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Inspiration Monday: Playground Battles

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In battle, there are two kinds of people. The strong fighter in the front and his weaker counterpart slightly behind. This is the expected stance because the fighter will protect his brethren; the weaker one is then free from the possibility of danger.

Yet on the playground this fact of life was meant to be void. Only it never is; we are always fighting. We fight against our enemies, we fight amongst ourselves. Some people even fight themselves.

I’ve been fighting since I was seven. How about you? The thing is, some people can pretend they’re not fighting. They look like all they have is allies. I wonder if life is really that easy for them? The ones who stand on the front lines seem to have it the best. They fight hard and out in the open, but keep the same allies for the longest.

I prefer to stay in the back when the fighting starts. Skirting forward as time goes on, you can even win the battle. I’ve actually won against a front line fighter  once like that. I guess…fortune just favors the coward, huh?

This post was an Inspiration Monday post on the prompt “fortune favored the coward“. It’s an old prompt but I guess I needed another kick because it was inspired by the anime My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.

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VoiceWeek #2: The Rockstar Lifestyle

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So I completely failed at completing the challenge on time but…here it goes!

Read Part 1!

The huddle before the show always got my adrenaline running. It was the time when the whole band looked each other in the face and promised to give it their all. It’s like an oath.
“Go hard!”
We all roared in unison, once again for no apparent reason, before raising our hands and breaking the circle. Then, we all ran out on stage. The agreed pattern was always: newest member first and the lead vocal last. Because, no matter how you looked at it, people always relate to the singer. Maybe because they can sing along. So basically, when Jared flies on stage the fan girl’s heads explode. Of course we all have our moments. I’m the lead guitarist that pumps up the crowd during our signature songs. Tommy, our drummer, has his drum solos. Linda, our bassist takes care of everyone during the slower moments, keeping  the momentum going. And well, Jared is Jared so it’s always entertaining.

I usually go out around third. Because the first roar really needs to be big and the middle is well, the middle ground. That’s when you feel safe with what they give you. You can pretend they’re just a little tired from screaming so loud at the beginning so they need to relax before the final chaos. Which is true. But it still nags me.

I took a breath and then jogged out on stage. A cheer greeted me pleasantly enough and I waved at the crowd. Since it was a daytime concert I could see absolutely everyone in the crowd. A few younger girls near the front seemed especially glad to see me. They were jumping up and down holding a sign saying something like “Riley’s the craziest!”. I stuck my tongue out at them and did my best to look wild. They loved it.

Toes on the Line – Part II

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Read Part I here.

I was told that in the last century, war was dirty, loud and filled with the stench of blood and gasoline. What determined the difference between then and now, therefore is the lack of any dirt of any kind. War now is silent, quick, scentless and tense. Once minute you are there, and the next you cease to exist. Gone: literally nothing left. Not even an atom. For most people the idea would be terrifying. For me, it’s exhilarating.

My weapon of choice is a definite disadvantage in this sort of climate. Other weapons are of the same form as the war we fight: silent and immediate. A bow and arrow, however well engineered, will always be accompanied by the whistle of the arrow flying through the air. “A rookie mistake”, I was told, repeatedly. But it was not a choice I made absently. I chose the arrow and will choose the arrow because I want the challenge. If you can still hit a target when you tell them you’re coming, then you’re good.

I’m that good. I’ve been that good since the age of nine.

A soft, low whistle signaled that it was time to go. Simultaneously, the left side of the truck bucked a little and every mercenary on that side flipped out of its interior. I closed my eyes as the wind whipped my face. I was pointing directly at the ground, arching my back slightly, I flipped over. My parachute clicked open as I pulled out of the dive.

The ground hit my feet roughly and I rolled over, trying not to get tangled in the parachute. The soon-to-be battleground was covered in crouching figures draped in fabric. I cut my way out of the parachute and stuffed it away. Now was the time for the mission to begin. 

Wordlessly, we stepped into line, covering each other’s backs while also looking for possible lookouts. It was so quiet here that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. I felt eyes on me and glanced upwards to my right. Movement. Swiftly, I took him out. I doubt he even saw me draw back my bow.

Sing

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Music guitar

Music guitar (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

He stood in the cold of the back alley where he spent the last six years of his life. Clutching a battered guitar case and a backpack housing his life, he left. It was a long time coming. Did they think that they could treat him however they wanted just because they were his blood? Parents- what does that even mean anyway? Anyone could become a parent. He could right now if he wanted to.

He couldn’t feel his nose. This year’s winter has been cold. His life has been cold. His world has been dark. Except for one thing. Just like half the boy’s his age: that one thing is her. The one that makes him feel like this life is worth living. She makes him feel like he deserves better family than he has.

So, he left. He wants to go to her, but he can’t. He has to find somewhere to sleep. Somewhere warm. The tunnels? No. There’s one other place nearby. He’ll need a bus fare tho. He looks in his pockets; by some miracle he has just enough spare change to get to his safe house. The gods must be with him.

