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  • Shen 9:52 pm on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Starring Cissy 

    The club is a deli counter,
    Everything on sale.
    Tight wrapped, pre-packaged packages.
    Yum, yum, want some!
    Yum, yum, gimme some!
    Two pounds of you, you too!

    “KATY, TURN DOWN THAT MUSIC.”

    “WHAAAT?”

    “TURN THAT DOWN.”

    “WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” I turned the music down fractionally to listen for more but didn’t hear any. I turned it back up.

    Dad burst through my door like some kind of wild animal. “Turn that noise OFF.”

    I turned the dial to about half, “It’s not noise.”

    Yum, yum, want some!
    Yum, yum, gimme some!
    Two pounds of you, you too!

    “What is this garbage?” He stopped to actually listen. My face started to heat up and I scrambled to turn it off, but I just made it louder.

    Touch them, touch them,
    They’re yours, just take one,
    They’re just made of meat.

    Dad’s face turned red, too, but for very different reasons. “Give me the CD. Give it to me, now.”

    I found Eject and pulled it out while it was still spinning. “I’ve never heard that song before,” I said quickly.

    “You were singing along.”

    “To the first song! That’s the single, the one they play on the radio.” This one was going to hit the air on Friday, but he didn’t need to know that. Not yet.

    He turned the CD around to read the title. His eyes just about bugged out at the imprint of Cissy — no last name, just Cissy — wearing a tiny little dress that barely made it from bust to crotch. “Where the hell did you get this?”

    “Wal-Mart?”

    “It’s going in the trash.”

    “Daddy!” My heart lurched. I had saved up to be able to get the two-disc set with the concert DVD. “Please, no! Please, please, Daddy!”

    “You’re too young to be looking up to–to women like her.”

    “She’s only two years older than me! She’s sixteen!”

    Oh, that had been the wrong thing to say. Daddy’s face turned purple. “Do you homework.”

    How could I do my homework? I threw myself face down on my bed and tried to work up a good batch of hot tears. All I got was pink and puffy. My CD was gone.

    Two weeks later, Deli Counter was all over the place. It was on TV, on the radio, playing in the stores but I wasn’t allowed to watch or listen. Grounded for my big fat mouth at dinner the night he took my CD away. I was still sulking around Dad, making my point. The pharmacy was playing some boring ballad from the 70s and Dad was humming along. My ears pricked up as it segued into Cissy. I stood stock still in the middle of the aisle, trying to soak up every note.

    “Come on, Katy.” Daddy turned into the next aisle. He was still humming.

     
  • Shen 8:16 pm on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    They’re made out of funny prompts… 

    So, I went looking for inspiration of the ‘made of meat’ prompt and…

    They’re made out of Meat

    by Terry Bisson

    “They’re made out of meat.”

    “Meat?”

    “Meat. They’re made out of meat.”

    “Meat?”

    “There’s no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

    Read the rest, it’s HILARIOUS: http://baetzler.de/humor/meat_beings.html

    This story was nominated for a Nebula award (sci fi). Wikipedia article.

     
    • Fallen Red Ninja 12:20 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That there is one of my favourite shorts of all time, it’s in my diary from like 5th form ^,^
      And was most probably what I was thinking of, on some level, when I blurted out the prompt. Heh

  • Shen 6:10 am on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Prompt: “They’re made of meat” 

    Use tag “made of meat”

     
  • Shen 6:54 am on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , kids, summer   

    Summer Daycare 

    Denise squeezed her eyes shut and ground her knuckles into her temples. Just one more day, four more hours, fifteen minutes…

    “That’s all for this afternoon,” said her babysitting partner Amy, closing the picture book. The ring of children at her feet let out one big, Awww! “There’ll be more tomorrow,” she promised. But now it’s time for everyone to do one last look around the room. Are there any crayons on the floor? Any scraps of paper?”

    “I found one!”

    “Make a basket!” one boy lifted the already full trash bin over his head.

    Denise grabbed it just in time. “We only play basketball outside or in the gym, Adrian. But thanks for cleaning,” she put weight on the last part so he knew she saw through his ‘help.’

    “Sorry, Miss Denise,” he scuttled away to his cubby. All the children were pressed together at once, tiny hands reaching for tinier boxes.

    Amy came up beside her, pulling her straight brown hair into a ponytail. “You ok? Still got a headache?”

    “Yeah. Probably means there’s rain coming.” An early August thunderstorm, violent and taunting her with the promise of cool air which might, might make the summer more bearable.

    Amy patted her on the shoulder. “TGIF, amiright? Ok, Group A with me! Group B over with Miss Denise! Make a nice straight line now!”

    Denise lead her group of third and fourth graders to the black top at the side of the school. Today was their turn to run around with chalk and balls and jump ropes while Group A got to run around the jungle gym and try to out-swing each other. She stood in the center, handing out play equipment and keeping watch for fights. Kids from other parts of the summer program joined them in batches. Kindergartners and preschoolers. First and second graders. Fifth and sixth graders. A seething mass of elementary schoolers.

    She looked up at the sky. She hoped that wasn’t just shadow on the clouds overhead. She wanted rain.

    Pick ups could take as much as an hour and a half. Parents came in different varieties. There were the early birds who waited on her. There were always some who came just before five-thirty, the absolute last call. Most came between five and five-thirty, clearing coming straight from work. Denise envied them. They went to offices in nice suits and got to talk to grown ups all day. They didn’t have to smile at someone else’s brat to avoid a lawsuit that would get them fired. The afternoon wore on.

