Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/11

Raine peaked out the window, and took one last look at the sunshine. “The trees look lovely today, don’t they?” She laughed at herself. No one was there to ask. Just her. Everything was ready. It was time.

She felt the warmth of the brooch on her necklace, right above her heart, where it should be. Where it had been since she’d found it. A necklace with a golden glow, like a bright candle in a dark room.

The necklace stayed in her apartment. She never wore it in public, in part because the necklace had asked her not to. She knew others would laugh at that. “Necklaces don’t talk.” That’s what they’d say.

And she’d have to respond, “No. But fairies do.”

The fairy, Liliana, had watched over Raine, since that day, years ago. “One day, Raine, it will be time for me to return to my home.”

Raine had asked many Liliana many questions about her home. It was a different world. In a different time, and place. A world of moonlight, elves, fairies, dwarfs, pixies, and humans who had no other home.

Raine fell in love with that world. A world where she didn’t have to put on a business dress each day, and march to work, and spend eight hours answering a phone, and scheduling appointments for the doctor. A world where she didn’t get yelled at when the doctor had to make an emergency run to the hospital to help stitch together a gunshot or stabbing victim, and it inconvenienced a mother who had to be home in time to care for her children. A world where she didn’t cry when the doctor took a pill to deaden the pain of having watched someone’s heart stop beating, and then having to get yelled at by a father whose son had a concussion, and wouldn’t be able to play football on Saturday.

A world where she didn’t have to walk with the other girls, just to go to the restroom, or the grocery store. Where she could eat her fast food lunch at a table without some guy asking her if she’d like company, and calling her a whore if she said no. Where she wouldn’t fall for some guy who took her out, and charmed her, and treated her like a princess until he found a prettier model, and dumped her.

She pulled off her shirt, and bra, and looked at the fairy broach. She heard Liliana so clearly, “It’s almost time.” She pulled off her shoes and stockings, and stood only in her skirt. “Are you ready, Raine?”

Raine nodded.

“Don’t be frightened. It’s just how quantum mechanics work. How entanglement works. When quanta from one place become linked to those in another. Especially if the two places don’t have the same laws of physics.”

Raine did what Liliana had taught her, and moved the broach behind her back. It’s warmth helped calm her. “Raine. Now it starts.”

The world started to go insane. Outside, the sunshine continued. The trees were as beautiful as ever. But inside, the room began to fill with water. Ocean water. From a rock strewn beach. Rain found herself standing in that water. The door to the room vanished, replaced by a night time sky, with a full moon, and dark clouds, and more of the ocean she was in. The door frame appeared to catch fire.

“Take me home, Raine. Please. Take me home.”

Raine stepped through the ocean, through the door frame.

And she was gone.

The room was as it had always been. Her clothes rested neatly in a pile on the floor. The sun still shined.

But Raine was gone, never to be found, never to be seen again, in our world.

@mysoulstears
627 Words.


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 41st week. You can read about her small fiction challenge here. This week, I knew what I wanted to say. Don’t know if I said it, but at least I tried. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

#ThursThreads Week 194 : Tonight She Is Forced To Say Goodbye

Rose stood beside the ocean, staring at the horizon as she wondered if she’d ever see Sword again. It had been nearly two years since his mother, Queen Oceana had left the note, and sword became King. “I wish you could hear me.”

Sunshine watched her sister stand beside the ocean. It broke her heart to see her sister so alone. Rose and Sword belonged together, and they always had. Since the day Mystica brought him to the lake, when he was six. She remembered Sword made his first journey from the ocean to the lake that same year, to visit Rose, with the blessings of his mother.

The two of them had camped in the woods many times as they’d grown up. Sword visited every few months. In the days before the war with the people from the stars, Sword fought beside Rose and her sisters, to protect the villages in the forest.

But, in the two years since he’d become King, he hadn’t visited her, hadn’t even spoke with her.

Now, Sunshine watched Rose stand beside the Ocean, “Tonight, she is forced to say goodbye. And move on.” As Sunshine watched and her heart ached for her sister, a cold, bitter rain began to fall. Rose knew it was her sister who caused the rain, but it was OK. The rain told Rose how much her sister cared.

