Parallel Tuesdays

Change is in the Air (a 500 word story) and Communicable Versatility

Today’s lineup: some flash fiction, a public service announcement about Communicable Versatility, and Write Thing Wednesday’s Blog Mash Up. Enjoy!

***

Change is in the Air

“Show him.” Grandma elbows me.

“Alright!” I pull up my shirt.

She jabs my chest. “See! No hair! And look at his teeth.” Grabs my chin. “Show him, Harry.”

Dr. Marius pats Grandma. “You can’t rush biology.”

“His brothers changed younger than this. His little sister!”

Bet they heard that in the waiting room.

Poster on the wall. Cute kids grinning. Sun shining. Flowers blooming. Big, bold letters proclaiming, “Protect them! Prevent fleas!”

“Sometimes late-bloomers surprise you, Mrs. Henderson. Eduardo Lupo was a late-bloomer.”

Eduardo Lupo. Founder of our community.

On the way out, I see Mindy Conrad. Heard she changed last year.

She tosses her hair and smiles.

Great. She must have heard Grandma. Like  this puberty  thing isn’t hard enough for a werewolf.

Maybe the world’ll end tonight.

It doesn’t.

—–

I drag myself out of bed. Look at the calendar.

Full moon tonight.

In the kitchen, Dad’s at the stove. Mom and Grandma wolfing down steak and eggs. Steve and Earl  gone to soccer practice. Celia waiting for a plate.

The crack of dawn and my sister’s already sporting prodigious sideburns

Show-off.

Dad slides Celia a plate. She dives in. Steak looks like it barely kissed the pan.

I wait for my stomach to clench. It growls instead. “Medium rare, Dad.”

Grandma smiles. Elbows me.

—–

All day at school, I’m in the best mood ever. I see the Eduardo Lupo statue towering over the quad. Admire his eternal howl. Bulging muscles. Enormous claws.

Late-bloomer.

Watch out Little Red Riding Hood.

Change is coming. I feel it. Skin and teeth tingling.

—–

We gather at the wood’s edge just before moonrise. The moon heaves her luscious self over the hills. Change rolls through us. Muscles bunch and quiver. Claws and teeth grow. Fur sprouts.

Doesn’t hurt. Feels…gooood.

Smell of earth. The others. Moonlight singing so loud.

We run.

The others ahead of me.. Howling.

I howl…comes out a yowl. No matter. My fur blows gloriously back as I run.

And I’ve got claws. Oh have I got claws.

Commotion ahead. Howling stops. The others turn back. Running at me.

Another group chasing. Humans. Guns and crossbows with bolts gleaming silver in the moonlight.

Slayers.

Crap.

I bolt. The pack on my heals.

Behind me, they fall. One by one. Yelping.

I run blindly.

Dead end.

Double crap.

A little crevice. Nowhere else to go. Way too small. I squeeze in.  Turn around. Curl up.

Slayers right outside.

“We get ’em all?”

“Think so.”

One, a girl, peeks into my hidey-hole . “There now, sweetie. Those nasty things won’t get you. Here, kitty-kitty.”

My growl comes out like a hiss.

Crap to the hundredth power.

“Come on. We’ll get some milk.” She reaches in.

I wanna bite her but…

Milk? That sounds pretty good. I let her pull me out, a low purr starting up and rumbling through my body.

All that running’s made me thirsty.

Change is in the Air

Edited to add: This flash fiction piece was written for my May Writing Challenge.

***

Communicable Versatility

Community is so important. That really goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Community is vital.

New writers and writers who are newly out-of-the-closet are especially in need of supportive community. Sometimes our friends and family might look at us a little cock-eyed when we announce that we are writers. They might be too polite (or not, in some cases) to tell us they think the idea is nuts. Of course, sometimes our friends and family members are our biggest cheerleaders. Even with all that support on the home front, we still need a sense of belonging in the larger world.

 It can be so terrifying to put ourselves out there. Ultimately, writing (really, any art) is about communicating something to another. The idea of being published, maybe even rich and famous, is pretty exciting, but it all boils down to sharing something we can’t communicate in any other way with another. The first time we do that in public, it can be beyond terrifying. That’s where the supportive community comes in. Bloggers, writers, readers. They surround us with support and encouragement and even fair critique when we need it.

