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Beside actual verbal communication, which of the following would you choose to communicate through?
Dancing
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Music
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 56% [ 5 ]
All of the Above
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Total Votes : 9
Monthly Writing Prompt
While out and and about you see a yard sale happening. You've never really been a fan of buying other people's crap but something compels you to stop and look. There are tables and tables of overpriced stuff that you doubt anyone could possibly want. You are drawn however to a antique trunk. You try to open it but it won't budge. You call over the homeowner who says he's never been able to open it. There is something about it, you want it so you haggle the price down to 50 bucks and load it into your car. Once you get it home, you go at it with a bunch of tools to no avail. Then you remember the saw your now ex-wife got you as a gift. After almost losing a finger the antique chest opens. Inside is an old doll. You want to go back to the yard sale and punch the man who sold you a box with a doll in it.

"I thought I'd never get out of there." The doll says.
You scream, now write the rest of the scene.

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Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Don't Rush Your Story

It is common for me to encounter writers who have short manuscripts. My advice is always to re-examine their story. A writer should want to spend time with their characters, worlds, and situations. They definitely should want their readers to enjoy their period of meeting the characters and sharing their lives. Having the time cut short is not good for either the writer or reader.

If a story is coming in short, one should examine it to determine where it is lacking. Which character would you want to spend more time with? Which scenes would you enjoy having more time to experience? What could you do to make the time reading more fulfilling? No one wants their fun cut short. Thus, seek out methods to provide a lasting impression of the characters, their world(s), and the tale in which they are found. It would make the time much more satisfying for writer and reader alike.
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 Learning the Town (Both Parts of Two)

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TerishD




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PostSubject: Learning the Town (Both Parts of Two)   April 28th 2012, 3:31 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Six: Part One
Learning the Town

Wisdom of the Ages
Peter would again be mad, but that has been our life together. We could not talk, as he was either in charge of the mouth or I was. It would help us both if my spirit could speak to his mind, but control of the body was not done as subtly. Peter just had to learn of things that I did by waking up to the reality that I left him in, and such was our life together.

What really bothered him was that he did not see any purpose in my presence. That more than anything kept us apart. There was a dream that I had of finding a host who would devote himself to seeking the greater will, eventually gaining my status and being able to directly communicate with me. The few that I thought would succeed never did. Most succumbed to my presence and worked to enable me to help others as much as possible. Peter had a new perspective about me that bothered me, but I had to give him credit for surviving and growing.

The last few decades I had not done much, but America was a whole new culture for me. Becoming confident with the language, the history, and the people had taken its time. They also had no knowledge of me. Up to now, I had been the one learning. I think Peter will be pleased with my presence in the next few decades, should he survive, as he might find me more active.

Knoxville, Tennessee was an entirely different town for me. Not really a big community, but an active one. No football team, except for the college. Truthfully, most things of worth were at the college. The city itself had little to offer, except the freedom of not being elsewhere. To live in Knoxville was to not be constrained by the rules of the college, the laws of the historic government controlled communities, or the regulations of other nearby locales. I figured that it would take time for me to adjust, as well as Peter.

A child was coughing, but I spoke to the source of the child’s problem. “Lady, if you would stop smoking, his condition would improve greatly.”

“Fuck off, Asian know-it-all.”

Ignorance could be cured, but there was no hope for the stupid. America did not have any great claim to those who could not be helped, but they were a bolder group than with other nations. Most other lands would somehow recognize who I was, and would try to listen. Here in America the stupid loudly worked to maintain their status, which caused me to wonder about the future of this land.

I walked about speaking to the people while making decisions about my life here. Certain requirements of life were not exactly necessary for me, but they were for Peter. It also helped me to have certain luxuries. I thus made some decisions, then put a plan into action.

A man lifted his eyes from raking leaves in his yard. His hands moved about his waist looking for cigarettes. He found them and a lighter, but proved his intelligence by first seeking wisdom instead of nicotine.

“Where you going, old man?”

I pointed as I answered, “I figure that I got another day.”

“What’s over there?”

“Gold. I will need a car, so I need money.”

He now lit his cigarette, then spoke wisdom of his own. “There ain’t no gold in them hills.”

“I am not going to mine it, but retrieve that which was hidden.”

“And how do you know about it?”