He hands the indifferent bus driver his fare and finds the only empty seat at the back of the bus. He looks down so no one will notice how young he is. No high school kid should be traveling around alone at this time of the night. He looks out the window and wonders if he can really do it. Still clutched in his right hand is the precious guitar that he saved up money working at the video store and restaurant for.

Money. He would need that too. But now he’s run away, he can’t go back to those jobs. He had quit that very morning. Well, he had made sure to get fired anyway. He wasn’t stupid. They would know something’s up if he just quit out of nowhere.

***

With nothing more than the bagel and cup of coffee he had devoured that morning, he was getting desperate. He had to find some way to make money – just some way. A gush of steam from a vent he was passing startled him. He was in the main square. Today it was quiet. Usually there would be someone playing here. He used to come to watch every somebody play their songs, other people’s songs, everything. Now, the square is empty.

Ironic.

‘Hey! Are you the performer?’

‘What?’ He realizes he still has his guitar with him.

‘Well, come on! We’ve been waiting already!’

He begins to protest, but realizes that this is his chance to be that somebody. Prove the world wrong. Prove his parents wrong. Make her proud. Although he hadn’t heard from her in days. Couldn’t be helped, he had to get rid of his phone. He nods at the middle-aged man.

A deep breath and he sings. He sings about her. How he feels about her. How she is with him. How he wishes she would be with him. He sings about his parents. His birth. His life. What his life would be. He sings it all, and he pours his heart out into the audience. In their eyes, his heart is pure. In his own, it is faulty.

Why?

****

INSPIRATION: This song. In LOVE.

Toes on the Line

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This is expanded from a twitterfic I wrote a few weeks ago.

Toeing the line is the most difficult thing about my job. You never knew if you’re just a fraction too far. Sometimes you would find out – but always when it’s too late. My job scared me. But I was scary too. People cowered before me. Usually, it didn’t make a difference. I tightened the string on the high performance bow I was just given. The string was taut, I could feel it cutting into my fingers as I dragged it backwards. Damon smiled evilly as he loaded his own weapon. He was our dealer, maintenance man and neighborhood Berserker. I think he enjoys killing. He creeps me out. He won’t try anything with me though – he knows he wouldn’t survive.

“Hey, Girlie,” he says, as he locked the gun and put it away.

I glared at him. I did happen to be a girl, but I also had a name: Rita. He should call me Rita. No, actually he should just call me by my last name.

“It’s Taylor.”

He gave me a greasy smirk and went to join the others. I sighed a little and loaded up my quiver. For good measure, I picked out a spare arrow and took aim a few inches away from Damon’s head. The arrow cut through the air and hit the wall by his right ear.  He glanced at me and went back to his conversation. I smirked and joined the others. I was ready now.

My boots were heavy as I swung myself into the backseat of the armoured vehicle we had stolen a month earlier. For the cops, the thing simply dropped off the radar. They were too stupid to notice us waltzing out with it anyway. A low whistle. The truck started.

I could feel the road under the wheels, the feeling drenched in the power of the engine. I ducked down low, knowing that at some point it would all go to hell.

Well, that was the life of a mercenary. You always had blood on your hands.

Lovely\\ She’s got that ring to it

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Lovely. It has that ring to it. A roll of the tongue. Like a liar’s lisp, it coaxes you in,  lures you into a sense of security. It is a neutral word. No bias attached to it, no unnecessary thoughts. It is a good word. Whoever says it means it-why they said it is another reason entirely.

I watch the stalker slinking around my living room, unable to move. I frown. I scowl. He notices these expressions, and a lewd grin spreads over his face.

“Well, aren’t you lovely?”

Voice Week #5 : Dog Eat Dog World

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Last entry to Voice Week :I

The noise was annoying. My ears picked up, I clambered out of my box. I licked at the air. I followed the voices. Hmm. Lotsa people today. Maybe one of them will pet me?

I go up to the scary woman in the scary clothes and push my nose into her hand. She shrieks and I lick it.
“A dog?! A dog! What in the world is wrong with you people? Where the hell did this come from?”
“Oh, a dog? Never seen it before. Must have spent the night in the store.”
Oh, oh! It’s the girl! The girl I followed into the store yesterday! Yay! I leave the scary woman wiping her hand off on her clothes and try and climb up the stool the girl is on. She rubs behind my ears, I love that!

“What a mangy mutt. Come here boy!”
New voice. Oh, a boy! He wants to play! I want to play too! For some reason, he smells just like her. Maybe he’s her brother? I want to play!

“Oh for God’s sake, girl, just ring me up!”
The rumbling old man’s voice distracts me. I bound up to him. He ignores me. I look around. The scary woman from before is gone. I turn to look again, the old man is going to! I race to the door, he pushes me away and leaves. I here footsteps approaching. I turn, it’s the boy from before! He scratches my ears, I let my tongue roll out.

The girl sighs right before the boy asks, “Can we keep him?”

Live, Nerd, Repeat

Making life better through the perfect application of humor and nerdery

Kurayami Monogatari

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