The two of them stood beside the ocean and waited for the dawn.

243 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 194. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MidweekMusings 1×05 : Fire

Flora paid for the drinks, then left the bar. She spoke with the grass, dirt, flowers, trees. “Where has Pahana gone?” A trail of white only Flora could see formed along the ground. She followed it.

Pahana stood before the remains of his house. Fauna felt the heartbreak in his veins, the aching of his heart, the tears of his soul. “Pahana?”

He turned as he wiped away his tears. “Flora?”

Flora’s fingers touched his cheek, his tears. “Show me where they rest, please.”

Pahana led Flora to a mass gravesite at the edge of town. A dozen fresh graves were there, unmarked. He stopped before three of the graves. “My daughter. My son. My wife.” He slowly sank to his knees. He didn’t cry. Flora knew he’d run out of tears in that place. All he could do was kneel before the graves, and pray someday he could feel anything other than empty.

She placed a hand on his shoulder, “Thank you.” She spoke with the ground, the grass, the trees, the flowers. Pahana watched as green grass sprouted around the graves. At the head of each, a rose-bush grew. Deep red for his wife, peach for his daughter, yellow for his son.

Pahana stood. “Thank you.”

Flora smiled, touched his cheek once more. “Tell me, my friend, are there still angels here?”

He nodded.

“Tell me where they are.”

He took her hand, and guided her through the town, to the home of the mayor. “They took over everything.”

She smiled, touched his cheek once more, “Go someplace safe. Tell everyone you can to hide someplace safe.”

“What are you going to do?”

Flora said nothing. Pahana looked at her, into her eyes. He saw fire. Burning, white-hot fire.

“Be safe, Flora. Please.” Pahana left, running from house to house, telling people the fairy Flora was here to save them from the angels. “Get somewhere safe!”

Flora called on the wild magic. She knew it was the machines of her world, of Cylinders. The ubiquitous machines flowing in the blood of everyone, in the air, the water, the trees. She still called it the wild magic. She couldn’t begin to understand the machines, their sciences, their technology. But she could understand wild magic. Especially her wild magic.

Vines grew, came alive, gathered around her. A vine crossed the ground to the door of the house. It grew between the door, and frame, unlocked the door. The door swung open, silently. Flora entered the house, the vines surrounded her, protected her.

She moved room to room, searching for the angels. They’d gathered the beds of the house, the chairs, the tables, in one room. They slept there, draped across everything. They had no guards. They were angels. No one would attack them.

Flora spoke to the wild magic. The vines spread rapidly through the room, twisting around each angel, binding hands, feet and wings. No angle was free. The vines trapped them all. She spoke to the wild magic again.

The vines erupted in flames.

The angels burned.

Flora watched them die. “For Pahana. For his family.” She walked among the dead angels. “For my sister.”

She walked from the home, still surrounded by vines. Outside, the vines spread until the house was no longer visible. She heard the sound of wooden beams splintering. The vines crushed the house, consumed it, turned it, and everything in it, back to dirt.

The fire in her eyes never wavered, never faded. “The angels want a war.” She spread her wings, “Then they shall have a war.” Her wings tore into the air as she took flight. She used the wild magic to guide her as she headed toward her mother’s side.

It was time to stop the angels.

Time to stop the madness.

“There must be no more families like Pahana’s.”

639 words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×05 of #MidweekMusings, another flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest

They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

“Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

“Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

Rose nodded.

“My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”

“Rose.”

“What a pretty name!”

Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

Rose nodded, “OK.”

Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

683 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 2 (Week 3.02) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “A Forest” by The Cure. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

I soaked in the shower, letting the steam from the hot water fill the room. The heat felt good on my neck and shoulders. It helped wash away memories of the dreams I’d had while sleeping.

Eventually, I turned the water off. I reached past the curtain, grabbed my towel, and pulled it in. I liked to stand in the warm shower to dry off before opening the curtain, letting the cold air outside the curtain in. Getting the water off my body before the cold air found it, and felt colder than it was.

