. She opened another door in a ceiling and disappeared into another room.
Two boys slept soundly on bunk beds. The woman stepped quietly towards the bed and reached under the pillow of the lower bunk bed. She felt a piece of paper, and when she looked up, she was staring into the wide glowing eyes of a six-year-old boy. Her eyes widened, and she packed away quickly.
“Are you okay, lady?” the boy whispered.
He got no answer. He tried to get up, but she yelled, “No, don’t do that!”
The boy froze. “Why not?”
“You can’t leave your body. It’s not good.”
“I’m not leaving my—”
The little boy looked around to see that his torso and leg, which he had moved to get out of bed, were glowing gold. He smiled at his hands and looked up to see the startled woman.
“It’s okay. I’ll lay back down. See?”
The woman cautiously returned. The kid rolled his body over, so she could get his tooth, but his eyes stayed fixated on her.
“What?” she asked after a few seconds.
“Are you the Tooth Fairy?”
“Well, I’m a tooth fairy, yes.”
“Cool. Do you have a name?”
“Um… I’m Acacia.”
“That’s pretty. I’m Antonio, but my family just calls me Ant. It’s because I’m small but Ka’Veon said that I’m going to be big one day!”
“Of course, you are. You’re only seven. You have a lot of time to grow.”
“How old are you?”
“It’s impolite to ask a woman that, Antonio,” she said, looking away.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Is it impolite to ask where you’re from? Anod how many tooth fairies are there? Do you ever get lonely? Can I hug you? My teacher says I can’t hug strangers, but you already know me, right?”
Acacia smiled at him. “I’m from Lansing. There are a lot of tooth fairies, but I am your very own tooth fairy. I have friends, so I’m never really lonely. You can’t hug me because I don’t want you accidentally getting stuck in this realm, but yes, I know you and now, you know me.”
“Will I remember seeing you?”
Acacia looked at the kid’s innocent brown eyes and let the bit of glitter she had in her hand go. “Yes, you’ll remember me.”
“Can I tell people about you?”
“Of course, you can. That’s how I still have a job.” Her ear frantically buzzed again, but she ignored it.
“I have to go soon.”
“Can I ask one more question before you go?”
“Of course, you can.”
“Where does magic come from?”
The onyx lady smiled at him. “Every time you ask that question, magic is created.”
Antonio’s eyes brightened, and a grin spread on his face. “So, I’ll see you next time I lose a tooth?”
Acacia nodded. She kissed his forehead and he fell asleep instantly. “Goodnight Antonio. Sweet dreams.”
She opened a door in the ceiling and stepped onto a roof where a short guy was breathing heavily. Upon seeing her, he punched her in the arm.
“Where the hell have you been! I was facing a vicious and very rude hamster in there.”
“A hamster? You called me for a hamster?”
“She was a lot scarier than you are making her sound.”
“You lived, Darien. Everything is fine.”
“Where were you anyway?”
“I met a kid today.”
“How’d that go?”
“He was definitely inquisitive.”
“You let him remember you, didn’t you?”
Acacia looked at the ground. Darien smacked her arm. “That breaks protocol! You know we can get written up for that!”
“Will you calm down? And if you hit me again, I’m tearing your arm off and beating you with it. This kid is imaginative and won’t blow our cover. Plus, there was something special about him. I could just tell.”
“Whatever. You ready?”
Acacia nodded. Darien opened a window in the sky, and the two disappeared into the night.