I’ve been blown away by the beautiful community I’ve encountered since I started blogging. You guys have given me the the extra boost I need to keep going when the inner critic is freaking me out. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Last month, several wonderful people awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award. April was a crazy-busy month and I wasn’t able to put together a post for them. I wanted to make sure that I thanked these awesome folks for their thoughtfulness and encouragement. Many, many thanks to Madison Woods, Selena Wolff, Tara Tyler, and Carolyn Arnold.

The rules of the award:

  • Link to awarder (done, done, done and done :D)
  • List 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the word on to 15 other bloggers

Seven things about myself:

  • I have 3 dogs (a pomeranian, a pom-maltese, and a chiwhatwhat…a half-chuahua/half-something-or-other) and tuxedo kitty.
  • I lean more towards the unschooling end of the spectrum when it comes to homeschooling
  • I studied microbiology and psychology at university (does that make me a crazy germophile?)
  • I loooove wasabi…my love for sushi might be just an excuse to have some wasabi.
  • I talk to myself, the animals, the computer, the tv, my phone…pretty much anything in my vicinity.
  • I like soaps. Really. I’ve been watching GH and OLTL for more than 20 years.
  • I am learning to play piano…very, very slowly (and probably pretty badly :D)

There are far more than 15 bloggers that I’d like to pass this award on to. So many wonderful people. But I’ll leave some for next time. 😀

***

Write Thing Wednesday Blog Mash Up

In which I offer you a tempting array of blog posts that caught my eye over the last week…

 

Photo Credit
This is my Town (cropped) by Paul Davis, on Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

49 thoughts on “Change is in the Air (a 500 word story) and Communicable Versatility

  1. Wow! Thanks so much for the award Sonia, it does mean a lot to have your work read and more so, by other writers you respect. Many thanks again and be sure I will pay it forward!

    1. I loved your story! The kitty sounds like mine. He thinks he’s a dog 😉

      You’re so right about community among writers. Blogging- and Twitter-friends have been excellent and vital support for me.

  2. Oh, my goodness, Sonia, thank you! What a wonderful community-building enterprise. I never win anything – this is so cool! I’m so glad you are in our group. It’s a fabulous, supportive place, isn’t it?

    Would you mind explaining more about how the “Versatile Blogger” Award works?

    Thanks,
    Kathy

    1. You’re welcome! I marvel at the supportive community here on the blogs and on Twitter. It’s so awesome!

      For the award, you just need to post on your blog: 7 things about yourself and pass it on to 15 other blogs. 😀

  3. That was a great twist you put in that flash fiction story. Loved it.

    Thank you so much for the shout out and award, I’m speechless, I never win anything! Not sure if I even know 15 people/blogs I can pass it on to but I’ll give it a go.

    1. Thanks! I had fun with the story. Plus, it’s nice not to always write dark. 😀

      You are so welcome for the award. Part of the fun is finding other bloggers to share it with. 😀

  4. Loved the flash piece! And thank you so much for the Award, Sonia! Wow! There’s an amazing community of writers surrounding us, I’m definitely going to have fun paying it forward. Thank you! -hugs-

  5. That short story is hilarious!! I was totally not expecting that.

    Lol at the wasabi…first time I had some no one told me it was spicy. Thought my brain was disolving

    1. Thanks! Actually the ending caught me by surprise too. I had planned on having Harry turn into a very small dog. A chihuahua perhaps…but then the whole kitty idea snuck in. It fit so much better than the tiny dog idea. 😀

      Ah yes, wasabi. I can imagine how…um…surprising it would be not know it was spicy ahead of time. It’s some potent stuff. Excellent description! 😀

  6. This will be my third one! LOL!
    Thanks so much, Sonia. I’m honored.
    Love what you have to say about community. And totally agree.

    ■I studied microbiology and psychology at university (does that make me a crazy germophile?)
    Probably. But it’s better than finding out you’re a werekitty. =)

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome!

      “werekitty” I was trying to figure out the term for that. 😀 I was at the sink when the idea popped into my head. I started laughing and my family just looked at me like…well, actually, they’re used to it. LOL. They still gave me a funny look until I explained.

  7. Dearest, Dearest Ms. Sonia, you will never know how much your response means to me, especially your blog about the importance of community. And for the award, but how do I get it so I can post it on my page? And what if I don’t know fifteen other people? Will that count against me?

    And I was just wondering if your little were-kitty is any relation to Hathim, the half vamp-half were-tiger in my story “Irony”!

    I myself receive absolutely no support for my writing talent other than what I get on line. I have a sister who lives less than five miles from me, and whom I have seen exactly six times in the past two years, for my birthdays both years, and for both major holidays.

