Writing Prompt: Day 168

168.jpgDay 168 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a unique style.

Shannon: My best friend style didn’t gain her a lot of fans in school. Well some fans, but not the ones with any sense of fashion. When she first showed up with her superhero-like metal forearm band, holding strategically placed gadgets, I was a little confused. She was on the school’s robotics team, so I thought maybe it was project for the club, but she made it for her own fun. Everyday she was the only one sporting this attention-grabbing band. Most of the students would give her looks like she was crazy, and once the teachers determined it wasn’t a distraction they let her keep it on.

I’ll admit at was first a little embarrassed by the negative attention, but she owned it so well that I started to admire the ingenuity. Her arm had a laser projection virtual keyboard, a GPS compass, and any other random devices she could get her hands on. It was like being friends with secret agent and after a while it just became fun. She’d come in with a new retractable robot piece every month, and I started looking forward to seeing what she could create.

Erin: My sister always wore her hot pink baseball cap when we went to the amusement park. No matter what the rest of her outfit was she wouldn’t care if it matched at all. It contrasted her black hair so nicely though, but that is not why I liked it. The reason I loved her hat is that it made it impossible for me to lose her. Even if she got separated a quick scan would draw my eyes right to her head and saved me so much time.

What’s your character’s style?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 168

  1. A candle flickered to life across the dewy field and lit up the face leaning over it, casting deep shadows under the figure’s eyes. From this distance I couldn’t make out any features under a dark hoody, but I knew who it was from the cold, empty bed across from me; it was Eloise. Though there was still a tangible tension between us, the silent feud it felt hollow and unfounded since the party. The dull aching hatred that settled in my heart was still there, but because I didn’t stoke it with reasons to dislike or distrust her, it no longer licked at the edges of my soul like a ravenous flame. Of course, I was still secretly wary of her motives, and her, me, but we weren’t staunchly divided on the physical space in our dorm room anymore.
    This was the first night either of us had snuck out of the room to host a private divination session, so I didn’t dare interrupt her, no matter how much I desired to spoil her readings. As far as I could tell, she was going to be gone for a while, so I gently rose from under the light sheets and shifted my extra bedding around under the frame, searching for my hidden backpack. After a minute of grunting and effort, I got on my knees to see where the bag was, but still couldn’t find it in the all-consuming darkness. Leaning up carefully to avoid hitting my head on the desk, I felt for my phone and flashed the brilliant light around the floor, spotting the edge of my bag hidden within the balled-up bedclothes. When I tugged it free, the heavy bag fell gently to the soft carpeting before me and I hungrily tore it open to get at the materials within.
    I stood, spare candles in steady hands, and began placing them around the room carefully, eyeing the gazebo with reproach. If I wanted to understand what was going on with those of us who were under the strange trance for days, I needed uninterrupted peace and quiet; Eloise would agree. When I lit the pillars and set to work on the tarot, I saw in my mind’s eye a letter swimming before my eyes in the darkened room. Setting the cards aside, my fingers fell on the broken seal containing the emblem of the White Rose Society, a sect of well-educated people dedicated to protecting abilities like Eloise and mine from those who would teach anyone to wield such power. I concentrated with all my will on the outcome of the society’s plans, and images began to float about the room like photographs.

