1. The world is silent and still, dead without even the smallest hint of life.
2. Cars are too easy to see, even off-road, so they break out on foot, doing their best to seek cover from the drones.
3. They cover the plane in orange and green goop to deice it, sprayed from hoses held by operators too wrapped up in staying warm to notice the kids’ joy.
4. It looks much warmer than it is; a gloriously blue sky with no clouds and bright sunshine– bouncing off ice at least an inch thick and more snow that I hope to see again in my lifetime.
5. My mother left us when I was two. Or we left her, my father’s always been vague about who did the actual moving, but he’s always been clear about the fact she had enough of my abilities. She wrote me a letter before she left, explaining everything including why she didn’t want me trying to find her.
1. Sandy beaches are edged with swamps, greenery explodes as soon as the salt waters dilute.
2. “I have a friend who can tell you what year a commercial aired just by watching the actors– body language is important, this is important– why can’t you understand that?”
3. No one knows when or where the stories started, the oldest known postings are shrouded in anonymity, but they are simple and powerful and resonate outwards across the net.
4. Massive freighters trail behind each team of tugboats, chugging forward in parallel like draft horses on a hitch.
5. Staying calm isn’t always about detachment. Sure it helps to be able to step back until he’s behind the screen again, watching someone else play out his life– but when he’s the one in control he just has to take a deep breath and remember the truth in their shared hearts: he’s too important to die.
1. Death smells like cut grass, crisp and green under layers of motor oil and engine fumes.
2. They chase the dragon’s shadow across the fields, arms outstretched and roaring as only six-year-olds know how.
3. That’s their big secret: they’ve domesticated polar bears. He’s not sure he really wants to know why, but they’re obviously waiting for him to ask.
4. “’No’ should be your default answer,” he said between bites of ice cream. “Anytime anyone asks you to do something for them, say no. Save your yes for when it’s with them, not for.”
5. I’ve amassed a small fortune in pennies, quite literally. What started out as a penny jar turned into a penny five gallon bucket and sort of snowballed from there. At this point I think the bank would charge me more to deposit them they they’re worth, even if I could bring myself to try.
1. I thought I loved her once, before I realized they built me without emotions.
2. The world they come from has never had a true night and it takes them a while to learn why we fear the dark.
3. Most stories don’t start with a happy ending, but my brother has always done everything the hard way.
4. She stares at the planet silhouetted by the dying sun until it’s burned into her retinas, she’ll carry the image of everyone she can’t save with her into the night.
5. Riding snakes is nauseating. They sweep across the grasslands at insane speeds, pausing only when they hit something too large to divert around. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like being three stories off the ground as they sway their heads looking for a way up.
1. The world is ending in a month and we’ve run out of things to do.
2. Dragons are sharp, brittle personalities, objecting with chirps and warning belches at any change in routine.
3. Virtual reality has always been better than reality, it’s a life designed to be won– once the chance to choose one over the other is real, the results are terrifying.
4. Teaching Songs are passed down verbally from generation to generation. Too sacred to be transcribed, the words and lyrics fall victim to time until each town has it’s variations.
5. It wasn’t the sort of test you could fail, you got unlimited attempts and nothing counted against you. They wanted to know how you approached problem solving, not if you could solve this particular problem on the first try. But everyone knew that going in, so some of us got creative…
1. Tiny wisps of clouds float by on the horizon, like lost sheep scattered out across the sea.
2. She’s reduced her life to the very minimalist edge, everything she used to cherish now lives in photographs on the web.
3. Everything turns colorless as soon as the glasses turn on, the Technicolor jungle reduced to a grayscale version that immediately soothes his headache.
4. “I didn’t bother to patent the machine because it doesn’t work,” he grinned at her between mouthfuls of steak. “My competitors can try and backwards engineer it till the stars burns out and they still won’t find the secret.”
“Which is what?”
5. Breaking a leg is a thousand times worse than she’d imagined, but it was still totally worth it to see the look on his face.
This year’s NaNoWriMo has turned into another series of short stories and that’s sent me digging back into the vaults to see which outlines are ripe for word counts. I didn’t plan for the first story to die out at 10k, or the second to round out a 5k, so I’m needing some serious story bones right now…
So far I have finished off
- The Tear’s of Winter — New universe, 10kish
- Werewolf Sick Days — Tales of the Drunken Unicorn, 5kish
Older Stuff I have I can work on
- Last Requests — Nothing done on this one other than the really rough outline
- Chewtoys — Plenty of room for prose expansion on ‘this is what happened’ sum-up bits
- Silverwitch — very very rough idea of where it was going, so lots of room to run
- The Ties That Bind — Lots to prose out still, but it might be better to finish Silverwitch instead of working on the sequel
- Inheritance — Still needs a lot of prose written, but the story itself has issues, might be good to work those out in a NaNo rush.
- Natural Instincts — Almost no prose done, pretty much an untouched universe so lots of room to wiggle
- Three Tequila, Floor — Lots of room to run here, very vaguely roughed out. Also bonus for being in the same ‘verse as Werewolf Sick Days (TotDU)
- The Wolves of Windsor Dorm — Only a very loose idea, but I keep referring to it in the other TotDU stories
I have a few other stories in the wings, but I think I’ll start with these and roll out the others as needed!