    My daughter has only contacted me on my birthday for the past two years and for two five minute visits during that time. I have no other family, no support, nothing.

    And neither my sister nor my daughter offer any support whatsoever, in fact, my sister doesn’t even know I write!

    So when I first stepped onto the world stage when I tried posting on awwc (i already know you are aware of the disaster THAT turned out to be from the comment you made on my post about it), rather than build my confidence, they tore me to shreds and left me feeling pretty much as if I had committed an unpardonable crime simply by attempting to be a part of their site and take up their oh-so-precious time!

    Oh, and the reason I got banned? I got fed up with them rubbing my face in the fact that I needed to change and alter my stories to the point where they no longer even remotely resembled what I had envisioned and I sort of went off on them and posted some other works that validate my case that they were wrong!

    I came away from awwc (again lower case…those unsympathetic, holier than thou egotistical morons don’t deserve CAPS!) doubting myself more than ever and truly wondering if I should just forget it and never write another single word, for I had nothing the world would be interested in hearing, any more than they hear my spoken voice.

    Ms. Sonia, please understand, I am not seeking to be a “glory hog” or even asking for high blown praise, I just feel sometimes as if I really am a ghost that no one see, no one hears, no one even knows exists. I have pretty much spent my entire fifty three years as precisely that.

    The verse that I posted today pretty much says it all.

    I always try to offer encouragement and at least a kind word to any and all that I read, for who should know better the power that a kind word of acknowledgment now and then can have on a person’s sense of self, and I.

    At least up until today, I even subscribed to the ones that I really liked, for their words often filled my sad heart with a little bit of positivity and joy, but after today, there are very few remaining on my list that I even created special little icons to honor each one on my personal page for.

    I had to unsubscribe, I simply could no longer bear the pain, and yes, humiliation, of seeing how many responded to their words for inbox full after inbox full, some of them getting four to six responses at once and I myself received nothing.

    Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? Especially when, according to the site counter, my readers have actually dropped off. As far as I know, yourself, Ms. Patti, MyWordsWhisper, and one other are the only ones who even visit me or seem to care about what I write.

    I have always held stories in my heart, for the worlds within my mind were the one place I always knew I would be accepted growing up. My own mother barely paid me any attention, unless I acted out.

    And for encouragement for any of my few “praiseworthy” qualities, forget it. She burned my notebooks that I had spent nearly four years writing stories in and told me that if she caught me doing such “meaningless and worthless trash again, she would punish me.

    I did not start writing again till about seven years ago. And I am proud to say that those few who read my verses seemed to like them, which makes me wonder if they were only being polite since they were face to face with me, given that those who are not either read my work and move on so unimpressed they can’t find anything to say…or they take the old adage “if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all”…or they just plain don’t get past the first few sentences, much less more than a paragraph, maybe two.

    In short, perhaps, as my verse I posted this morning stated, I am simply deluding myself in believing I have any talent as a writer.

    After all, how could so many people be wrong?

    Once again, thank you for the award, and I have another one for you, from me, designed by me. Open this link and then do a “save page as” from the “file” tab on your browser. Just be sure to format the file name as file name.jpg so that it saves as an image. Then you can put it on your blogs.

    blessings and thank you so very much for your continued support, you really have no idea how much it means to me,

    marantha

    1. Thank you! It is hard to put your babies (writing) out there for the world. It’s a necessary part if our writing’s to be shared. Scary though!

      The image for the award is clickable. If you click on it, you should be able to save the image to your own files and then display it on your blog. It’s okay if you don’t know 15 others. You do what you can…part of the fun is finding 15 more people to share it with though 😉 There’s always somebody else out there that would be at least as tickled as you to get the award. It’s actually more fun passing it on than getting it.

      The werekitty was a surprise to me. I was planning on a were-chihuahua or something…the kitty idea popped in at the last minute. I’m glad it did though. 😀

  8. Gem of a story 🙂

    Even though my “rational” mind wants to quibble over “details”, my story-mind *Loves* it!!

    Thank you for considering me for the award. I wrote to you in response to your comment on my blog…

  9. MARANTHA JENELLE on 05/19/2011 at 8:21p05 said: [Edit]

    WHETHER PROSE OR POETRY, OR SIMPLY STORY IN WORD
    MS. SONIA, IT IS TEN FIFTEEN, PM, TEXAS TIME AND I JUST NOW COMPOSED THIS A FEW MOMENTS AGO. I HOPE YOU WILL LIKE IT.