    When the sun dawned brilliant and cold on the horizon, I was waking from a short, fitful sleep after my horrifying readings. Eloise’s snoring was echoing in my aching head as I sat and yawned deeply, back stiff from being hunched over my rune stones for what felt like hours. Dripping on every solid surface I could find last night, were candles with their wicks burnt out like melted, translucent fingers. Shivering, I stepped on the cold floor and padded softly to the nearest pile of wax, determined to chip it off the windowsill before Eloise could see the enormous mess I’d made of the room; I just hoped I could easily pry the horrible material off her crystal-gazing text without tearing the pages apart.
    “Don’t worry about it, Aydan,” croaked a sleepy voice behind me, making me fumble the handful of wax I’d been holding. When she laughed a deep, malicious chuckle, I silently cursed Eloise to hell, but outwardly attempted a forced smile. Sitting up amid her cushy covers, she cocked her head to the side and cleared her throat groggily and continued with an odd twinge to her voice, “You were up late, too, I see. Glad I’m not the only one worrying about everything going on.” As she spoke, she hopped out of bed with more energy than I would have expected and started brushing out the tangled mass of glowing sunshine that was her hair.
    Scoffing, I dropped the fragments of candlewax I’d been plucking painstakingly out of the carpet into the garbage bin and sat on the end of my bed. “What do you mean by that? I’m not worrying about anything at all,” I denied, refusing to let Eloise figure me out. We might have the same ability, but I wasn’t about to let her divine what my motives were any more than she would let me know her mind. As the tense air stiffened, she lifted the porcelain lid of her jewelry box and extracted an ancient, exquisite golden hair comb before she started on the careful process of pinning her waves atop her head. It had been a few days since she put any effort into her usual style, being under the weather had us all acting strange, so I simply watched her in stunned silence at her mastery of the art. When she shifted her fingers, the jewels set into the ornate hair comb sparkled and winked at me like they were alive.
    When she was satisfied with the pin’s placement, she started on the minimalist makeup, ignoring my obvious stare. Daintily applying pale eyeliner, she droned in a monotonous tone, “Well, I know you’re worrying about it too. Ever since that party things have been weird and, while I’m sure you remember what happened at it as well, I can’t speak about it and it’s driving me nuts. I figured since we both know, though, that we’d be able to tell each other. Anyway, I think it may take a bit of concentration, but maybe that doesn’t really matter anyway since the real issue is between you and me anyway.” Finishing up on the other eye, she peered at my stony expression through the stand-up mirror with a look of extreme concentration in her caramel drop eyes.
    “Uh, well, I don-” I began, but stopped as a flash of strobing lights and frozen expressions shot into my mind of its own accord, “-well, I do kinda remember, I guess. But,” I almost shouted, getting suddenly to my feet with rage creeping its way into my voice, “what do you mean the real issue is between us?” After a last stroke of the pen, Eloise put it lightly into the makeup bag and swivelled the chair to look me in the eye with her expression almost pained.
    Opening her thin-lipped mouth a few times with no sound escaping, she finally let what she wanted to say escape the cage of her perfect, pearly teeth, “You really haven’t figure it out yet? We have the same ability; exactly the same ability. If you’re looking for people with special powers to build a stable group, you don’t choose two with the same power,” she ended in a light whisper with the air around us barely stirring with her words. They held in the air, spinning in gently circles as their true meaning nipped at my consciousness and forced the intrusive party images from my mind. If Eloise was right, one of us would have to go, and with no one able to alter people’s memories, that we knew of anyway, that could mean dire consequences for the loser in that battle.
    It was a short moment before I realized I’d been holding my breath since the last syllable was hovering between us. Taking a short breath, I sighed and stated my half-hearted argument against the probably-right Eloise, “Yeah, but with divination, and their obviously big plans, they’d likely want to be doubly certain of anything we predicted. They’d want at least two just to be on the safe side and get a second opinion.” Even if I didn’t really believe my own side, I didn’t want to let the insidious idea that we might have to face off to keep our lives worm its way into my head if I could help it. There were far more pressing matters at hand; like that of the mysterious sickness and possible amnesia afflicting a good chunk of the students.
    As Eloise was thinking up a counterargument, I began picking at my nails absentmindedly, attempting to avoid letting my mind wander back through what memories I’d already touched on from that wretched party. “So, Eloise, what do you remember about the party? I keep getting these strange flashes, but I can’t make any sense of them. The last thing I clearly remember was, hmm,” pausing for a moment, I watched her pluck a pair of ornate, golden earrings with garnet gems that practically glowed in the light and set them aside on the desk, before finding the right memory, “uh, when I was walking into the giant group of students waiting in the location specified in the text.” As I thought about the party, images continued to flash like lightning amid a confusing, view-obscuring storm on the highway.
    “Well, like I said, when I’ve tried to talk about it, the words just won’t come,” she spoke forcefully, rising swiftly from the chair and sifting through the t-shirts and sweaters in her closet until her gaze, and mine, fell on a slip of fabric so dark it was almost difficult to see in the dim light of the closet. When she pulled it out, the silken cloth hung from her fingers in a smooth wave with fine lace stitched into the hem, sleeves and collar to make the shirt a dark, rich statement piece. Slipping it easily over her head, it fell perfectly about her thin waist and made her pale skin glow in contrast. “But, you know,” she began again with a subtle frown creasing her childlike features, “maybe we can talk about it. I mean, we were both there and we both know it was the White Rose Society that put it on, right? And we’re both members, so you’d think-” she stopped mid-sentence and gasped, turning from the mirror to face me again, “-they were all members, the ones who were affected. Or most were, anyway. I read the list on the board,” she fell into a stupor as she distractedly put the other expensive earring in her ear.
    Catching onto her train of thought, I added in a weak voice, “Yeah, all the members were affected, as well as a ton of other students. And, I keep getting this flash of Mira and Dan in the room we were in, that enormous place with the, the glass-”
    “-glass ceiling. Yeah,” she finished my sentence with a dreamy expression and eyes that drifted in and out of focus disturbingly. “And it was that, that horrible drink we all, they said we just had to try. I went to get an iced tea and they handed me that weird shimmering stuff,” she continued, still in the trancelike state. “Then Mira was wandering around with some kinda off-smelling smoke. It was like when you get your lavender and sage mixed together with peppermint and everything you burn smells bad for weeks. She was chanting something and it was like I wasn’t in control of myself anymore. Like, where I just couldn’t move before, I wasn’t even there after she started chanting.” Eloise sank deeper into the vision, and I could feel myself falling into the abyss of stolen memories whether I wanted to or not.
    When she stopped talking, I felt the spell releasing its grip and blinked, jumping off the bed and sucking in a deep breath of air to clear my magick-addled head. It took me a few contemplative minutes to be back on level ground and not feeling panicked and immobile, but Eloise was still sitting with her expression blank, drooling onto the desk.
    “Eloise!” I shouted, rousing her none-too-gently from her trance with a heavy shove to her thin shoulder. “Sorry,” I mumbled as her melted caramel eyes froze in an icy stare, “I was just worried you were spiralling. And, besides,” I motioned to her extravagant attire, “you were obviously headed somewhere important.” Rolling my eyes as she turned furiously to find the necklace and bracelets that went with the earrings, I meandered to my desk and stroked the White Rose letter.
    When she grabbed her purse to leave, she thought better of storming out and wheeled around to face me, hands on hips, “I am actually going somewhere important,” she enunciated the word for effect,” I’ll have you know. I’m meeting Daniel in the Society’s drawing room for a private meeting. I’ve just been thinking about how badly I want to be a part of it, and, as it turns out,” pausing, she bit her lower lip, “I am determined to be there no matter what. Cheers.” With that she was gone and the door was swinging silently back. Murmuring obscenities under my breath, I considered my options and decided that I, too, needed to stay in the group in order to get to the bottom of the spell as well as, apparently, stay alive long enough to graduate from this insane school.

