|Words Written||Thing(s) Enjoyed||Stuff Accomplished|
*sad deflated balloon noise*
|PseudoPod Ep. 713: “You Can Stay All Day,” by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire)||Website redesign + updates. It’s summery! I like it!|
9,753 / 15,000
|Cat Rambo‘s Short Story Workshop||Successfully administered medication to Mrs. Moo|
(I’m not going to admit to how much time I spent fiddling with that silly table to make it look presentable, so we’ll see if this is a format I stick with going forward in subsequent posts. Anyway.)
During the 5-minute timed writing sessions for Cat Rambo’s Short Story workshop today I jotted down two pieces I rather enjoyed: a hypothetical beginning to a short story set in the same universe as my current project, Companion Animals, and a response to the prompt, “The doll was dead.” I’ve polished them just a hair and so figured I’d drop them here, so that hopefully in a few weeks’ time I can look back on this post and compare my progress.
“The doll was dead.”
The doll was dead.
He found it at the bottom of the ravine, half-drowned under grey water run-off and a discarded soda bottle. The doll’s pale pink dress had discoloured under the malign indifference of the elements. Maybe it wasn’t pink at all. Maybe it had been red, once upon a happier time. He would never know for sure, and didn’t care. It was difficult to care, in that moment, about anything other than the doll’s open, staring eyes, which could not be black plastic buttons held in place by a neat criss-cross stitch of black thread, or beads, or little glass marbles with swirls of too-bright colour for irises, tidily affixed to a face of fabric or porcelain.
They couldn’t be any of those things, because fabric could not bruise, and glass could not bleed.
A Last Defence
Starlight pours through the airlock’s glass porthole and illuminates the crime scene before her torch can catch up. Blood, she thinks, glitters like a scattering of diamonds spilt from some baroness’s upended jewelry box. Viscera is duller, like silverware in need of a polish.
She has an academic knowledge of her shaking hands, like her body feels the fear before her mind does. That is one of many things she does not share in common with the little cat that stands, immutable as gravity, fierce as an entire battalion of Imperial pistoleers, on the opposite side of the airlock door.
The station’s failing bulwark groans when the escape pod door hisses open. She turns to throw herself into it, but not without one last look over her shoulder through the porthole. Her saviour, her last defence against the Emperor’s coterie–so small and brave, and so alone.