I pulled on my underwear, then my pants, then pulled a t-shirt on. That’s when I noticed something funny about the mirror. It didn’t look right. The mirror was coated in condensation from the steam of the shower, that was normal. But there wasn’t suppose to be anything written on the mirror, and there was.

I faced the mirror, read the writing, “Mystica”. That’s all it said. “Mystica”. I recognized the handwriting. It matched what was on the bottom of the sketch. The same hand had written both places.

I used my towel to wipe the mirror clear, grabbed my hairbrush, started brushing out my hair. I froze as I stared into the mirror. Floating a foot above my shoulder was the fairy from the birdcage. “Her name is Mystica.”

I dropped my brush.

“Her name is Mystica.”

Then, she was gone.

I stared into the mirror for a while, trying to understand what I’d seen. It couldn’t be real. It couldn’t have happened. Fairies aren’t real. They don’t exist. They’re just beings in fairy tales.

But I’d seen her in the mirror. She’d said, “Her name is Mystica.” And how else could the writing in the condensation on the mirror have gotten there? I couldn’t explain it.

I was realizing there was a lot I couldn’t explain.

I finished brushing out my hair, left the bathroom, pulled on my shirt, buttoned it up, put on socks and shoes, packed a lunch, and headed to work.

It couldn’t have been real. Had to have been my imagination. Or a dream. Yeah. A dream.

Fairies aren’t real.

Everybody knows that.

#FinishThatThought 42 : Sleep Is A Marvelous Thing

Sleep is a marvelous thing. For when I sleep, I dream, and when I dream, I am free from this world, and my pain wracked, broken, crippled body. When I sleep, I leave this world. That night I put my head on my pillow, closed my eyes, and let go of the world that tortured me.

There was no ground, no sky, no up or down, no left or right. Perhaps I was falling. Perhaps I was floating. Perhaps I was motionless, and the universe moved past me.

I heard her voice in the nothing, Come back to me, my love.” I felt her fingers laced between mine, her lips on mine. “Come back to me, my love.” I opened my eyes in Terres Fae, wrapped my arms around my love, and kept her lips on mine.

“Welcome back, my love.”

“How long was I gone?”

“One day.” She smiled. “Perhaps the time is near, and you will be free to stay?”

“No one knows what tomorrow brings, my love.” I took a deep breath, feeling the warm, moist air of Terras Fae fill my lungs, relishing the lack of agony and pain.

“Is the agony of life now gone?” She knew I was a helpless cripple from Earth’s past. knew I was from Earth. She knew I was a helpless cripple on my world.

“Yes.”

“Then, it’s time for us to fly.” She stepped back, spread the gold, orange and black butterfly wings on her back and with a flick them, launching herself into the sky. I followed, my blue, green and silver wings lifting me easily into the sky.

I was free once more. Free to help my Cheris, and the fairies of Terres Fae stand against the humans from Earth in a time yet to come. Free to help save a living world from certain death.

In my life on Terres Fae, I was free to live the story of life the universe had granted me.

329 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 42 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#ThursThreads 107 : No Other Way Out

Chrissy and Lilly sat on the grass by the lake and waited for the humans to arrive. They held each other hand, like the sisters they were. “We could fly away. There’s nothing stopping us.”

Lilly smiled, “I know.”

Chrissy wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “I wish it did not come to this.”

Lilly ran her fingers gently down her sister’s cheek, “Oh, sister. I know.”

Chrissy could no longer hold back her tears. “I don’t want to fight! I don’t want to hurt anyone! Hasn’t there been enough death?”

Lilly held her sister close, feeling Chrissy’s tears on her shoulder. “Then don’t fight. Stay safe. And let me do this.”

Chrissy shook her head. “No.” She took her sister’s hands again. “We are one, sister. We are family.”

Lilly stood, “Then let’s get ready. They’re coming.”

“I know.” Chrissy looked at the carefully crafted chrysanthemums and lilies along the path to the south of the lake. “They warn us. The humans come.” She stood, “I wish there were another way.”

