Status update

book, character, editing, fiction, idea, inspiration, Writing, status update

It’s been a while since we posted a status update, so here is the last one of 2015! Turner and I have been working on a story for about a month until we realised we weren’t committed to it. It just wasnt grabbing our attention. We stormed for a while until one of our recently posted short stories sparked an idea. With a newfound excitment we eagerly started planning a new novel to work on. This was good for us for a couple of reasons, but the most important one is that we’ve figured out which genre we are truly passionate about writing. 

In addition to this awesome development, we’ve also created a New Years resolution for ourselves. By the end of next year our goal is to have one of our novels published! This is both daunting and frightening, because though we are confident in our work, publishing is a whole new monster to grapple with. We decided this goal was worth it though if we are to ever further our craft. 

In the coming months we will begin streaminglining the book we want to focus on publishing as well as sharing pieces of our new writing endeavour with you lovely people. We trule appreciate the love and support we receive here and we can’t wait to move into 2016 with you!

Have a New Years eve that’s one for the books.

-Turner Collins

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my short story titled “Same Place, Different Person”

life, short story, story, Uncategorized, writing

roomThis room is different than it was yesterday. I know it is. I closed my eyes last night to sleep, with the moonlight shining through the barred window, but sleep wouldn’t come. I stared across the room, my gaze fixed on a spider web in the far corner. The web glinted faintly in the light, and I could make out the spider entombing its meal for later.

When I grew bored of the spider, my attention went skyward, to the ceiling. I rolled onto my back, one arm propped under my head, the other held out above me as I counted ceiling tiles. I pointed with my index finger checking off each one. I counted five times, concluding there were thirty-eight tiles in all. I’d hoped that counting tiles would be the jail-bird equivalent of counting sheep, but I was still wide awake.

In vain, I rolled over to face the wall my cot lay against, curling my knees into my ribs like a child. The prison dinner I’d forced down earlier lingered on my tongue like sour milk and I longed for mouth wash. At some point, my mind had drifted into unconsciousness as I scratched a nail into the paint, drawing little birds.

When my eyes snapped open the next day, I realized the change immediately. I knew I had not dreamed etching the birds on the wall, but there were not there now. The paint was smooth and untouched. Confused, I’d sat up and looked to where the spider web clung, it too was absent from the room. A pang of fear began to squeeze my chest as I considered the ceiling tiles. I didn’t want to count them, confirming my suspicions. I put it off for a few moments.

With my hands clasped together I paced the length of the room three, four, five times. With each cross of the room, my heart beat sped up, soon pounding like a nail in my ears. I stopped abruptly in the corner of the room nearest my cot and leaned back against the cold wall. I took a calming breath before I began counting. With each total my brows furrowed deeper and deeper until the expression felt permanently cemented onto my face.

Thirty-one tiles. There were only thirty-one.

I knotted my hands into my hair, pulling at the roots. Fear now crashed inside my like waves in a stormy sea and I ran towards the door.

“Help! Someone help!” I pounded my fists of the metal, sending metallic reverb through the room.

A moment later I could hear keys clinking together and footsteps in the hallway outside. I stepped back from the door and it swung open, revealing a stern looking woman in a crisp white lab coat. She placed the keys in her pocket and entered the room. A burly looking man in a grey uniform hovered near the doorway. I lost interest in him right away and watched the lady as she moved towards me.

“My name is Dr. Franklin. How are you doing today, Greyson?” she asked.

My palms were sweaty and I kept tightening and loosening my hands at my sides. “There’s something wrong. Someone’s playing a trick on me.”

Dr. Franklin’s faced softened. “What do you think is wrong?”

“This room,” I said, gesturing around me. “It’s wrong. I’ve been moved somehow. This isn’t the same room I went to sleep in last night.”

“Why do you say that?” she asked. Her eyes had tightened and she appeared despaired now.

I wrapped my arms around myself, suddenly chilled. “The spider web, and the ceiling tiles and my drawing. They’re all gone!”

Dr. Franklin nodded and took a step towards me slowly, like she didn’t want to frighten me more. “This is the same room you were in last night.”

I shook my head vehemently. “No, no, no. I counted the tiles over and over. There are not as many as yesterday.”

“Greyson, why don’t you take a seat?” She gestured to the cot. “I need to explain something to you.”

I made no move to sit until she sat first, then I sunk into the mattress beside her.

“Just listen to me for a minute.” She laced her fingers together in her lap before continuing. “You suffer from a metal disorder called schizophrenia. It causes you to believe you are somewhere you are not. You must had slipped into another personality last night. You were not moved, you are where you have always been.”