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  2. (Better late than never!)

    “So, August, tell me something about your family,” Lucille says after a moment of silence.
    “Oh, uh…” August looks out, thinking, “my mom was an author.”
    “Really?”
    “Yep.”
    “Have you read any of her works?”
    “A little. Josh is a little more invested in her writings than me.”
    Lucille watches his face, asking, “Did you know your mother well?”
    August shakes his head, “I was three when she died.”
    “I’m sorry. That’s all anyone can say, really,” Lucille says gently.
    “It appears so…”
    Lucille looks out at the sunset, “Have you ever met Heather’s mother?”
    “Yes. She’s at Oyster Ravine.”
    “I remember the first time Colin brought her here,” Lucille states fondly, “she was, oh… barely out of high school. He met her on a trip to the cities. But she was so different than country folk.” Lucille laughs, “she was so artsy, as Colin called it. She was always describing everything in great detail. She was amazed with the ‘novelty’ of the farm, but never quite caught onto the work involved.
    “One summer, when they were engaged, she stayed with us. Everyday, she was right here on the porch, easel set up and paint in hand. She sometimes drew the farm, but mostly, it was anything that came to mind. I didn’t always understand the meaning behind them. She would talk about different art shows she’s gone to, and the artists she’s met. She knew more about art than all of us combined.”
    “So… she didn’t fit in here?”
    “She first loved the farm, but the novelty went away,” Lucille sighed, “She is not a farm girl. But she loved Colin, so she found him in the farm. It wasn’t until she was expecting Andrew that she convinced him to leave. Even with little Heather, she was still a whirlwind, art surrounding her every movement. She had a brief flare for music, which is where Heather must have started with her passion for it. She brought life to a place that she couldn’t stand forever.”
    August thinks about this as they sit in silence. “She… I didn’t see that at Oyster Ravine.”
    “She is older now. Not everyone can keep their youthful energy as they grow. Susan couldn’t, though given the right environment, she could try. No… probably not,” Lucille decides. “But, she did something much more beautiful. She became the mother of three beautiful children.”
    “…Do you think Heather lost her energy?” August asks.
    Lucille doesn’t answer right away, “Heather may be quiet now, but mark my words, she’s not going to stay that way. Heather is too stubborn for her own good. First, she’ll be too stubborn to move. But give her a reason, she’ll be too stubborn to stop. She’s like her mother that way. Give her an inch, she’ll drag you a mile.”

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