Spark Prompts 24 – Scent

Scent is powerful. It can instantly transport us down memory lane, which can be a good or bad thing. This week, allow your character to use scent as a means of remembering the forgotten. What are they smelling? Here’s my response:

—-

Rushing down the street, Lidia cursed herself for being late again to work. Boss lady wasn’t going to be pleased. Tugging on her ponytail, she rehearsed the long-winded excuse she’d try to hide behind. What would it be this time? She’d already used a traffic accident yesterday. Her made-up dog had already died this month. Would she believe the bus driver turned into a zombie?

Her feet came to a grinding halt, her thoughts vanishing like the morning fog. She forgot about them until she smelled blueberry pancakes.

No. They can’t be here.

Pulling her hood up, she approached the open door of the cafe on the corner of the street. Cups clinked together as patrons discussed the weather. Lidia crept below the front window, her eyes peeking over just enough to see people enjoying their breakfast. She scanned each table as best she could to try to find them.

But they were nowhere to be seen.

Lidia turned around. She blew out a breath of relief, sending her curled bangs dancing in the air. A small chuckle hummed across her lips. Stupidity smacked across her cheek. It was just the usual breakfast rush! There was no way the Council would find her. Having run away from their clutches years ago proved she’d be nothing more than an ordinary girl.

But the magic dancing in her was anything but ordinary.

She turned around once more. The scent of blueberry pancakes intensified, twisting her insides with its overwhelming sweet aroma. Every aura had its distinctive smell. Why did theirs have to be pleasant?

A booming laugh of a man shook her core. She looked down at her hands. Swirls of purple energy emitted from her hands. Their presence was drawing out the very magic she swore to never use again.

Her feet picked up into a jog. She needed to get the hell out of their before they discovered she was still alive. The tire of the bus up ahead kissed the curb. She rushed over as fast as she could. Gripping the railing, she tossed a few bucks into the collection box and took a seat in the back. Lidia bit her thumbnail. Lying to her boss was the least of her concerns. Now she had to take down the Council. Again.

Have a response of your own? Feel free to share!

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Happy Birthday Tesla!

nikola tesla rockstar

On a stormy night more than 150 years ago, a legend was born. He would grow up to change the world in his lifetime, and his legacy would live on long after his passing. His name was Nikola Tesla.

This “rockstar scientist” amazes me. The more I dig deeper in an attempt to understand his inventions and the creator behind them, I find myself awestruck. I’m currently reading Edison vs Tesla: The Battle Over Their Last Invention by Joel Martin and William J. Birnes as an aspect of research for a book idea I have. I am utterly engrossed in the quirky facts between Edison and Tesla. Both men were free thinkers, yet they each had different ways about implementing their ideas, making them tangible for the astonished masses.

If Tesla wasn’t cool enough, one of my favorite quotes of his is:

“Of all things, I liked books best.” – Nikola Tesla

No surprise why that’s my favorite Tesla quote, right? 😉

So, happy birthday, Tesla! May you know your work continues to inspire future generations, including this literary nerd. 🙂

 

Until next post,

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Spark Prompts 23 – Monday

monday

Here’s my response:

“Get up, come on! Time to cease the day!”

 

Jamming steel brushes into my ears would’ve been more pleasant than her voice. Cradling my hands, a sharp chiseling settles into a headache. How can she be so happy?

 

I dared to open my eyes. There she sat on the corner of my bed with a bright smile painted across her face.

 

“Hey, Monday,” I groaned.

 

“Well, you can’t just stay in bed, sleepy head. It’s time to get up already! Don’t you know, I’ve been up for hours just waiting for you?”

 

I swallowed back the stench of morning breath. “Yeah, you have a knack for sneaking up on me.”

 

Her thick bun bobbled on her head as she threw her head back laughing. I take the opportunity to glance at the clock resting by my bed.

 

Just five more minutes.

 

Before I could dissolve into the pillows, she rushed over to me. Pristine, polished nails dug into my shoulders. I stared up into her piercing blue eyes.

 

“You know we can’t let you sleep a moment longer,” she stated.

 

I scoffed, deciding it wasn’t worth the argument. Besides, I had to quiet this headache if I was going to be able to get anything done.

 

Shuffling to my closet, I flicked on the light and fiddled with the clothes on the line. My lips scrunched together as I searched through clothes, hoping something new would magically appear. Her breath swept across the back of my neck.

 

“Do you have to stand so close?” I said over my shoulder.

 

She crossed her arms. “I’m making sure you’re moving along. It’s my job to make sure you get things going.”

 

I growled in agreement. I pulled off a blouse two sizes too big for my frame and a pair of black pants two sizes too small for my hips. At least the two would balance each other out.

 

“Come on, come on. You’re going to be late,” she hissed.

