Tag Archives: storyaday

Story A Day May 2!

Going again with Siri words today since British Siri gave me such crazy ones yesterday. I did have an idea to work today’s words into an existing story I started ages ago and never finished, so now my second goal for this month is to break this story into sections, work my word prompts into it and finish it over the course of the month. I’ll intersperse it with my 500+ word short stories.

Something Bad Part 1

(word prompts: carbon-14 dating, tense, carefully)

“Kat, I think you should hurry.” Panic edged Jamie’s voice. “I really think you should hurry … Kat. KAT!”

“I’m trying!” I glanced up and let out a squeak at the sight of two zombies. Cracks in the glass door webbed out each time they pounded their fists.

“Hurry!”

“For God’s sake, Jamie, I’m trying!” Out of frustration, I smacked the device against my palm. “Crapcrapcrap. It’s not working.”

“Did you repair it correctly?” I paused in my continuation of saying the word ‘crap’, and glared until he held up his hands. “Sheesh. I’m only asking.”

“You aren’t helping.”

I had consulted the manual. Manual. Yeah, right. What constituted for a manual for a top-secret project developed by lab-geeks was a ratty notebook full of sketches and more astro-physics jargon than I had ever seen. I used a soldering iron to repair the broken chip, put the handheld device back together, and … nothing. The sound of cracking glass did nothing to help my nerves. Letting out a scream, I threw the device to the ground. The LED screen lit up. I snatched up the personal time-travel device, grasped Jamie’s wrist, and waited the few seconds for thousands of miniscule wormholes to merge into a bigger wormhole, and we disappeared, accompanied by the ear-puncturing cracking sound.

I’ll freeze here, while my friend and I zoom through space-time. Our goal is four days earlier, well, it’s my goal, but Jamie happens to be along for the ride. I might have asked him to help, since the whole zombie incident is kinda my fault.

My name is Kat Meyers. It’s really Kaitlin, but I’ve always hated that name. Only my parents call me Kaitlin. I have degrees in biology and chemistry, and Kaitlin sounds so unprofessionally high-school. And blonde. The blonde part wouldn’t bother me, but I have that shade of hair that is either light brown or dark blonde, and no one can tell which. My looks are average and I could stand to lose about fifteen pounds, but all-in-all, I’m not bad looking. I once overheard a guy tell his friend I was a six, and honestly, I felt great. I always thought I was a solid five.

I work for a high-end cosmetic and skincare company, developing and testing anti-aging formulas. Jamie, my time-traveling partner, is a co-worker, and gorgeous. I think he’s the best thing since burritos. What’s not to love? They can hold almost any food! They are portable. Portable! Sorry, I get sidetracked by Mexican food. Jamie Spencer is perfect. Perfect skin, shiny brown hair, great body, and a wacky sense of humor. For some reason, he speaks to me and considers us friends. Such good friends that I am the one he calls after his one-night stands go awry. Or well, for that matter. I know more about half the women in our building than I ever cared to learn. So it should be no surprise he was the man I rushed to when everything went to hell.

(the previous day)

“You are getting crumbs on my body.” Helen Thompson, one of my few ( and best) female friends gave me a sideways glance.

“Shit. Sorry.” I reached down, swiped the chip crumbs off the cadaver.

We met in college, during a seminar on molecular structure. Helen came in late, and took a seat near the back, next to me. Something between us clicked and we talked through the entire seminar. Helen was sweet but she had a snarky side, and appreciated the life of a modern, thirty-something, single, professional woman. We couldn’t be more different physically. Where I’m not too remarkable, Helen is. A dark brunette, whose hair is always full and bouncy. Long legs, perfect skin, and makeup that always looks flawless. Helen could get and keep boyfriends. She worked for a genetics company, as their coroner. Why an insanely hot woman wanted to cut up dead bodies was beyond me, but then again I understood her love of science.

Helen leaned down, peering at the section of brain she was about to remove. Even wearing goggles, she looked ridiculously attractive. “Hand me that scalpel.”

I did as asked and resumed eating my bag of salty-goodness, all the while watching her cut into the dead brain.

“Why are you eating those? Aren’t you having lunch in ten minutes?”

I shrugged. “I’m hungry now.”

“You are silly.” She extracted a section of brain matter, put it in a petri dish and straightened. She shook her hair back from her face. “Okay, hand it over.”

“It’s not perfected yet.”

“You said you had it last week!”

I fished a vial from my pocket and held it out at the same time she reached over the body. She hadn’t quite gotten her fingers on the glass before I let go. Thankfully, her reflexes were better than mine and Helen caught it before it hit the metal table. She shot me the look reserved for when I did something clumsy, and put it carefully on the table behind her.

“What’s the secret formula?”

“I heard about the proteins your guys have been using to rebuild damaged tissue cells, and thought if I added some to the formula, it might work.”

“Damaged, ha. Those boys are trying to revive dead cells. Ridiculous concept, but hey, I just cut up the dead bodies.”