“There’s no other way out of this. We fight now. Or we run forever.”

Both fairies fluttered their wings, silently lifting off the ground, floating just above the surface of the lake, and waited for the humans. They hoped the humans learned. They hoped the humans fled. Both fairies knew the machines were part of them, and would act upon their wishes. None of the humans would survive.

Chrissy and Lillie waited for the humans to arrive.

250 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 107, the first week of the Month Of Love Challengs on #ThursThreads. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#FTT 12 : The Sky Burned

“The sky burned!” One of the knights sat up in his bed. Burns, open wounds, and charred flesh covered nearly half his body. He should not have been able to move. That he was sitting and screaming showed the terror he’d experienced when the invaders attacked.

Eyela placed her hand on his shoulder, “Calm, young one. Calm.” Her fairy magic flowed through her fingertips. Nano-machines in the soldier’s blood and organs responded to Eyela’s request, and released an ocean of endorphins into his blood, deadening the intense pain he was in. They also released GABA into his blood. It quickly spread through his body. The soldier fell asleep.

Eyela closed her eyes. “Mystica, wherever you are, I hope you find your way here soon.” She looked around the great hall of the castle. Wooden cots were everywhere, with wounded soldiers, women and children filling them all. When they ran out of cots, they used mats on the floor.

The sky had indeed burned. She had no other way to describe it. She closed her eyes, and tried to calm herself, placing her hands on the cold stone of the wall, and remembering. Her winged soldiers, taking to the sky to defend the kingdom from the attacking aliens. Except no aliens appeared. Just a streak of black cutting across the sky, leaving a trail of white smoke behind it.

It moved so rapidly, no one could shoot it down. When the black streak got over the kingdom, maybe 100 feet above the ground, it exploded. But it was an explosion unlike any the fairies had ever known. The explosion sprayed some strange substance through the air. A secondary explosion rapidly followed, igniting that substance.

The sky burned, it’s flames consuming everything it touched. Soldiers fell from the sky, trailing fire behind them. Many of them died before they reached the ground. Others died when the ground stopped their falls. So few survived.

Houses, shops, carts, carriages, trees, and everything else on the ground erupted into flames. Nearly a third of the kingdom burned. Whole families burned to ash by the flame. An entire wing of the castle was nothing but charred stone walls, a burned out husk of what it had been.

She heard a voice in her head, “It was a fuel-air bomb.” It was the machines. They explained how it released a fine mist of highly flammable fuel into the air, using an explosive shock wave to spread it over an area, and then a primary explosive to ignite the fuel, and spread it even further with a second shock wave. They explained how the oxygen in the air helped the fuel burn. How the fire sucked the oxygen out of the air, so the fairies couldn’t breathe, How the flames and fuel burned everything they touched.

Eyela knew the invading humans were dangerous, but she’d never expected such violence and cruelty. That they would burn everything to the ground for no reason made no sense to her.

The machines interrupted her thoughts, “We have informed the White Witch.”

Indeed they had, for Mystica simply appeared in the midst of the injured. Eyela said nothing. She knew the machines had told Mystica everything. She watched as Mystica called on the white magic. White clouds appeared throughout the room. They fell on the injured, and slowly soaked into the bodies. As they did, Eyela watched their burned, broken bodies heal.

White Magic indeed. She understood it was the machines following Mystica’s commands, using available subatomic particles, and atoms to repair the damaged bodies filling the room. Within seconds, all the injured healed. Much to Eyela’s relief, they all slept.

Eyela watched as Mystica scanned the room, tears falling from her eyes. She wished she could answer the one question she saw in Mystica’s haunted eyes. “Why?”

But she knew there was no why. There was only war. And the news of more places where the sky burned.

657 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 12 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

Eyela closed her eyes. “Mystica, wherever you are, I hope you find your way here soon.” She looked around the great hall of the castle. Wooden cots were everywhere, with wounded soldiers, women and children filling them all. When they’d run out of cots and beds, they’d used mats on the floor.