 

“Hey, I’m moving,” I protested as shimmied into the tight pants. Inhaling deep, I quickly fastened the button before my stomach had time to bulge out.

 

“You know, you act like you didn’t know I was coming today.” Her tone turned as cold as her icy blue eyes.

 

I tossed my brown bangs from my eyelashes. “I knew you were coming. You’re never late.”

 

“Then, why are you so upset?”

 

My lips twisted as my cheeks burned. I spun around and charged toward her. “Because you’re always on time.  You’re always making me get out of bed. You’re always reminding me of everything I have to get done, when to get it done, and how to get it done. I – I can’t take it sometimes!”

 

Her bony shoulders hunched forward. Seeing her wipe a tear from her eyes stabbed my gut with guilt. I fiddled with my hands, unsure of what to say.

 

“I’m sorry, Monday.”

 

She pouted her lips at me. “Do you know what it’s like to have everyone hate you, to have everyone see you coming and flee? That’s my life. No one wants me around. People say that I give them nervous energy, that I’m always ruining my life, and that I’m no fun. Well, dammit, I’m tired of people misunderstanding me!”

 

The edge of my lip went raw from my nibbling. How could I argue with anything she said? Every bit of it was true. And the truth wasn’t going to be all happy rainbows and unicorns.

 

I covered her hand with mine. “Monday, I’m sorry that people treat you wrong. I’m sorry I’ve treated you wrong. But hearing you say all of that does make me realize that we are seeing you in the wrong light. You have it in you to be as welcoming as a mother’s hug. You are the beginning to a new, fresh week. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s us that has it wrong.”

 

A smile crept up. She nodded to me, hope replacing the tears welling up in her eyes.

 

“Then let’s start the day,” Monday said.


Until next post,

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Spark Prompts 22 – Mirror, Mirror

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Alice cringed when she opened her eyes. The reflection staring back at her couldn’t really be here. Dark circles surrounded her green eyes. Her complexion appeared two shades lighter. But the long slender fingers grasping her shoulders confirmed it was the same Alice with her mother urging her to confess her secrets.

 

“Say it,” her mother whispered.

 

Alice locked her lips tight before a syllable could escape her. She was an honest girl, never embracing lies with outstretched arms, but sharing her fears would mean her mother would know the last bit of secrecy she had left. And what if confessing them would invoke the very beast she feared most?

 

Her mother whipped her around. Deep brown eyes peered down at her, concern licking the corners of her eyes with tears.

 

“Baby, I need you to do this. I can’t do it for you. Be strong,” she encouraged.

 

Alice sniffed back the sob caught in her throat. She didn’t wish to disappoint her mother. She turned to face the mirror again. Conviction chilled her core like an iceberg.

 

Just get this over with.

 

“I’m afraid I’m failure,” Alice murmured.

 

The mirror rattled against the wall. Alice looked to her mother.

 

“It’s working, Alice. Keep going.”

 

She peered into the mirror. Her spine straightened as she threw her shoulders back. The soles of her boots squeaked against the floorboards.

 

“I’m afraid no one cares about me. I’m afraid that when I die, the world wouldn’t notice.”

 

Alice jumped as the mirror swung like a pendulum. Her tongue buzzed as she shared her inner truths. Her thin lips parted, the floodgates of her soul opening relentlessly.

 

“I’m afraid that no one loves me, not even myself,” she stammered.

 

The mirror thrashed like a wild animal caught in a trap. Each truth revealed angered the mirror more.

 

“I’m afraid I don’t matter!”

The floor shook. The walls quaked. The mirror flew at her. Alice closed her eyes as she prepared for its impact. But loud clanging forced her eyes open.

 

Shards of silver outlined her toes. Alice breath out the breath she held onto. Relief lifted her heart.

 

“I – I did it,” she whispered.

 

Her mother wrapped her arms around her. Alice buried her face into her mother’s silk black blouse, the scent of ginger tickling her nose. She pulled herself back as a smile spread from ear to ear.

 

Her mother beamed. “You did it, baby. And now, you have nothing in this world to fear.”

 

Alice kicked a splinter of the mirror’s glass. Her heart floated to the clouds. There was nothing left to fear.


Have a response of your own you’d like to share? Feel free to leave it in the comments!

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Spark Prompts 21 – Curtain Call

curtain call

This week our characters are taking center stage. What will your character do? Here’s my response:


 

Her lips curled in an exaggerated smile. Wow the crowd, she was told. Don’t show that you’re nervous, they said. She gulped.

Their clapping died down, replaced with the chill of silence. Her heels clicked against the wooden floor. Trembling fingers clutched the microphone center stage.

Just one song.

“Good evening,” she said. “How is the evening treating you so far?”

A muffled cough from the back of the auditorium was their only response. She nodded as she searched for words, conjuring the courage to brave the stern crowd.

