I'm finishing a creative writing unit and thought it would be interesting to post up one of the assignments. This was a study in genre, three scenes, three genres. I used existing characters/worlds that I have created and thought it would be a fun way to showcase upcoming stories and have a little sample taste of existing works.
Just for the Hecate
I should have known better but the lure of a free lunch and a pretty face to spend the afternoon with was too strong. Instead I was getting sawdust on my shoes while Ness tried to convince me to take on a job for some cabinet maker in the industrial district.
‘Her wife is missing, James,’ said Ness.
‘Then go to the police, they deal with that kind of thing all the time.’ I slipped on my sunglasses as the bright midday light flooded in through the factory door. I could hear an exasperated sigh behind me followed by the clack of Ness’ heels across the unsurfaced concrete floor. I wasn’t moving fast and she caught up quickly, trying to talk me into going back inside.
‘I have enough jobs on the go to keep the landlord off my back,' I told Ness as I continued walking towards the car. I felt her stop, so I turned to look back at her.
The sun set her hair alight, shining golden through those ruby strands. They flowed down her exposed shoulders, covering the spaghetti strap of the cute but simple white top that hugged her modest curves. The dark red, floor length skirt matched her hair and made me wish I was made of stronger stuff. She genuinely looked upset and I knew I was going back into that factory whether I wanted to or not. Sighing heavily, I walked back towards the door, shooting Ness a glare as I passed her.
‘One day that won’t work on me, you know,’ I said, regretting saying yes to lunch.
She smiled slightly, ‘One day you’ll be dead, James.’
‘If only I could be that lucky,’ I said pushing open the door and letting the smell of sawdust assault my senses once again.
Deus Ex Mentis
The point was hard won but Sarah triumphed in the end with a well placed thrust of her épée. Removing her fencing mask, Carol crossed the short distance to congratulate her opponent. Grinning widely beneath her mask, Sarah gave an over excited hug forgetting the bulky helmet as their heads clashed together.
‘Sorry!’ Sarah called. ‘I won! I can’t believe it!’ she did a little hop down the piste that made Carol smile.
‘Too bad no one was here to see it,’ said Carol as she unclipped herself from the scoring box.
‘Oh don’t do that,' she said pulling off the mask and pouting. ‘How many times have you won?’
‘I’ve lost count.’
‘Exactly. Let me have my victory.’
With an ungloved hand, Carol pushed aside the damp short black hair that was stuck to her opponent’s face. She looked deep into Sarah’s dark brown eyes and smiled, letting her other hand snake around the woman’s waist.
‘You beat me fair and square, I must be getting slow in my old age.’
‘Yeah well, you don’t look a day over two hundred,’ said Sarah discarding her weapon and pulling Carol in close. With their lips almost but not quite touching Sarah whispered, ‘The winner deserves a prize don’t you think?’
‘What did you have in mind?’ said Carol, both arms embracing her lover.
Carol heard the sound of the zipper before she felt it, as Sarah undid her jacket. The rip of velcro echoed through the empty training room as Sarah pulled the jacket half way down Carol’s shoulders. Arms bound by the tight jacket, Carol tried to shimmy the sleeves off. She was stopped by Sarah.
‘No, I like you like this. Makes it easier to claim my prize,’ she said before pushing her lips into Carol’s. The two kissed, Sarah drawing back playfully pulling at Carol’s bottom lip with her teeth. Carol gasped and shuddered, wishing her hands were free.
With tears filling her eyes Clay ran through the ship blindly. The clank of her boots echoing off the catwalk, like Shin’s voice, echoed through her mind. Wrong. Pathetic. Useless. They hadn’t used those words but they may as well have, her arm still hurt from where he had restrained her in the training exercise. She rubbed it almost as an afterthought, a phantom pain of a mental wound, while stumbling through yet another unfamiliar corridor. This ship was small compared to The Choir Invisible yet Clay still managed to get lost at the best of times.
Wiping away tears with the sleeve of her jumpsuit, she tried to regain her bearings. Seeing where she was caused panic to run though her, hairs stood up on the back of her neck as she broke into a cold sweat. The open doors of the escape pod gaped at her, filling her with a deep, frozen, dread that gripped her heart and squeezed. Clay clutched at the apprentice stripes sewn into her suit and stumbled backwards in shock, scrambling to get as far away from the pod as possible. Her escape was blocked by something soft and warm, she looked up and saw the surprised face of the Captain staring down at her.
‘Clay, are you alright?’ she asked, her eyes drifting towards the pods and back again. ‘Oh, oh honey, it’s okay…’
Clay struggled to her feet, half mumbling an apology as she ran deeper into the bowels of the ship, unsure of where to go. The Captain called out after her but she ignored it, running until she hit a junction. Faded white letters stencilled on the cold grey wall pointed right, towards the mortuary. She traced her fingers over the letters and headed off towards a familiar place.