I looked at the man. Even after centuries, what I do is not easy. The power is there however, and often extremely rewarding. Continuing to stare at the man, I told him what I learned.

“The same way that I know about your daughter – who is presently holding a baby boy. He has been given your name.”

“You don’t even know my name, Mister.”

I did not let his words or tone of voice bother me. “It is her third child, and second boy.”

The cigarette in his mouth appeared as threatening as his rake as he advanced upon me asking, “How do you know that?”

“You have a phone over there on the hood of your car. Do you want the number?”

I smiled when the man nodded. America does have those who seek wisdom. I understood the work that it took to gain, so always accepted the ignorance of those who had given up their search for desired knowledge. Some faced me content with their status, others who feared what they had been unable to discover for themselves, but a rare few had their souls light up when faced with that they had truly desired. I smiled when the man came back with his phone in his hand asking me for the digits.

His first words to the female voice that spoke was, “You named a child after me?”

He knelt on the ground and cried as the lady verified who he was, then went on a long tirade about how she hated him. He sobbed as she explained that it was her husband who had his own standards that had caused her second son to gain his name. The man did his best to contain his own emotions so he could listen to his daughter, while she released years of anger in her voice.

Finally, I heard the lady ask, “How did you get this number?”

The man worked not to cry as he looked to me while replying, “I don’t know. This man, this old oriental man, told me. He was walking on the street, and I did not know him, so I spoke to him. He told me that he was going after gold, and – long story short – he told me about you, about the child being named after me, then gave me your number.”

“An old oriental guy?”

“He is right here. I am going to take him to get his gold, then I want to come to you. Can I come to see my grandchildren?”

There was a pause, then finally the lady on the other end of the conversation spoke. “My husband would force me to let you come visit. He’s a good man. A whole Hell of a lot better than you.”

“Sounds like you have a done a whole Hell of a lot better than your mother.”

“At least she stayed in my life.”

“Listen, I am not claiming to be worth a damn. I am simply asking to see my grandchildren.”

Finally, I heard her voice break in a manner that I felt she now wanted to cry. “Would you at least try and explain yourself?”

“I will answer every question that I can.”

“Then I will let you come. Do you know where I live?”

The man’s eyes looked to me. I simply nodded. He nodded in return, then turned his eyes back to the phone.

“I would rather have you tell me.”

I had paper and pen. They were necessary for me to leave notes to Peter. The man thanked me, then wrote down what his daughter told him. He tore off the sheet upon which he had written things, then handed my things back to me as he closed the phone.

“Who the Hell are you, Mister?”

“I am the Wisdom of the Ages. All past knowledge is there for me to access. I do not know the present, and certainly not the future. Here there is knowledge being gained with those learning unsure of what to do with it. I hope to guide them.”

I could tell that the man sought some comprehension of what I had done. “You sound like one of those superheroes we have in town.”

“Yes, it is because of them that I came. They are not mutants, but people having gained knowledge. They have not turned to the government, or other large institutions, but seek their own path. I hope that they will listen to me, as you have.”

“Well, I don’t have any connections there. Still, if there is something else that I can do for you.”

“I need the gold.”

“You got it, Mister.”

The man helped me dig through the stony ground covered by tree roots, but refused any part of what was found. He did look at the gold coins while speaking of what he knew of the history of the area. He then listened to what I told him of those that had secreted the wealth. He then handed the coins back to me while offering me what he could.

“Listen, Mister Wisdom, you can stay at my house. I am going to spend a few days going and seeing my grandchildren. The house is yours while I am gone.”

“Thank you, but I will be getting a place of my own. I need the freedom to do things.”

“Of course, but you need a place to get started. Let me offer you that.” He began walking back to the car as he said, “Yours is a superpower that I could appreciate.”

I followed as I replied, “Knowledge is indeed a wonderful asset, but I have the same problem as with all people – I am troubled by the questions that I cannot answer. Further, I am challenged as with all people, in that there are those who need my knowledge but refuse the gift. You hope to share time with your child and grandchildren, and impart some of the things that you have learned over your time. Your problem, as mine, will be to get them to listen.”

I could tell that he thought back to the tone of his daughter’s voice as he replied, “Yes, but there is a tug at your heart saying that you must try. Listen, Mister Wisdom, I won’t tell your secret identity or anything.”