The sky had indeed burned. She had no other way to describe it. She closed her eyes, and tried to calm herself, placing her hands on the cold stone of the wall, and remembering. Her winged soldiers, taking to the sky to defend the kingdom from the attacking aliens. Except no aliens appeared. Just a streak of black cutting across the sky, leaving a trail of white smoke behind it.

It moved so rapidly, no one could shoot it down. When the black streak got over the kingdom, maybe 100 feet above the ground, it exploded. But it was an explosion unlike any the fairies had ever known. The explosion sprayed some strange substance through the air. A secondary explosion rapidly followed, igniting that substance.

The sky burned, it’s flames consuming everything it touched. Soldiers fell from the sky, trailing fire behind them. Many of them died before they reached the ground. Others died when the ground stopped their falls. So few survived.

Houses, shops, carts, carriages, trees, and everything else on the ground erupted into flames. Nearly a third of the kingdom burned. Whole families burned to ash by the flame. An entire wing of the castle turned into charred stone walls, a burned out husk of what it had been.

She heard a voice in her head, “It was a fuel-air bomb.” It was the machines. They explained how it released a fine mist of highly flammable fuel into the air, using an explosive shock wave to spread it over an area, and then a primary explosive to ignite the fuel, and spread it even further with a second shock wave. They explained how the oxygen in the air helped the fuel burn. How the fire sucked the oxygen out of the air, so the fairies couldn’t breathe. How the flames and fuel burned everything they touched.

Eyela knew the invading humans were dangerous, but she’d never expected such violence and cruelty. That they would burn everything to the ground for no reason made no sense to her.

The machines interrupted her thoughts, “We have informed the White Witch.”

Indeed they had, for Mystica simply appeared in the midst of the injured. Eyela said nothing. She knew the machines had told Mystica everything. She watched as Mystica called on the white magic. White clouds appeared throughout the room. They fell on the injured, and slowly soaked into the bodies. As they did, Eyela watched their burned, broken bodies heal.

White Magic indeed. She understood it was the machines following Mystica’s commands, using available subatomic particles, and atoms to repair the damaged bodies filling the room. Within seconds, all the injured were whole. Much to Eyela’s relief, they all slept.

Eyela watched as Mystica scanned the room, tears falling from her eyes. She wished she could answer the one question she saw in Mystica’s haunted eyes. “Why?”

But she knew there was no why. There was only war. And the news of more places where the sky burned.

Colorful Induction

Every since she was a little girl, Gail dreamed of being a fairy. She dreamed of being able to fly with wings of her own. Of leaving a trail of glitter in the sky. Of using her fairy magic to help other girls like her. She looked wistfully out her window every night, spending hours wishing she could fly from house to house, to find other girls like her. Girls without hope. Girls without dreams.

Gail was dying. Each day brought death a step closer. Each day she felt the weakness in her limbs grow, the fluttering of her heart grow more frequent, her breath grow more shallow, her pulse grow slower, and weaker.

She sat in her chair, staring out her window, looking at the clouds, and wished she could be a fairy, and fly in the sky at least once before her time in life reached its end.

That’s when the fairies answered her. Flying through her window. Spreading fairy dust of gold and silver all around the room, and all over her, as they sang a song of flying in the sky.

Gail fell asleep that night, sitting in her chair. “Thank you, fairies,” she declared, “for your lovely song.”

She woke up the next morning, resting on her window sill, beneath the light of the rising sun, her heartbeat regular and strong, the breeze caressing her hair. She sat up on the window sill to discover she wore a dress of rose leaves, held together by strong silk, woven by the spiders. She realized there were no shoes on her feet, and someone had woven tiny blue flowers into her hair.

Gail had to smile, for she knew there were fairy wings upon her back. Shaped like the wings of a butterfly, in sapphire blue and white. Wings all her own.

She remembered the fairies that had visited her that night, with glitter of gold, and silvery white, and the song they sang to her. And she knew somehow the fairies flight, and the glitter of the night were a colorful induction of her wounded, lonely heart into the sisterhood of fairies.

