Monday, September 20, 2010
The Wacky Misadventures of Four Romance Writers Run Amuck
WARNING: This post breaks most of the writing rules. Every rule broken was done on purpose.
The four women pushed on past the carnage of the decimated bear. Fur and entrails dripped from the forest around them.
"That’s just gross!" Brenda picked up her dainty booted feet and gathered her silky drac cape closer.
Tabby tried to put on a brave front, while forcing back her rising nausea.
"Let's get a move on, ladies. Ya'll are on my last nerve."
Cindy did a little heebie jeeby dance and dashed past the bear parts strewn about. Strange hissing sounds came from her. Looking like a foil wrapped baked potato, she ran past Penny.
Rolling her eyes, Penny skillfully avoided the worst of the goo.
"Ok, does anyone have a map?" Penny asked.
The forest around lit, with the four separate cell phones accessing the web for links on how to get through the forest of writers block.
"Lions and tigers and ... Oh, no more bear," Brenda laughed.
Penny and Tabby smiled, thinking the worst must be behind them.
"I got a bad feeling," Cindy said.
"Nonsense, the map on my phone said all we have to do is press on." Penny told them all.
Tabby wrinkled her dark brows. "Mine said, close my eyes and take a nap."
"The map I found said, go read my favorite book again," chimed in Brenda.
"Yeah, well, I think they're all full of crap. My map said you have to do a little dance." Cindy sneered.
Penny walked ahead of the group, eyeing the quiet forest looming around them. "Cindy is right. Something is not quite right…"
A small sweet voice called out from the distance.
"Grammy." Its haunting sweetness called to Penny. Her body swayed toward the sound.
"Ri?" The voice beckoned, luring Penny into the darkness of the forest.
"Help me, Penny. Help me." The voices changed, echoed eerily. "Edit this, crit that."
The forest morphed into huge dancing punctuation marks. They swirled around her, forming a spinning hypnotic image. Lilting music filled the air. A long squiggly line like those under a misspelled word coiled and danced like a cobra to a flute. The words, it must be perfect, formed in the leaves of the trees, and held Penny spellbound. She began to chant.
"No, Penny. Don't. It’s a trap!" yelled Tabby. She moved forward to stop Penny from the siren's song calling her.
Tabby almost made it to Penny, when her ankle was grabbed by a shiny blue wire.
Wild shrieks ripped from a Tabby's throat. The forest around her was suddenly alive with wires in a myriad of colors, all weaving, and twining around Tabby. She tried in vain to free herself from the electronic ambush. It tugged and pulled at her, hanging her like an ornament in the branches.
Brenda screamed. She wanted to help her friends from the traps that held them. Looking down at the forest floor beneath her, rich dark soil sank into a pit under her feet. The smell of sweet flowers and ripening fruit invaded her senses. From the dirt below, she heard the faint crow of a renegade rooster. It was too late. The soil crept and crawled up her legs, sucking her down into its depths.
Cindy stood like one of the trees around her, frozen in place by terror. How could she help the others? She leaned one way then the other. Unable to fully commit to helping any one individual, she helped none. Just then she was knocked to the ground by a pair of kids' sneakers. One after the other she was pelted by shoes and laundry. Grocery bags wound around her wrists and ankles, and one gagged her. The only sound from her was the muffle grunts when she was stomped on by the endless pairs of kid's shoes.
It looked like it was over for the four. Each one tangled and pulled under by their own personal demons. When it seemed darkest, and our girls were beyond help, four pulses of light glowed. From the light nearest Penny stepped four people. Two looked like they belonged in an ad for corporate life. Mick held his hand out to help Jo step into the spongy forest floor.
"This isn't exactly the best place for these heels. They're Italian."
Mick, ever the gentleman, picked her up in his muscled arms. Behind them came another couple. The woman's arms, laden with delicious smelling baked goods. Raef ran his hands through his hair.
"Not again… Penny... Penny… "
Grace moved toward Penny. "She is in some sort of trance."
Mick, carrying Jo, walked in front of Penny's unseeing eyes.
"Penny? Honey?" Jo reached out to put a gentle hand to her shoulder.
All four turned toward the abyss of the forest were the haunting voices and hypnotic punctuation held fast to their Penny.
"Grace, toss me a fresh loaf of bread," Raef said.
He caught the warm loaf and waved the fragrant bread beneath Penny's nose.
Then together both couples yelled, "PENNY!"
Waking from her dream, Penny shook herself. For the first time, she looked into the faces of the four.