“My name is Melinda Savern, and I’d like to dedicate this song to all of you. May it be a night you never forget.”

Turning away from the audience, she approached the band hidden in the shadows. She looked to Javier with a guitar in hand. His wink made her stomach flutter. She could do this for him and him alone if need be. Sucking in a deep breath, she whirled back around, the hem of her cherry dress swirling like a crimson wave.

“You should know by now, honey, that you’ll always be mine,” she belted out.

The bassline thumped while the kick drum’s beat pounded in her chest. With deliberate steps, she walked toward the crowd, her hips swaying like the temptress she was. Over a dozen times she’d performed this song, but each outcome was different. Like the direction of the wind, the crowd’s reaction changed unpredictably. Men and women leaned forward in their seats. Their eyes transfixed on her. She could hear their beating hearts, sense the blood course through their veins.

It’s working.

Her back arched as she from her core. “You try to leave, but I pull you closer, reminding you that you’ll always be mine.”

The eyes of the audience members flashed bright green. Pride swelled her heart as she carried on with her song. Each completed bar of music captivated them more. She relished in their eagerness as they hung on her every word. They were under her spell, just as she had planned.

As the song carried on, Melinda searched the crowd. One man stage left sitting in the third row looked unimpressed. His arms folded out in front of him as he furrowed his brows. Concentrated on the stranger made her fall behind a measure.

Cripes! Why isn’t the spell working on him?

“You’ll always be mine,” she called out.

Looking over her shoulder, she grit her teeth. Nodding to the crowd, she hoped Javier would notice the man unaffected by their powers. But his eyes remained closed as he focused on the song.

“Javier,” she sneered.

His eyes popped open. She shrugged a shoulder in the direction of the man.

“What the hell?” she mouthed.

Javier’s jaw dropped to his shoes. “Do something!” he urged her.

She inhaled a sharp breath. Siphoning souls would not go over well with a witness. She needed to act fast before the spell would dissolve. Pursing her lips, she rushed off stage.

“No matter what they say at the end of the day, honey, you know the truth,” she sang.

Jumping down into the crowd, she focused on the unimpressed audience member. Something about him shook her core, as if part of her pleaded to keep her distance. But she had a mission to fulfill.

She brushed her soft curls back away from her shoulder as she approached him. She sat down in his lap, forcing him to recline in his seat. Her eyes narrowed as she concluded the song.

“You will always be mine,” she whispered.

The stranger’s eyes flashed a bright white. His lips parted revealing pristine smile.

An angel! She swallowed the lump of regret in her throat.

His wiggled underneath her until he pried his hands free. A chuckle hummed from his chest as he slapped his hands together in a slow, exaggerated clap.

“You’re right, Melinda,” the angel said. “This will be a night I will never forget.”

Fear wrenched her heart. She puckered her lips. If only she had stayed on stage.


Until next post,

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Spark Prompts 20 – Magic Skills

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It’s true that magicians hide their secrets. This week’s prompt is all about those characters that are able to do the unthinkable all while leaving us with our jaws dropped. Here’s my response:


His fingers scattered across the keyboard, clicks of the keys singing their technological melody. The screen flashed white. Multiple windows popped up like digital popcorn. Without a word leaving his lips, Reid accessed the files before him with ease. Then the screen turned to black as a single line of green text displaying “ACCESS CODE” stopped him.

Bryan bit his lip. “See I told you it wouldn’t be that easy. Now what are we going to do?”

Reid shook his head. “We’re going to be fine. Just let me think.”

Hearing Bryan’s knuckles crack made Reid tense his shoulders. Best friends since they were nine and still not enough trust in him. Reid smirked knowing it was only going to be a matter of time until he got to see that stupid look on Bryan’s face when he once again saved them.

A fist on the door made them both jump. Shouts from the authorities demanded they turn themselves in. But Reid never liked the confines of a cell.

“Shit, man. Are you going to get this figured out?” Bryan paced in a zigzag line.

Reid’s fingertips tapped the keys as he played with different passcodes in his head. Of course he was going to figure this out. Having traveled dimensions dozens of times, a simple access code wasn’t going to get in his way. Now if only he had remembered the algorithm to bypass these pesky electronic speedbumps.

He smashed his fingers against the keyboard. A mix of consonants spilled onto the screen. Reid slammed the Enter key before leaning back in his chair.

INCORRECT.

Bryan pulled on the back of the chair. “What the hell are you doing? Can’t you see they’re about to come in here and detain us?”

Reid waved a dismissive hand. “Just trust me.”

“Trust you? Oh boy, that’s really going to save us right now,” Bryan said.

A loud thump hit the door. The hinges squeaked as the metal loosened. Reid looked over his shoulder as men grunted with another attempt to break down the door.