She knew she would fly on fairy wings that night.

The Next Big Thing : Cylinders

I have been nominated to take part in The Next Big Thing, by The Last Krystolos (Lisa Shambrook). The Next Big Thing asks ten questions about a current Work In Progress, and I answer them as best I can. As Lisa did, I’ll use my NaNoWriMo 2012 story as the basis for the answers to the questions.

Q1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?

Other than “Not finalized at this point”, I have a working title. Cylinders.

Q2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from a lot of ideas, spread over 11 years. It started with an idea I shared with a friend back in 2002, or 2003. Of machines that took over the galaxy, and gradually caused the extinction of the human race. The machines realized they’d lost something when the humans were gone. Some intuition. Some emotion. They couldn’t define it. So they couldn’t recreate it. So, the recreated humans.

That though led to so many others. At one point, the humans themselves turned into machines, through genetic manipulation, breeding humans for specific purposes. The ideas kept flowing, especially in the past 2 years.

After NaNoWriMo 2011, it occurred to me to try something different with the concept of the machines. Battlestar Galictica always refers to the Cylons as the children of the human race. And I had this world filled with humans, fairies, dragons and magic, and this idea for machines that were intelligent, and had grown their technological abilities far beyond what we have today.

That whole idea collided with the divisions I see happening within our society now. The multiplicity of religions, sexual preferences, personal beliefs, and ways of life, and how divisive these differences have become.

Q3.  What genre does your book fall under?

I’d call it Science Fiction/Fantasy. I’m trying to remember what several others have called it. Something like Gothic Science Fiction, as I recall.

Q4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Well… They’d be voices for the characters. This would have to make use of CGI. A lot. As for what voices I’d like for the main characters? This is gonna take a while. I’ve never thought about it at all… So this is very tentative… (as in, I had to write something…)

Mystica – Famke Janssen
Merlin – Alan Rickman
Scream – James Marsden
Sword – Chris Hemsworth
Rose – Amy Adams
Dream – Kirsten Dunst
Musica – Mandy Moore
Sunshine – Scarlett Johansson
Chrissy – Kristen Bell
Lilly – Zoe Saldana
Flora – Jennifer Lawrence
Fauna – Rose McGowan
Miss Hooters – Catherine Zeta-Jones
The Machines – James Earle Jones

This one took me a while… And I can change it all around, and use lots of other names…

Q5.  What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

The story of the world of Cylinders, where humans and their children, the machines, merge together, and fairies, dragons, and magic come to life.

Q6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

More than likely, self-published. I’m planning to ask several people some questions about that. My doctor also thinks I should self-publish. So, I’ll have to look into that. Of course, now, I haven’t got any plan to publish. Somehow, I think that will be changing in the coming weeks and months.

Q7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

28 days. 1 November 2012 through 28 November 2012. At that point, it was just a process of pulling the story out of my head where it had grown for over a year.

Q8.  What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I don’t read much, you know. I mean. I don’t read a lot of fiction. I think I’ve read for books this past year. And two of those were collections of short works of fiction. I don’t count reading technology texts. Nor do I count reading science texts. Or the tons of news, science and technology I read all the time from the Internet.

I can safely say it does not compare to any of those. As for other works of fiction it compares to. I like to think of it as me recreating such works as Battlestar Galictica, Star Gate (all 3 series), and Babylon 5. I also think of it as an anti-Terminator, or anti-Matrix type of work.

Q9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Oddly enough, NaNoWriMo 2011. That’s where I wrote the first chapter in this epic I find myself in the middle of.

Q10.  What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?

I took something Arthur C Clarke wrote (Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic), and went with it.

That brings me to the end of the questions. Now, I am supposed to nominate five others for The Next Big Thing. This is my list of those five others. Tried to pick five I haven’t already seen listed on this. Hope any of them can respond. (:

Robin Sturgeon Abess
Miranda Boers
Sarah Aisling
Susi Holliday
Rebecca Grace Allen

Have fun. I did.

Mark.