"You had us worried there," Mick told her, readjusting Jo in his arms. He leaned toward her and whispered in her ear.
"Do you think you could write a pair of gym shoes into Jo's bag?"
Penny smiled, and seemed to relax in the safety of her characters.
"Sure Mick. I just did."
Jo looked into her large purse and pulled a nice pair of jogging shoes from the depths. Grace dumped the rest of the baked goods into Raef's arms and went to help Jo.
"I love those pumps. Where did you get them?"
"Macys, twenty percent off. They are comfortable and they make your calves look great."
"You know, I am moving to a small town. Do you think we can go shopping before I move?"
"We have to bring Penny. She is the one who picked out this skirt. It was one of the things that caught Mick's eye," she laughed.
From the second pulse of light nearest Tabby emerged Zan. His tanned skin glowed as if he stepped from a Giorgio Armani commercial. The wind ruffled the half-open silk shirt tucked into his well-tailored trousers. At the site of Tabby, trussed up like a Christmas turkey, he smiled revealing his pearly white fangs. Caprice came up behind him. Her small golden sequined, shift dress glided over the curves of her slinky body. She scrunched her perfect face when she saw the state Tabby was in.
"Move it, angel boy. Can't you tuck those things in to get through the door?"
"Woman, don’t give me your lip."
Lyric and Craigen stumbled from the light.
"Dearest Lord," Craigen exclaimed, rushing to Tabby's side. His mouth fell open as he circled. Tabby hung in the trees by her arms and legs. She was wound tightly with wires and cords from electronics of all kinds.
"Ge ma oot off here," Tabby mumbled. Her eyes flashed angrily, the blackberry stuffed in her mouth making her words difficult to understand. Craigen pulled a small glowing dagger from his belt he wiped the blade across his denim clad leg.
"How the hell did you get yourself into this mess?" Lyric asked. Her arms crossed over her dark business suit.
She threw Craigen a surprised look. "Well, what are you waiting for? Cut her loose. You too, Choppers."
Zan's deep chuckle brought a blush to Caprices face.
"You going to help? He asked her. His smoldering gaze undressing her in his mind.
Caprice looked away from him. Her face burnt with thoughts of Zan. "Let the FBI chick do it. I just had my nails done." For effect, she blew on her perfectly manicured fingers.
Zan leaned close to her sniffing the air around her.
"Those better be dry by the time were though here, or you're going to smudge them on my back."
"Cut the crap, Sauvé, and help me get our Tabby out of this," Craigen said.
Lyric pulled a well-concealed switchblade from inside of her blouse. She cut the wires imprisoning Tabby. Craigen's brows came together in concentration. Each slice of his dagger, gently done with care for Tabby's safety. Zan sauntered up to Tabby. His gaze locked with hers. He moved with deliberate sensuality. Dipping his head toward Tabby's neck, his warm tongue pulled a wire from her skin and his fangs sliced it cleanly. He growled and went after another.
"Good Lord vampire, you're not being graded on this." Lyric smirked.
Caprice stamped her Prada flats and warned Zan with a look that could have lit the sun.
Zan laughed and shrugged his shoulders. "I can't help it. I'm that good."
Tabby finally breathed a sigh of relief as the three of them freed her from the last of the wires. Craigen pulled her into his comforting arms, and kissed the top of her head.
"All safe, precious."
Brenda's head was just slipping beneath the shifting dirt. Her hands clawed wildly at the ground. Mel threw himself to the ground followed closely by Breeana. The two of them desperately tried to dig her from her impending grave. Mel shoved his hands deep into the earth and pulled with all his might. Brenda's head pulled free of the ground. She sucked in a huge breath, choking and spitting dirt from her mouth.
"What the hell is this?" Breeana pulled a potato from beneath the ground.
A rag tag group of vampires dropped down beside Mel and joined in the fight against the dirt that was still trying to pull Brenda away.
Kal watched from the sidelines. A plate of nachos balanced in one hand. The other hand dipped a chip into the cheese and popped it into his mouth.
"Kal! … A hand here? Mel complained.
Kal passed the plate of nachos to Ace and pulled a small garden shovel from his back pocket. He joined the crew of vigorously digging vampires.
"Ace!" yelled Mel.
"What? Save a human or a plate of nachos?"
"Ace," the others warned.
"I'm thinking," he snarled back.
Sin swore and fell back as he pulled a screeching rooster from the dirt.
"What the bloody hell is this?" He directed the comment at Breeana.
