Flash Fic: a New School

parliament

Picture of the building of parliament in the Hague, the Netherlands. Credit to Vichie81 on Thinkstock.

Time for a new writing assignment I want to share with you. In week three of the Writing for Young Readers course we talked about setting, plot, theme and characters. As an assignment we had to write a story of 500 words or less, depicting some sort of change. Below is my entry! I wanted to go for YA this time and I’d like to think I nailed it. This version is slightly more embellished for your reading pleasure, but I think it works out better this way. Of course my first draft was 528 words, so I took out a few sentences here and there, got it back to 498, decided that for the blog I wanted the longer version again, so now it’s 672 words long {tihihi} The building in the picture is the inspiration for the school where our MC {main character} experiences a very peculiar first day… Enjoy!

‘It doesn’t look like a school.’ Sam thought as she trudged up the steps of one of the buildings, this one looking sort of like a short tower. The entire complex was made up of redbrick buildings with dark grey roofs, all of them different shapes and sizes. When you put them all together they kind of looked like a castle, which was just weird for a school, if you asked Sam. Her parents had been more than excited, however, when they got the invitation in the mail. Grimleigh Academy had been perfect for their ‘extra attention’ needing (read: troublemaker) teen, especially after she got expelled from her last school for punching a boy in the face. Sam of course hadn’t wanted to come at all, but it wasn’t like she had a choice.

The inside at least was more familiar, with light walls and floors, lockers lining both sides of the hallway. Classes had already started, leaving the halls mostly empty. Sam looked down at the note in her phone, she was supposed to meet mr. Greenridge in room 104. A loud bark made her look up and she almost dropped her phone in shock. The biggest dog she’d ever seen came rushing straight towards her. She jumped to the side, banging her shoulder against the lockers in her haste to get out of the enormous beast’s path.

‘Aw, come on, Andrew!’ A voice called after it. ‘The girls love that out-of-control thing!’ A boy with red curls and twinkling eyes came rushing past, chasing after the huge dog. He stopped when he saw Sam. ‘Oh hey, fresh meat!’ He grinned. ‘You on your way to the principal?’

‘Uhm, yeah?’

‘Cool! I’ll walk ya.’ The guy said, turning back the way he came and walking down the hall, not bothering to wait and see if Sam followed or not. ‘You gotta name, fresh meat?’

‘It’s Sam.’ She said, taking in the high ceilings and tiny windows. It was weird, the only windows in the building were high up and covered with some sort of foil.

‘I’m Gabe. So, what’re you in for? Witch right?’

‘What?’

‘Okay, no witch, I just thought, with the black hair and garb…’ Gabe trailed off at her pointed glare. ‘Then what? Shifter? Faerie? Oh! Are you one of those Selkie chicks?’ He stopped her with a hand on her arm. The door behind him read 104.

‘What are you talking about? You do realize those things aren’t real, right?’ She asked, feeling like this guy had lost touch with reality somewhere. A guy walked past them, a ferret perched on his shoulder. He seemed to be talking to it, hands waving expressively.

‘Wait, you mean you don’t know?’ Gabe exclaimed, pulling her attention back to him. ‘Oh man! I wanna see your face when Greeny explains what this place is. It’ll be epic! Please, please, please let me sit in.’ Sam was about to respond when a shriek filled the hallway. ‘Ah, ms. Honeycombe found the gift I left in her desk.’ Gabe grinned, his amber eyes lighting up with mischief.

‘Gabriel Helseth! Did you really think I wouldn’t guess it was you? You are in a world of trouble, young man!’ a female voice shouted.

‘Oops, guess that’s my cue to skedaddle.’ Gabe told her, still grinning like a loon. ‘See you around, fresh meat!’ He turned and all but ran towards the exit.

‘Don’t count on it, short-stack!’ Sam shouted at his retreating back.

Gabe turned, still running. ‘See, nicknames already, we’ve got a bond going!’ Sam hid behind her hair to hide the smile she couldn’t suppress at his antics. Yeah, she liked this guy already.