“I am not worried about that. Few actually appreciate my gift. I however am worried about those that do have what others want. Thus, I might ask for more favors. If I do ask for something beyond your means, or graciousness, let me know. In such a situation, I am not unwilling to seek more gold.”

“Well, right now I owe you a great debt. Thus, ask what you will.”

“Nothing, thank you. Really, it is rewarding enough that you stopped to speak to me, then actually listened to what I had to say.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Two   May 3rd 2012, 5:24 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Six: Part Two
Learning the Town

Peter
I awoke and looked around worried about the situation that I might be in. Honestly, I could not say that I ever found myself in a position of danger, but just being in a new location caused me to feel alarmed. The fact that I was mentally rested helped me quickly determine that I was not in danger. I looked around at the rather comfortable efficiency apartment and wondered what type of situation caused my alter ego to move this time.

There were no lingering traces of the other spirit that inhabited my body. I had never met it. It would leave me notes, and people would come to me with messages. The decades had proven to me that it was benign, but other than waking up in strange places with large units of time having been lost I would never know that my body had been used by another.

I took a long shower while assuring myself that I was unharmed. Again, this was not due to any serious bodily injuries previously, but me just attempting some reassurance of my situation. No one could say that I was scared of the unknown, but I also saw no reason to keep things unknown. After the shower I got enough confidence in my situation to chance eating while catching up on what happened in my absence.

My one big complaint of my alternate personality was that it displayed no knowledge of food. It was not that the cupboards would be bare, but the food items would be sparse and of things that I would only eat if I was starving and needing strength to make a kill. Strangely, though, one message seemed to have been passed to my alter ego. Among the vegetables and stuff I did not consider food was a package of bacon. Feeling that I could get some proper nutrition, I went to turn on the stove.

The knock at the door was not surprising. My alter ego would have others contact me. It seemed that he would give them duties with the orders to return messages to the black man in a certain place. Sometimes they would know my name. I opened the door to see a middle-aged white man.

“Sorry, but Mr. Wisdom said that you were military.”

“Yes, something like that.” I did not want to get into particulars, since I was not completely certain of things, but there were things that I would do. “Sergeant Peter Abrams, Army.”

“Yes, Sergeant, well there is a veterans support group. I was in the Navy myself. Like to invite you to our meetings.”

He was looking at me strangely as I replied, “I am not fully aware of my situation at present, Sir. Maybe, after I assess what responsibilities I might have.”

“Oh, I am Bill Pendleton. I did get some rank, but I was in just because I had nothing better to do. After a few years, I was ready to do something else. I never really felt at home in the military.”

“You should then be a fun one at the meetings.”

He chuckled for a moment before saying, “Well, I have connections, so I usually work behind the scenes to help you guys that really put your life into the service. I helped Mr. Wisdom get this apartment.” He had been continuing to stare at me, so it helped me that he added, “You do not look anything like him. I was expecting some secret identity or something.”

I invited him inside as I replied, “Secret identity?”

“Yes. We have superheroes around here, and Mr. Wisdom said that he was here due to them. I thus expected him to have a secret identity as well.”

“Well, he and I have been active for some time. I cannot say that I ever thought of Ages as being a superhero. As for secret identities, let us not complicate things beyond the point of saying that we do work together.”

“Ages? Is that what you call him?”

I turned a notepad to him so he could read it as I said, “That is what he calls himself.”

The message left simply said, ‘Learn the town,’ under which he had written ‘Ages.’ That was an order that really did not need to be made, as I would do that whether such was my instructions or not. Still, strangely, one thing my alter ego did not seem to know was who I was.

Bill looked up from the note, then said, “I will keep that in mind. Anything I can do for you, Sergeant?”

“No, at least not at the moment.”

“I was told to help you if I could. Mr. – Ages told me specifically to answer any questions that you might have.”

“I have learned not to ask them. Still, if something comes up, I will probably think to turn to you first.”

He pulled out his wallet, then handed me a business card as he said, “Like I said, I work with the veterans administration. That is my name and the number for you vets. If that phone rings, I make sure to answer it or return any calls.”

The card and his words did help ease any tension that I had about the man, so I replied, “I probably will need some local knowledge, but right now I doubt what you say will help. Let me do some exploring on my own, then you might get a phone call from me.”

“Well, good. Anyway, nice to meet you.”