I scoffed at her words, which made no sense to me. “You’re lying to me.”

“The tiles, and spider web and drawing, those were hallucinations.”

“No, there were real.”

“Do you know where you are?” she asked delicately.

“Of course. I’m in prison for murder.”

Dr. Franklin’s expression falters and she looks disappointed. “You’re in a psychiatric facility.”

At this, I laugh a deep howling laugh.

“Think about it, Greyson. Why am I a doctor and wearing a lab coat? They don’t have those in prison. They don’t come to your cell. You’re wearing a hospital gown, not inmate attire.”

My laughter sputters out as I look down. “What are you talking about? I’m wearing the same orange outfit I’ve worn every day for the past six years. Why are you lying to me?” My voice raises an octave. “Are you trying to make me think I’m crazy?”

“You’re hallucinating again. You’re wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. Listen to me, Greyson. Take a deep breath and try to calm down.”

I jump up from the cot and back away from Dr. Franklin. “You’re trying to get me in trouble with the warden. Well no way, it won’t work.”

She eyes me then flicks her eyes over to the man in the doorway. He enters the room slowly. I watch her and I watch him.

“If I’m good, I could be up for parole next near. I’m not letting you mess that up for me.” A tear trickles down my cheek. “I want to see my kids… it’s been so long. My youngest will be turning seven at the beginning of next month.”

Dr. Franklin stands and frowns. “You’re nineteen years old, Greyson. You don’t have children. They’re not real.” She looks to the man and says, “I’d hoped that new dosage would have a longer effect. If you would…” She trails off but the man understands.

He comes towards me and I let out a scream and his hands wrap around my arms.

“Let me go! Why won’t you just leave me be? My kids. I want to see my…” my words falter on my tongue as a feel a pinch in my neck. The room lists violently to the right and my vision becomes blurred around the edges.

“Shame. I thought he was getting better this time,” I hear Dr. Franklin whisper.

The last thing I hear is the keys jingling in the door before everything goes dark.

 -Collins

my short story titled “Jagged”

life, Uncategorized, writing

Cruising through my computer, I found this short story I wrote five years ago. I’d completely forgot about it. It’s interesting to compare how I wrote then, to how I write now. What a time warp!

 

Her face contorted into jagged lines of pain. Red liquid dripped from the knife clutched in her hand by her abdomen. The same knife she plunged into herself not a moment earlier. She wrapped her other arm around her stomach as the knife clattered to the tile floor. She soon followed, crumpling like paper to the ground.

I rushed to her, my face still painted with horror. As she drew sharp breathes I cradled her body to my chest.  I glanced down and gently moved her hand from the wound, her crimson blood flowed from the gash like a river, and I knew she would not make it.

Her eyes fluttered, and between waves of pain she whispered “Don’t worry about me now… I did this for you. Be happy.”

Shock must have colored my features because she repeated her words again, “Don’t worry, be happy.” She moved her hand to my face, cupping her palm against my cheek.

She jerked suddenly, her eyes rolling back. The pool of red was large now, circling my knees. A gurgle escaped her lips, and I knew only moments, maybe seconds were all she had left, so I held her closer.

I could feel her heart beat slowing, calming until it just quivered.

With one last thud, her heart stopped, her movements stilled and her hand dropped from my cheek. I knew the only person I loved was gone.

-Collins

my short story titled “Strange Parties”

life, short story, Uncategorized, writing

connI looked over to the boy I had followed from the club on Sutton Ave. in the hopes of a better party than a few frat boys trying to hit up the local girls. He had appeared almost like mist in a roadway, with no clear time in which he had materialized. One moment he wasn’t there, the next he was whispering into my ear, his lips brushing my hair.

I’d spun around, my drink splashing from my glass, thinking it was another frat boy. But what I saw was someone completely different. A boy with tanned skin, luminous under the pulsing lights eyed me with curiosity. His raven hair was swept in an effortless style and glitter was visible in it. He wore a tight fitting black silk button down, the top few buttons left undone, and he sported charcoal grey slacks that had a slight sheen to them. He looked like he’d stepped out from an Italian fashion magazine and he looked completely out of place in the crappy bar.

My astonishment must have shown on my face because he grinned in a way that made the glitter around his eyes twinkle in the lights. Taking a step forward, he plucked my drink from my hand and drunk it back in one go.

“This tastes awful,” he said, his expression puckering. He set the glass down on a nearby table. “I know where they make better drinks, if you’re interested.”

I glanced over to my friends who danced with each other a few feet away, their hair splaying like the arms of an octopus as they swung their heads around. “Um…”

He cocked his head to the side in amusement. “That is, unless you want to deal with those guys?” He glanced over to where a new group of buzzed frat brothers entered the bar noisily.