    MARANTHA JENELLE

    OPEN YOUR HEART…SET IT FREE…LET IT BE HEARD.
    WHETHER IT BRING READER TO LAUGHTER, TEARS OR SIGHS
    LET ITS SPEAKING AND READING BRING JOY TO EARS AND EYES.
    BE IT BY HAND AND KEYBOARD OR PLAIN PAPER AND PEN
    I BID YOU TAKE US, OH BARD, TO PLACES WE’VE NEVER BEEN.
    LET THE MUSES OF INSPIRATION OH SO JOYOUSLY SING
    AS YOU YOUR STORIES TO VIBRANT, EXUBERANT LIFE BRING.
    A TICKET AWAY FROM THIS WEARY WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN
    WHETHER BY HAND AND KEYBOARD OR BY PAPER AND PEN.

  10. SORRY, I MISSED A LINE, HERE IS THE ENTIRE VERSE….

    WHETHER PROSE OR POETRY, OR SIMPLY STORY IN WORD
    OPEN YOUR HEART…SET IT FREE…LET IT BE HEARD.
    WHETHER IT BRING READER TO LAUGHTER, TEARS OR SIGHS
    LET ITS SPEAKING AND READING BRING JOY TO EARS AND EYES.
    BE IT BY HAND AND KEYBOARD OR PLAIN PAPER AND PEN
    I BID YOU TAKE US, OH BARD, TO PLACES WE’VE NEVER BEEN.
    LET THE MUSES OF INSPIRATION OH SO JOYOUSLY SING
    AS YOU YOUR STORIES TO VIBRANT, EXUBERANT LIFE BRING.
    A TICKET AWAY FROM THIS WEARY WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN
    WHETHER BY HAND AND KEYBOARD OR BY PAPER AND PEN.

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome! When I had my first baby, I was delighted to discover I could just talk to her in public and nobody would cross the street to get away from the odd, talking lady…okay maybe I’m exaggerating…a little. 😀

  11. Awesome Thanks Sonia! My first ever online award and coming from the first friend I found through Twitter. Appreciate it and the friendship. Crazy busy time but I’ll try to pass it on/follow up soon on my blog.

    1. Awww! Thank you right back. I cannot say it enough how much I love this community. I really had no idea I’d find so many people who would be so friendly, encouraging and supportive…not that I’m a cynic about people but I just figured I’d mostly get lost in the vastness of the blogosphere. So lovely to see that’s not true.

      I totally get “crazy busy time.” It took me more than month to get to this post. It’s all good…give you more time to find more blogs to pay it forward. 😉

  12. “The moon heaves her luscious self over the hills. Change rolls through us”, what a great line…And as for the rest…Hillarious! Especially:

    ” I wanna bite her but…
    Milk? That sounds pretty good”
    :):):)

    1. Thank you! I had a great time with this piece. The ideas kept popping up. I kept wondering how I could make the situation more embarrassing for this poor kid and still have his disappointing (from a werewolf’s pov) transformation save him in the end. So much fun to figure it all out.

  13. Wow! What a surprise. Thank you so very much for the award. It does my writing confidence a heap of good.

    You wrote a gem of a piece here. I was chuckling away several times, and when the reveal came, I laughed out loud. Your concise sentences and ‘voice’ in the piece were pitch-perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you so much! And you’re welcome! It’s been such a boon to my writing to meet so many other writers. It feels like we’re creating all of this creative energy that just whizzes around, firing everyone up. 😀

  14. Sonia! Thank you for the lovely award, I am truly touched; it’s such a rare and delightful moment to be part of –and amongst such great writers! 🙂 This is even more meaningful to me as I have been unable to write the past few days –had a bout of food poisoning and seeing this on my recovery has certainly made me smile so thank you!

    PS: I was unsure if I’d spot what you hinted at what I’d find but I seem to have found my footing 🙂

    PPS: I loved your story! Such a lovely/cute/funny twist to such a dark plot –ingenious! You certainly know how to keep a reader on their toes!

      1. Thank you… I’m on the road to recovery with bland foods to go! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be even better!

        Keep writing fun stories… I love reading them! 🙂

  15. That was a fun story to read…. thanks for sharing. I laughed when I read the “Here kitty kitty” and then saw the picture.
    And I agree, it is nice to have a supportive community. Thanks for sharing.

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