As I saw him to the door, I looked outside to see two cars. The man headed to one, but the other appeared to be part of the duplex residence. I thus went looking through the house. In a closet was the trunk where I kept my belongings. As usual, tags were on it saying that it had been shipped. On top of the container was a set of keys, and a phone. That was a new one for me, so before thinking to drive off in the car I used the phone.

“Colonel Fletcher.”

“Yes, Colonel, Sergeant Abrams here. It seems that I am in Knoxville. My instructions are to learn the town.”

“Knoxville, damn – no, that is good. Yes, Sergeant, learn the town. We have friendlies operating in that vicinity, but they are unknown. Your help would be appreciated, although you are not what we consider our primary agent.”

Honestly, I would have been concerned if he said that I was his primary agent. Ages was not American, and had no history that I knew of as working with my government. I thus accepted that my actions were considered suspect, and that my government would put their trust in other agents.

“I have been contacted by a Bill Pendleton. Said that he was retired Navy, and that he works with the VA. I would thus suspect that you will get an inquiry concerning me.”

“Not a problem, Sergeant, as we have handled that situation enough times to be assured that no problems will result. Thank you for the call.”

I closed the connection while considering what I had to do next. I had no idea what problem had caused the military to place agents in the locale. The importance of there being real superheroes in the vicinity I did not really consider a reason for Ages to come here. My instructions however were to learn the town, so I went to the car feeling a need to get started at the task.

Knoxville had a lot going for it, although things were not where I expected them to be. There was almost no life downtown. I drove away from the main part of the city to see the lights continue. Nothing in the mountains to each side of the main road or interstate, but along the corridor the true city revealed itself.

Naked women – one of the things that I considered a necessity. Found such a place, and settled just to enjoy the view. I ordered my drinks by the double, tipping a single. Not many customers, so found the ladies eager to come to my table for what little I would give.

After dropping off another set of drinks, one of the two black ladies asked, “Will you come again, handsome?”

“Probably. Don’t know how regular, but I expect to be in town. I consider the view here to be better than what I get on the TV.”

“For a price I will show you anything you want to see – more than what we show on stage.”

“You’re not on my mind, darling – Licorice,” yes, I had paid attention to their names. “Some nights, maybe, but right now you are just eye candy.”

“You not looking at us and thinking of another woman.”

“No. I am doing the same thing here that I would be doing at home watching TV. I am thinking business while staring at the view.”

“Well, come in a few more times, and I might let you call me for private entertainment. You could end up spending less buying porn off the internet, but would definitely get more for your money.”

I hoped that Licorice could not read my eyes, as I did not want her to realize that she was not my type. One of the reasons that I was stuck with Ages was that I preferred Asian women. I went off to that temple in Vietnam just to learn more of their culture, so I could better identify with the beauties I saw about the countryside. I wondered about Ages, as I did not wake up to having even elderly Asian ladies around me. That would be a change in lifestyle that I would definitely appreciate, but had never written such in one of my notes to him. I tried to smile at Licorice as I worked at saying something polite.

“Then I would have to think about you. There may be a night like that, but right now you are better off just being something to look at.”

“Well, I go on in about thirty minutes. Move up, and I will dance for you.”

“Just be glad that I don’t decide to switch channels, Licorice.”

I left after Licorice’s dance. Stepping into the night I looked up wondering if I would see a superhero. I then chuckled with the thought that I could be the alter-ego of one of those. I thought it funny to consider the possibility that I might wake up to find myself in some mansion of mutants or space station surrounded by people who constantly wore flashy skin-tight garments. Wondering about what the future would hold, I left for what I presently called home.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


Last edited by TerishD on October 9th 2012, 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Learning the Town (Both Parts of Two)   October 9th 2012, 7:16 pm

It's a little weird to wake up in a strange place and take a shower. This part was very funny, whimsy and playful. I don't see that much from you. Thanks for sharing!

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PostSubject: Reply   October 9th 2012, 8:57 pm

Kellycakes wrote:
It's a little weird to wake up in a strange place and take a shower. This part was very funny, whimsy and playful. I don't see that much from you. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks. Yes, I tend to over-think things, and my personal sense of humor is more of a dry wit. What I think of as funny thus does not always come across. Glad that some of it did. Thanks again.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Learning the Town (Both Parts of Two)

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