“All right. Let’s get out of here, buddy,” Reid whispered.

At the bottom of the screen, an access code tip appeared. Reid furrowed his brows as he read:

HINT: Mammal that attacks snakes.

Reid scratched his hairline. “Hmm, what’s that fuzzy animal that goes after snakes?”

Bryan leaned over his shoulder. “A honey badger?”

Reid’s fingers clicked away at the keys as he entered it in. A buzz emitted from the computer at another incorrect answer.

“Ah, guess again,” he said.

The door flew from its hinges before colliding with the floor. Officers rushed into the small apartment. Bryan cowered next to the desk and glared up at Reid.

“They’re in here!”

Unmoved by their guests’ arrival, Reid swirled his tongue in his mouth as he considered other options.

A raccoon? No, those aren’t known for attacking snakes. Opossum? Jeez, what do those things even eat? He cursed himself for not paying more attention in science class.

The boots of officers pounded against the floorboards. After shouting one final command, they readied their guns at them. Bryan tugged on the edge of Reid’s shirt.

“We’re screwed. Let’s just turn ourselves in,” he hissed.

Reid snapped his fingers. “Ah, a mongoose!”

He input the entry. The computer gave a happy chime before the screen began to swirl. A low hum emitted from the device as blue, green, and purple mixed together. Reid stood from his chair and clutched Bryan’s forearm. He turned his attention to the officers aiming their guns at them.

“Sorry boys, but we have a portal to catch.”

With an outstretched hand, he forced his arm into the computer screen. It sucked them in as their bodies shrunk. The sound of gunfire rang through the stream of code before the portal closed.

His stomach churned as they traveled, the unremitting nausea bringing bile up his throat once again. A dozen times later and he still wasn’t used to the sensation teleporting brought with it.

They slowed their momentum as their feet struck the ground. Pixel by pixel, their bodies reformed. Bryan’s jaw about fell past his knees.

“How the heck did you do it?!”

Reid smiled. “Just call me the wizards of the interwebs, buddy.”


Have a response of your own? Feel free to share it!

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Spark Prompts 19 – Anger

anger

I’ve been trying to focus more on describing emotions in my writing. This week I wanted to challenge myself by describing how an emotion would taste. Here’s my response:


The burger flopped onto the plate, thick mounds of red sauce splattering the plate like a crime scene. Licking his lips, Jack searched for the nearest cup. He snatched the glass of water from his friend’s hand, shoving table manners to a faraway place. Guzzling the liquid, his gulps pounded in his ears. His lips burned from the intense spice as his throat tightened. Slamming the glass on the table, he wiped the residual molten lava sauce from the corners of his mouth.

“God, it won’t go away!”

Devon cackled like a hyena, his head thrown back and mouth agape. With an open palm, he smacked the edge of the table. Silverware bounced and clanked together. His laughter faded as he caught his breath.

“How could you make me eat this?”

Jack patted his sweaty forehead with a napkin. He glared at the tossed burger. Grabbing a fork, he inspected its contents, taking an inventory of everything he ingested. Bits of diced jalapeno, chunks of raw garlic, and dark red vinegar sauce covered the hamburger patty. The myriad of ingredients was nothing short of including everything and the devil’s sink. Jack burped, bile scorching his throat. He shoved the plate away from him.

“This is the stupidest thing you’ve talked me into,” he admitted.

Devon shrugged. “It’s not like I forced it down your gullet.”

Jack’s forehead crinkled. Sweat dripped along the sides of his face. He sniffed the trail of snot leaking from his nose.

“No, but you might as well shoot me,” he sneered. His eyes widened as he coughed on pepper stuck in his throat.

Devon bit his bottom lip, laughter slipping from behind his teeth. “Lesson learned, huh, Jackie? What’s that they say? If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

His friend’s laughter buzzed in his ear like a mosquito. How dare Devon enjoy his torment! His fingers coiled into tight fists under the table. Fire ignited in his belly, constricting his abdominals. Fear rushed over Jack like a cool breeze, but the warmth of his bad decision evaporated any sort of relief.

“Fuck you!”

Devon’s eyes bulged from his head as he lifted cautious hands. Patrons inside the diner paused their conversations, their attention falling onto Jack. Throwing the used napkin, Jack slid out of the booth, fists swinging at his sides.

“Come on, Jack. It was a stupid joke. Don’t leave,” Devon called out.

He stormed out, the door the only thing he could focus on as flames burned his stomach. His blood boiled as it rushed to his legs. His boots pounded against the laminate floor.

Some friend he is.

Turning his body, he slammed his shoulder into the glass door like a bull. It smacked into the wall as the sunlight hit his face. One thing was certain, Jack would never trust Devon again.


Have a response of your own to share? Feel free to do so in the comment section.

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