‘Ms. Lismore?’ A soft voice spoke behind her. Sam turned to offer her hand and an introduction, but the words died on her lips. All Sam could think when she faced the principal, with his green hair and beard, was that this was the weirdest first day she had ever had. And it hadn’t even begun yet.

Flash Fiction: A Lovely Phonecall

New_Zealand_Rotary_Telephone

Last week I started something new: I signed up on Coursera.org! Coursera is a website which offers free online courses from the best universities all over the world, on a bunch of different subjects. I want to follow some writing courses this year to take my writing to the next level. I signed up for the course ‘Writing for Young Readers’ from the Commonwealth Education Trust, hosted by writer David Hill. I just finished the first module and it’s been so educational and tons of fun.

To finish the module, I needed to choose a viewpoint {first -, second -, third person or universal viewpoint} and write a story of 500 words or less about an event taken from my own life. I wrote a memory of a phonecall between me and my now husband, which is the beginning of how we got together, and I wanted to share it will all of you. Love it, hate it, let me know!

I was laying across my mother’s bed, because that was where the phone was. Laying on my stomach, I listened as Rick told me a joke. We’d already been talking for about an hour, even though we had seen each other just hours ago at school. I had this dopey smile on my face and was glad that he couldn’t see me. He spoke up again, sounding shy all of a sudden.

“Am I crazy if I ask -. What I mean is -. Ugh! I think we both know what’s going on between us, right?”

My heart was hammering in my throat. Was he really suggesting what I thought he was? He was my best friend, if I told him I liked him, but he didn’t feel the same it could ruin everything. “I- What do you mean?”

He let out a weary sigh. “Never mind. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ll-.”

“No wait!” I interrupted him, dragging the courage to speak up from somewhere deep inside me. “I think-. I know what you mean. I do know.”

“Yeah?” I could practically hear his grin.

“Yeah.” I grinned right back.

There was a silence after that, a bit awkward, but mostly filled with joy. We both started laughing at the same time. Words had never been a problem between us but suddenly everything felt charged, different, but better.

“The annual carnival is next month. We’re all going. Would you like to come with me?” I asked, nervous even in the revelation of a few minutes ago.

“Yeah.” He answered. “I’d love to.”

Flash Fic: Rule the World

So! I’m waiting on my shiny new lenses for my shiny new camera before I take new pics of the stuff I made in the last weeks. I just don’t get the level of detail and sharpness I want with my phone, so we’ll all have to be patient until I get my new stuff!

In the mean time I thought I’d share with you a little thing I’ve been doing. My friend Chantal is hosting a course on creative writing at her workplace, and I’ve been joining in on-and-off when I had some time. So I thought it might be fun to share some of these creative writing stories with you guys!

The prompt for this one was: Dialogue only, start with the sentences ‘What are you thinking about?’ ‘How I’m going to take over the world’ Think Pinky and the Brain. So here we go!

giphy

“What are you thinking about?”

“How I’m going to take over the world.”

“Oh, honey, really? We’re at the recital of your youngest son, the least you can do is pay attention.”

“I know, darling, but -”

“No, no buts, you know he worked very hard on this. For weeks he’s been looking forward to you coming to see how he leaves his inferior classmates in the dust.”

“Sweetie, I’m an evil genius, it’s who I am! I can’t just turn it off!”

“Off course I understand that, but we’re your family. We just want to spend time with you. When is the last time we had a romantic night together, just the two of us?”

“Ha! That one is easy; two months ago I took you to Venice.”

“Yes, to test your new freeze-ray on the canals. Don’t lie, that was never about me.”

“Hmm.”

“Sweetie, we all want to see you succeed in your plans to take over the world, but we’re afraid you’ll forget about us. I mean, just last week -… What is Argon holding? Is that -?”

“Yes.”

“From your lab?”

“Yes”

“Is it reversible?”

“No! Oh, I’m so proud, that’s my boy!”

So that’s it, I just had this image of a husband and wife sitting at a recital and the rest wrote itself. Chantal said the genuis reminded her of Gru, well. nothing wrong with that, right?

giphy1

Tell me what you think! Loved it? Hated it? Did I have someone change shirts twice? Should I post stories like this more often? I’d love to hear from you!