Helen liked to get the first of any of my new skincare formulas. Once they were perfected and approved. I’m sure my boss would kick my ass if he knew, but hey, friendship over secure employment.

I pulled at the corners of the chip bag, held it up, and dumped the crumbs into my mouth. Crumpling it up, I peered around for the garbage can and took aim. Helen caught it mid-toss. I had bad aim.

“Don’t use that yet; I’m not kidding. I’m waiting on one more test result and my boss still has to approve it.”

“Fine. But I’m keeping it in case it turns out to be perfect. No sense in wasting the world’s best anti-aging serum.” She walked across the room to the garbage can and dropped the bag. She glanced at the slim, silver watch on her wrist. “You should scoot. You don’t want to keep Romeo waiting.”

“Shut up. Drinks tonight?”

“Sure. Six?”

“Sounds great. Meet you in the lobby.”

I left Helen and the smell of death, made my way to the elevator, trying to think of any excuse not to have lunch. I prayed the elevator would stop, and it did, just not between floors. People got on and off, and on the sixth floor I was as alone as when I’d gotten on the metal deathtrap.

It was a good five minute walk to east wing of the building where my lunch waited. I reached the office door of Douglas Allan. Locked. “Great,” I muttered. “I’m going to get lost in this stupid maze.”

Floors six thru ten housed the government contracted agencies, labs and corporations. Doug, lunch inviter and physicist, worked for one such company. He did government work in the field of, well, I didn’t really know … or care. My company, GeneLabs, was located on the twelfth floor.

One other point of mention—I slept with Doug.

There’s a bar close to the complex where we work. Two nights and four Tom Collins ago, after seeing my lab-partner Jamie leave with another chick, I decided Doug wasn’t the worst-looking guy. He’s nice. Not playfully nice, or nice with a naughty side, just plain nice. So, I invited him back to my place because it had been awhile, and let’s face it, men aren’t busting down the door of a thirty-two year old skincare developer.

He called my office that morning to invite me to lunch. Mexican. He knows it is my favorite. How he knows, I have no clue, but I thought it was a sweet gesture. Though, if I never had to be alone with him again, that’d be okay too.

“Are you looking for Dr. Allan?”

I spun around to see an older gentleman standing behind me, set of keys in hand. “Uh, yea-I mean, yes.”

“Room 622.”

“Thanks.” I gave him a backwards glance as I headed down the corridor, wondering if that was Doug’s boss. The closer I got to the 622, the more I could smell food, and when I opened the door, enticing scents wafted through the air.

A table was covered with takeout bags on one end, papers and books on the other. Only one metal chair sat at the end. Framed charts and posters lined the walls: periodic table, carbon-14 dating, something about quantum physics and wavelengths, and a myriad of things I did not understand. Doug stood across the room, back to me. One hand rested atop his messy blonde hair; the other held a thick erase board marker in mid-air. I knocked on the wall. He turned slowly, distracted by the giant whiteboard that covered half the wall. But when he saw me, he smiled.

The blue shirt beneath the buttoned lab coat almost matched the color of his tie. His khakis were perfectly pressed, brown shoes free of scuffs. It all gave him an appearance of a nerdy kind on the first day of school.

“Your office was locked,” I stated.

“I’m sorry. I meant to tape a note on the door, but I must have lost track of time.”

We stared at one another in silence for a few minutes, until he pointed to the table. “Hungry?”

Oh, why not. I forced a tense smile. “Sure.”

He pulled out the single chair, pushing it in as I sat. I watched him take out all of the containers. Burritos for me and fajita fixings for him. I recognized the restaurant name on the front of the bag. One of my favorites. Jamie and I frequented the place for lunch.

The next few minutes were filled with the sounds of wrappers and lids being opened, tortilla chips being crunched, and soda sucked through straws. Doug asked me how my day was going, and we made other small talk. I glanced around the room to avoid meeting his nervous eyes when I noticed a strange device sitting on the middle of the table. I stared curiously and then stared at the huge dry erase board. Diagrams in black and red marker were central on the board, with blue lines going in all directions. Complex mathematical equations ran along the top, bottom and side edges. The device resembled the diagram, so I asked about it. Doug, who had been perched on the edge of the table, hopped up, chicken fajita in hand. He launched into an explanation of something I couldn’t comprehend. My thoughts wandered to something funny Jamie said that morning.

“… and I think I can tweak it just enough, so that the noise won’t be so bad. Or maybe I’ll carry earplugs.” Doug Anderson beamed at me. I froze, realizing his full attention was on me. A glob of beans, rice, sour cream and cheese sauce landed on my lab coat, on my left breast. Doug frowned and pointed. “You’ve got, uh, it’s on your, uh …”

“Yeah, I got it,” I said annoyingly. I scooped most of it up with my finger and sucked it down. I glanced around the room but as there was only soda to drink, I had nothing to get the stain out, so I gave up. Something he’d said clicked in my selfish brain and I gaped at him. “Did you say time-travel? Like actual time travel?”