I frowned and made my way over to my friends. “Let me check with my friends!”

His eyes flashed and he crossed his arms, his forming disappearing behind me as I shrugged through a circle of grinding college girls.

“This club is lame,” I said into Alisha’s ear. “I met a guy who said he can take us to a way better party. Should we go?”

The makeup around Alisha’s eyes was smudged with sweat as she took a sip of her drink. “Naw. I’ve got my eye on someone here already,” she said, gesturing to a lusty boy seated at the bar.

“What about you, Karla?”

Karla was about to answer, when a girl in a skin-tight sequined dress walked up and started kissing her neck. She turned around and began kissing the girl back.

“Karla. Hello?”

Karla made a ‘go away’ motion with her hand.

A surge of anger made my face hot. “Fine. You can get wasted here with a bunch of idiots. I’m going.”

Alisha didn’t even try to stop me as I stormed away, pushing through gyrating couples. I headed back to the spot where I left the boy, but he was nowhere to be seen. I craned my neck, trying to find him at the bar.

“Looking for me?” a voice cooed over my shoulder.

I spun around and there he was again, emerging out of the crowd like fog. “Uh, yeah. My friends are… busy right now,” I say sourly.  “But I’m up for a better party.”

He leaned in, placing his hand on the small of my back. “You won’t need a fake I.D. to get into this one.” I could feel him smiling as his cheek brushed against mine, sending a shiver down my spine.

“How did you…?”

Ignoring my question, he pulled me by the hand and led me out of the club. We walked down the dingy streets of downtown as the breeze picked up now and then, scattering leaves along the sidewalk like confetti. I was surprised to notice that people that passed us paid no attention to this glittery boy I walked with. Surely he deserved at least a little glance for the peculiar way he looked.

He guided us to the left a few blocks later and the street narrowed into a claustrophobic alleyway.

“We’re almost there,” he said, his voice as cool.

“Where’s there?” I asked. A small bud of apprehension was being to unfurl in my stomach.

He didn’t answer, but a minute later, he stopped at a rusted door that was set into a brick work building. There was no lock, nor handle. I noticed a small cluster of stars spray-painted in the top left corner of the door. He knocked briskly against the metal twice and stood back. It swung open into darkness.

“I’m not sure I want to go anymore,” I hesitated, pulling my hand from his.

He turned on me and laughed. “Don’t be scared. You wanted to have fun and drink, yeah?” He threaded his arm easily around my waist and pulled me forward through the door.

Though it was dark, I could tell we were walking down a long hallway. There was a dull pounding reverberating off the walls. He stopped at the door at the end of the hall and pushed it open. The pounding wasn’t dull anymore, it was sharp and transformed into a synth pop sound with lots of bass.

“After you.”

The room we stepped into was large and dark, colored lights strung from the ceiling cast the writhing mass of partygoers in shades of red and blue and pink. The hypnotic music was blasting from speakers surrounding a DJ at a raised stage in the middle of the room. A group of women dressed in pale green strolled past us laughing, their skin shimmering under the lights.

“Do you like it?” He asked, his hands rubbing my shoulders.

“It’s awesome. What’s this place called?”

“The Constellation. You could say it’s exclusive.”

I looked around and noticed a boy about my age talking with a red haired women in a flowing gold tunic. Strange attire for a club.

“I’ll go get you that drink I promised. Feel free to mingle.” He melted into the crowd, leaving me alone.

The red haired women got up and the boy watched her go. I decided he looked the most approachable of all the people I’d seen here.

“Hi,” I said. “Can I sit here?”

The boy blinked slowly, looking at the empty space on the bench beside him. “Sure.”

“Thanks.” I sat down and listened to the music again. The beat had shifted into something slower. I watched the boy take a sip from the drink in his hands, the liquid inside resembling molten silver. “So… who’s that women that was with you?”

Again it took the boy a moment to respond. “I don’t know.”

“Did you meet her here?”

“No,” he said, his brows furrowing. “I met her… somewhere else.”

“Ok.” I noticed his plain checkered shirt and the kicks he wears. “Do you live around here?”

“Yeah. On Horton.” All expression slipped from the boy’s face.

I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Are you alright?” He didn’t say anything, and I watched as his eyes cloud over and turned into cat’s eye marbles.

“Hello,” the red haired woman said, sitting down beside the boy, her tunic billowing as she did. “I see you’ve met Oliver.”

“I think there’s something wrong with him. He won’t say anything and he looks spaced out.”