    A piercing shriek went right to her forehead. Janine swung around, squinting painfully. Where was it coming from? There weren’t so many kids now, some of the other summer care instructors were sitting down. She spotted them immediately, a posse of girls bent around something.

    “Miss Denise! Mandy’s hurt!” She jogged over to see. A jump rope skittered out of her way as the girls cleared a space for her. Many was curled on the ground, sobbing and hanging onto her knee.

    “Mandy? What happened, are you ok?” Tripped, fell, twisted something, snapped something, bleeding, attacked, victimized.

    “I–want–my–mommy!”

    Of course she did. Any reasonable kid would. Denise sat on the hot tarmac next to her and gently eased her upright. The other girls chattered worriedly, giving her the story in pieces. The jump rope caught her ankle. She fell, scrapping her wrist and her knee. Denise inspected it: a shallow but bloody rough patch the size of an Oreo. “It’s ok, Mandy, you’re gonna be ok. I know it hurts right now but it’s not that bad. I promise you’ll live. Someone get me the first aid kit?” Three girls ran off to do just that. They came back with the kit and another instructor.

    “Just as well it’s the end of the day,” he said wryly.

    “Yeah. Your mommy will be here soon,” she told Mandy, who was red in the face but had stopped whimpering. It started again when Denise took out an alcohol pad and began cleaning the scrape. Order was slowly coming back to the blacktop.With it came the first rain drops. Denise started to relax. It was coming fast, they’d have to move inside soon.

    “ATTACK OF THE BATTLE MONKEYS! OO-OO-EE-EE-AAH-AAAAH!” Denise looked up to see a small army of third graders descend upon the kindergartners, scattering them like leaves.

    “Hey! Cut that out!” bellowed the other instructor, and the boys reined in sheepishly.

    “Battle Monkeys always attack the Cobra People. It’s the Law of the Jungle.”

    “We’re not in the jungle, Adrian.”

    A horn blared and tires squealed. Everyone looked around in time to see a towheaded kindergartner go stock still in the middle of the road. The black Saab swerved away from the blacktop, and instead bumped over the next curve and into a row of hedges. Now flat hedges. The back tires spun on the slick surface of the tarmac. The kindergartner began to wail.

    “Jesu–ze.” The other instructor caught himself and ran to the kid.

    Denise took Mandy’s hand and pressed it and the alcohol pad to her knee. Before she knew it she was on her feet and her head was swimming. The air was as thick as soup.

    They don’t pay me enough for this, she thought before it all turned to stars.

     
    • taraskelt 7:02 am on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oh wow. The only thing I was thinking for most of the story was ‘awww, that’s so cute!’ But TALK about a twist at the end, that was great!

    • theinkling 1:50 am on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wow — seriously powerful stuff.
      Concur with Ras. I was all about the Squee until it went off like that at the end.

      Great job!

    • Shen Git 4:04 am on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Heh, that’s really interesting, cuz I wrote it anticipating the horrible bit all the way through!

  • Shen 6:23 am on January 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    The founder was under no illusion when … 

    The founder was under no illusion when it came to the empire he had birthed. His humble nation now stretched across the continent and spanned seas to distant isles. It took him a lifetime to paint the map purple, and his son spent his own life fighting to maintain his father’s trophies. Dissident nibbled at the edges, but the heir cut them down.

    Some empires last for millennia, or so the legends promised. A thousand years of bloodshed, or a thousand years of prosperousness.

    He expected his empire to die young, the cement hardly dry.

    He confided this misgiving to only one other, his mute concubine. He was confident that she, prize of a raiding party that had traumatized her into speechlessness, would never tell his secrets. Not being a man of letters himself, he never suspected her of possessing this most dangerous skill.

    Orissa, beloved pet of the first emperor, kept a diary every day of her tragic life. The early volumes were lost in the raid. She took greater care with the volumes she filled at the palace, each a work of art. She sewed the books herself with silk, board, and drawing paper used by the seamstresses. The beginning pages of each journal began with an account of her labor.

    //This heavy damask is hardier but it is also harder to work with! My fingers are raw even with the thimble to shield them…//

    She hid them where she knew her lord would never look: in the ceiling of the nursery. Well out of reach of little children, she kept the secret for more than thirty years. She had always meant to tell her two daughters where she kept the old books, but she died falling down a flight of stairs.

    Whether or not she was pushed has always been a matter of great speculation. Perhaps the only person to know what may have happened was her best friend, another concubine, who found Orissa’s last unfinished journal and secreted it away. She ensured that the book went to Orissa’s younger daughter, who cherished it and gave it to her son. Raised to be a man of war, he deposited it on his wife, who wisely hid the scandalous insights it contained from their children. So it went, for seven generations. The concubine Orissa’s final journal was nothing more than a family curiosity.

    In the 175 years that passed the nursery was redecorated numerous times. It was expanded, became a classroom, shrank, was a nursery again. The furniture disappeared in the blink of an eye, but the molded tiles on the walls were slower to change. It was only when the current prince-apparent threw a hard rubber ball that ricocheted against the wall and smashed the aging plaster of the ceiling that anyone bothered to do something about its condition.

     
  • Shen 4:17 am on January 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Current prompt: It smelled like [fruit]. 

    Current prompt: It smelled like [fruit]. Use any fruit you want.

     
  • Shen 3:57 am on January 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    So glad we have this going! More flash f … 

    So glad we have this going! More flash fiction! More Querk!

     
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