“Yes.” He gave me a funny look. “You do know what a wormhole is, don’t you?”

“The fastest way between two points is a straight line or something, right?”

“Between two places in space, or space-time, as the case may be.” Doug returned to the whiteboard and proceeded to draw a wormhole.

Biology interests me. Cells, organs, chemical reactions. Astronomy, physics, wormholes, space and all that are beyond me. His explanation lasted another fifteen minutes. I guess I looked glassy-eyed or something because he finally stopped and gave me an awkward smile. We finished eating in silence.

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Story A Day May

May is upon us and for those of us who like to dabble in fiction, this month brings Story A Day! I did attempt this two years ago, and figured I have nothing to lose by going at it again. Plus, writing something other than what I normal work on is all around good for me anyways. 🙂

Like last time, I’m going to use word prompts, and my goal is to write at least 500 words, preferably 750 or more. Today’s prompt is brought to me by Siri, who really pulled some doozies out of the interwebbies when I asked for three random words.

Enjoy.

Word Prompts: Day of Remembrance, Hurricane, Deadnettle.

Fish Tale

It was the Day of Remembrance. For Lilly, it meant one thing: waiting for her mother to arrive so they could visit the riverbank where her father left. At the age of twenty, Lilly did all she could the last couple of years to keep her mother from going, keep her from telling the story. Begging, pleading, arguing, cajoling, nothing worked. Nothing ever worked, which is why Lilly sat on the front steps of her tiny cottage and waited.

Her mother arrived, top down on the bright blue convertible car, sad opera music blaring, hair blown to a tangled mess. She arrived like a hurricane, noisy and strong, and would leave the same way. Holding back a sigh and forcing a smile, Lilly picked up her pink and white polka-dotted purse, smoothed out her yellow dress and walked to the car.

“Mom, can we turn the music down?” she asked as she got into the vehicle.

“I don’t know why you don’t appreciate the arts,” said her mother, but she pressed the down arrow on the console.

“I appreciate the arts. I love the arts. I don’t love sappy soprano singing.”

“Appreciate the message, Lilly dear.”

The ride to the river took hardly any time as most people in the small village lived near the river. The two women made small talk, mostly discussing work and how Lilly had yet to find a stable love interest. Lilly didn’t care about having a stable love interest, but her mother absolutely did. It probably stemmed from Lilly’s father leaving when she was only four years old.

She didn’t really remember that day, even though she was there. She remembered him, the way he always smelled of fresh air, and how he always took her to the river to swim. Lilly could breathe under water, one of the traits inherited from her father. That and her green eyes the color of cattail leaves.

The day of his leaving, he took her to the river and they walked along the bank. She played with tiny frogs and minnows, splashed in the shallow water, and picked wildflowers. Near dusk, her father knelt in front of her, held her and told her how much he loved her and her mother, but he’d been human for too long. He changed back into his true form as a long, graceful fish, and slipped beneath the murky surface. She never saw him again, even though she and her mother came to the spot every year on the anniversary of it.

They stood at the same place with her mother telling the same story, crying the same tears. Lilly used to cry too, until she got older and really thought about how much it must have hurt her father to go, and how much he had to have missed being in his true form to do it. She didn’t begrudge him the choice anymore.

They arrived. Her mother got out of the car first, tossing her sunglasses onto the driver’s seat, and started for the riverbank. Lilly trailed behind, dreading the inevitable drama.

Her mother held out her hand. She took it and squeezed, a comforting measure done since childhood, and while Lilly hated to carry on the tradition of this day, she would always offer that gesture to her mother.

“Oh, Lilliana, I miss him,” sighed her mother.

“I know. I miss him, too.”

“I mean, how selfish was he to abandon us like that? The nerve of that man!”

When Lilly was sixteen she found the book hidden away in the basement of her mother’s house. She read the spells and incantations, and finally figured it out. While her mother started in on the yearly tirade of berating the man who broke her heart, Lilly broke away and sat down among a patch of deadnettle. Near the five minute mark of the rage, she brushed a section of pink hair from her face and glanced up at her mother.

“Witch.”

Her mother stopped speaking, mouth agape and cheeks turning bright red. “What did you say?”

“I know what you did, mother. I found the book, and I asked grammy and gramps. They told me that you were sick of not having a husband so you conjured up a spell, caught a fish and turned it into a man. Grammy was super mad when I told her that you told me that Uncle Carlisle had been practicing with transformation spells, and he was the one who did it.”

“Is that why she stopped speaking to me for a month?”

Lilly nodded.

“Fine.” Her mother crossed her arms, and stared glumly out over the river. “But he didn’t have to leave.”

“I’ll tell him you said hello.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I tried to tell you when I was a kid that I could breathe under water.”

“I thought you made that up!”

“Nope. I see dad all the time. We go swimming together. Of course, he’s still a fish.”


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