"Why are you looking at me?"
"You’re the vet."
"So, I didn’t put the damn rooster there."
Mel tugged harder, readjusting his grip under Brenda arms. Brenda cried, her arms wound around Mel's neck.
The small silver shovel in Kal's hands pitched the dirt away from Brenda's body. The speed of his hands helped uncover her. Mel continued to tug her from the cloying ground. Sin and Black's grasp on Brenda helped Mel pull her from the ground.
Breeana let out a blood-curdling scream as the head of a small miniature horse broke free of the mud and reached out to bite the back of Brenda's jeans.
Brenda and Breeana shrieked in tandem as the horse's teeth tried to pull Brenda back into the ground.
Kal thumped the horse on the face with the garden shovel.
"Stop that. You'll hurt him," Breeana moaned.
"He is trying to eat Brenda," Kal exclaimed. "What do you want me to do, give him a reward?"
"Kiwi, let go," screamed Brenda as her legs flayed to gain purchase on the shifting ground.
At last, the group of vampires pulled Brenda from the dirt and dragged her away from the pit where the horse and chicken still eyed Brenda. An evil laugh echoed from a group of raccoons at the edge of the forests, strawberries, and raspberries clutched in their paws.
"That is just freakin weird," Kal said to Mel
Ace threw the empty plate toward the raccoons, scattering them.
Wiping his hands on his jeans, he crouched down where Mel still held Brenda in his muscled arms. His large hand picking chunks of mud from her hair.
Brenda wiped her mouth on her dirty arm and immediately spit the dirt from her mouth.
Ace looked into Brenda's dirt smudged face.
"You’re a mess, human."
"Thanks for the help, jerk," Brenda grumbled. "Just wait," she warned, pulling debris from her scraggly tangled hair and smoothing the bedraggled cape over her legs.
The last of the lights flared as an endless horde of people spilled forth. Miles, barefoot, skipped to where Cindy was drowning beneath shoes, laundry, and backpacks. The trees around them jingled with the sound of car keys. Each key lit with an address... an eerie sick green light cycled on and off in the branches, spelling out the words taxi. Andros pulled a pulse rifle from his belt and one by one picked off the car keys from the branches. They dropped harmlessly to the forest floor.
Miles leaned over Cindy, flashing her a bright smile and a wink.
"Got yourself in a bit of a pickle, eh?"
Georgia shook her head and began to pull the shoes off the heaping pile.
Tally took a laser scalpel and carefully started to cut away the plastic grocery bags from Cindy's wrists. The pungent odor of burning plastic tainted the air.
Miles pulled out a tennis racquet and began to toss shoes in the air and swat them away…yelling, "Fore," as he did.
"I've got a hell of a serve," he boasted. Georgia laughed up at him and gave him the next shoe to smack.
Rory set up a perimeter around the whole group, signaling to a group of commandos to lay low and keep their eyes open.
Jonas stood behind Andros and scored his shots.
"4.5, 3.7," he laughed
"Close your face, boy scout."
"Like you know what a boy scout is," Jonas smirked.
"I am capable of reading your human script. Now let's get that fool out of the way and see if we can't uncover Cindy."
Andros and Jonas joined Miles in pulling the hundreds of shoes off her. Once free, Andros held out a hand and pulled Cindy to her feet. Dusting herself off, she surveyed the group around them. Each of her fellow writers was pulled free of their troubles by the very characters each created. The voices of the characters refused to be ignored. The humans, vampires, and aliens gathered around their writer and jealously guarded them. Now flesh and blood, none of them would go unheard. Whatever lies ahead in the dangerous forest of writers block, they would all go as a group. There was safety in numbers, and the characters were not about to let the forest swallow them up. Even if it meant holding the hand of their writers, this dedicated and boisterous group would not be put back on a shelf.
"Let's head out. I'll take point," said Rory. An enormous gun, skillfully handled. She aimed into the dark recess of the forest.
"We're all in this together, and need each other," Tally put in. Her gentle look passed over the whole, strange lot of writers and characters.
"Me wanker is yodeling. I've got to drain the hose," Miles remarked.
Andros, shaking his head, walked past him. "Idiot."
By Cindy Pahl
Labels: author, author blog, authors thoughts, blog, Brenda Dryer, Cindy Pahl, dark paranormal, friends, heroes, heroines, paranormal romance, Penelope Barber, short story, Tabitha Blake, Writers block series, writing buddies, writing from the heart, writing romance, writing rules