stormy skies: an excerpt

the sky is finally winter- grey like the rolling waves outside my window as they pound against the beach, their anger fueled by the winds of a prevailing storm. i can hear the sirens calling from here, their song turning the rest of the sea a deep green. emerald, my grandfather had once said, is the most beautiful color except when it is at sea. i often think of him when i hear the death-song far out to sea. if there is a ship out there, it will not survive. i hope there is not. shipwrecks remind me of things i’d rather forget, like drowning limbs and bloated faces. my body shudders at the thought and i grip the edge of the desk to remind myself i am here, on dry land, wood creaking beneath my feet as i stand, swaying.

it has been a long time since those memories have visited me, the way an unwelcome relative might show up at your door unannounced. restless, i get up and slam all the windows and doors shut, announcing my intention to keep those bloated bodies out of my home. the only sound now is my heavy breathing and the muted sound of the surf. i cannot hear the sirens anymore.

*this is an excerpt from a story idea I had about a girl who lives in a lonely shack along the beach, often listening to the siren songs at sea and haunted by a terrible memory.

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em • il • io

/eˈmiljo/

  1. soft green. new growth poking through winter-hardened ground. tendrils reaching for sunlight hidden by clouds, weak but hopeful. they will cover the land.
  2. ethereal, like a ghost. he glides just on the periphery. mist from the fields burns off with the coming dawn and he goes with it, light too blinding, too much like him. he is everywhere and nowhere. it is a lonely existence.
  3. son of an overbearing father. he knows he is a replacement, but even this love is better than none. still, he longs for something other than military propriety and a cool facade. in this world, rebel is a dangerous word. he must be perfect. sometimes he wonders why he tries so hard to fit the mold. he asks the world but it has no answer.
  4. veil-piercer. eyes that can see the shadows that lurk in everyone and in everything. spirits moving about unseen by all, he has learned not everything is as it seems. they walk around with human skins. he is afraid.

car • los

/ˈkarlos/

  1. stubborn, the fire in his soul a kiln to make the malleable immalleable. it burns a path through the heart. if there are no emotions, there are fewer obstacles in his way and he already has enough. better to be an empty vessel.
  2. a boy made out of mud and moths. the further he is from Her, the closer he is to Him, the comforting earth of his childhood. worn hands touch the soft skin of the divine. dark woods conceal words that cannot be said in Her light.
  3. abandoned. centuries’ worth of wind and rain wear him down like clay pottery found in a long forgotten city by archaeologists. there is no use for him, broken among the ruins. the kilns have cooled and the fires that made him hard have left him fragile. he is left to pick up the pieces of his own cracked belief.
  4. loyal to a fault. he is the protector, courage making him immeasurably reckless. give him a cause and all the passion he has ever felt will pour into it. find him a target and he will destroy. see stubborn (1).

la muerte

She walks through the streets unseen, eyes glittering with the flames of a thousand candles. It is quiet, the last of the costumed revelers at home. There are no stars, only orange lamplights that turn the night sky into a false daylight, the sliver of a moon the only thing visible. She smiles as she passes the houses, pumpkins carved with crooked grins, plastic skulls set out near doorsteps. Leaves rustle at her footsteps. She sees little children asleep, their sugary dreams taking hold as adults sit around the table, sipping tea and remembering times past. The wind is soft, a last breath as the night fades into November. She gathers a few cobwebs for her veil. Her time has just begun. And she has not been forgotten.

Beautiful People: July Edition

In case you don’t know, Beautiful People is a blog meme meant to help a writer get to know their characters better. Every month, a set of ten questions is released and you can answer them with whatever character (or characters) you want. You can find this month’s questions here.

For this month, I decided to do it for my character Mercedes (“Meche” as her nickname).

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A bit like how I imagine Mercedes.

1. Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?

Meche has no desire to get married or have children. She has other priorities, including leading a rebellion. Those things are the furthest from her mind. That and she doesn’t want to fall in line with society’s expectations for women. Though they can be fighters, they’re still expected to fulfill the usual roles of mother and wife, something she doesn’t entirely agree with.

2. What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)

She prefers her pistols, which she has affectionately given names. They’re her go-to and she carries them wherever she goes.

3. What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?

Once, when she was much younger, she saved her brother from a terrible situation (which I can’t mention because it’s a spoiler). Not only did she cover for him when it came to their parents, but she helped him through the trauma, teaching herself rudimentary psychology and coming up with her own treatments in order to help him.

4. Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?

Let’s get one thing straight: Meche doesn’t shy away from fights. Far from it. She’s usually the one to start a fight, and it’s often because she’s standing up for someone. One such example would be when she was eight and Emilio (her brother) was six, she fought off the bullies for her brother. They instigated it by teasing Emilio beforehand.

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Her uniform as a part-time nurse

5. Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?

She is very much a rebel. Rules were never something she thought should be followed, especially if they were detrimental to other people. For this reason, she joined the guerrilla movement.

6. Are they organized or messy?

Mercedes does her best to stay organized but left to her own devices, things slowly descend into organized chaos. She might know where everything is, but someone else wouldn’t at all.

7. What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

She feels loved when others give her gifts, unwarranted or not. Meche is normally the one to do everything without expecting anything in return, so a “thank you” or a small gift makes her day. The last person to make her feel that way was Emilio.

8. What do they eat for breakfast? 

Her breakfast consists of eggs with sausage. Sometimes it’s tortillas and some chorizo.

9. Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?

Meche hasn’t lost anyone in the time she can remember. She did lose her mother, but it was in childbirth, which she obviously doesn’t remember.

10. What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)

Her treat of choice is candy from a store just down the street from her house. She’ll stop by after a day of running errands and buy a small bag for herself.

#WorldbuildingJune

I’m excited to announce I’m participating in Worldbuilding June!

For those of you who don’t know, Worldbuilding June functions in the same way as National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to create a world in just thirty days! It doesn’t have to be complete and you don’t have to go too in-depth if you don’t want to, but it’s been very helpful in fleshing out the world for my novel. The prompts focus on the usual things such as geography and races, but also throw in cultures, architecture and much more.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting previews of what I’m writing. And if you decide you want to give it a try, here’s the link to the worldbuilding blog responsible for this madness.

Now that I’ve quickly gone over that, here’s a preview at the map for my country. I made it using this free website. Warning: it does require you to make an account, but it’s soooo worth it!

Map

I’m really excited to start working on my novel again, now that school is over. I hope to post more previews and other things as time goes on and hopefully I’ll inspire some of you too!

PotW: Bourgeoisie Boy

Today, for Playlist of the Week, I have another playlist based on my novel. I’ve really been in the mood to write the novel and work on the characters lately, so I decided to make a character playlist in order to help me write.

This one’s for the boy born into a wealthy, but disgraced family. For the boy who ignores the whispers and stares, but would love nothing more than to get away from it all.