She chuckled at my concerned tone. “He’s fine. Who brought you here?”

I cast Oliver an anxious glance. “I don’t know his name. Black hair with glitter and expensive looking clothes.”

Placing an arm around Oliver, she said, “Jory. Hmm, typical.”

“Typical?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Yes. He always picks the same type.”

“What are you talking about?” I demanded, my fear spiking.

She caressed Oliver’s cheek with her fingers, looking at him with something like adoration. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Sorry about the wait, it’s busy tonight,” Jory said, handing me a drink. It was the same kind Oliver was drinking.

I took the drink and set it down on the table in front of me. “I’m not really thirsty.”

Jory’s eyes tightened for a fraction of a second, but a smile overtook his face. “You must be parched. It’s a sauna in here.”

The red-haired women kissed Oliver, eyeing me as I stood up.

“I’m okay. I think—“

“Let’s dance.”

I didn’t even have time to protest before he grasped my hand again and guided us to the centre of the dancefloor. All around us dancing bodies writhed together. Many women in dazzling outfits swayed with boys in street clothes. I also noticed guys that resemble Jory, holding onto the hips of girls in club wear as they moved under the lights. He abruptly spun me around and pulled me close.

Jory was close enough to exhale his cool breath against my cheek. “Are you cold?”

He leaned back a little. “No, why?”

“No reason. What did that red-haired women mean when she said you always bring the same type?”

“Oh Reya,” he shook his head. “Don’t pay her any mind.”

“Are you a player?” I asked.

At this, he grined. “No.”

I found it harder and harder to concentrate with his hands on my waist. Looking up, I saw that his gaze was fixed on me, the lights reflecting off the glitter on his cheeks.

“Why did you bring me here?”

He lifted a hand and brushed my hair from my shoulder, letting his fingers linger along my neck. “I liked you.”

The touch sent little jolts of electricity along my skin and once again I had to focus on what I wanted to say. “Just like Reya liked Oliver?” I guessed.

“Hardly—“

“You haven’t even asked me my name yet, and you haven’t told me yours. Either you don’t like any strings attached or something’s going on here.”

Jory’s expression grew clouded for a moment. “You think I lured you here?”

We’d stopped dancing now, and my hands had dropped from around his neck. “I think that there’s something wrong with Oliver. He was out of it and I think it had something to do with what he was drinking. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

“He’s probably drunk,” Jory mended with a chuckle.

‘What about why everyone here that looks like you is here with someone that looks like me?”

Jory looked around and shrugged. “I never noticed.”

I took a step back from Jory. “I think I’d like to leave now.”

He frowned, a look of dejection coming over his features. “You’re being paranoid. Please stay.”

I shook my head and backed through the crowd a few steps before turning and bolting off the dance floor. Outside the mass of people I could see Reya and Oliver. She had her arms around him and had him pressed up against a wall. A second later she pulled back and he slumped limply against the wall, sliding to the ground. I stifled a shriek with my hand.

I had to get out of there.

I ran to where Jory and I had entered from, but when I reached the exit, there was no door. I scrambled along the wall, feeling for the door. But I couldn’t find anything. It was like the door didn’t exist anymore, but that was impossible.

Working to keep my breathing even, I spun and looked around the room. I couldn’t see any other way out.

“Are you looking for something?” Jory asked, his demeanor changing. His eyebrows had drawn down over his eyes and his cheekbones look like they’ve been chiselled from ice.

“I want to leave. Now let me out.”

When he laughed, it sounded like nails on a chalkboard, high pitched and keening. He strode toward me in a relaxed gait. “Anyone we bring in here doesn’t leave.” His voice was like shattering glass.

I looked around at the nearby people who watch us with minor interest. “What are you?”

Jory shrugged in one fluid movement. “You might call us demons. And before you can ask the same mundane question I’ve heard a thousand times, I want to drain your life-force. It sustains me.”

I wanted to believe he was kidding, I really did. But Oliver…

“You drug your victims? They drink and become easy targets.”

Jory licked his lips and stepped closer. “Usually we have a little fun first, but it doesn’t always go that way. Sometimes people like you for example, make things more exciting.”

I pressed myself against the wall and looked around for anyone to help me, but everyone was under a spell. All glassy-eyed and blank. I could feel my knees begin to shake as Jory closed the distance between us. Again he smiled down, running a hand along my cheek.

“Now are you sure I can’t get you a drink?”

-Collins

quote of the day

book quote, inspiration, life, motivational, quote, quote of the day, Uncategorized

mock

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

This world is already so full of negativity and judgement. Before you jump to conclusions, take a step back and try to understand them.

-Collins