In Too Deep #WEPFF Challenge No. 6 featuring Anybody, Save Me #amwriting #flashfiction

This time around, I took the writing prompt to heart and made sure to actually include the words in my story. I hope you find this piece amusing and will consider the request I’ve posted at the end. So glad to be back in the WEP challenge again. It’s the best writing challenge I’ve come across.

~

Anybody, Save Me

How can my throat be so parched when I’m surrounded by water? No matter how hard I try I keep gulping down pounds and pounds of sharp grains. Throbbing constricts my efforts to push forward. My nostrils blister as the particles scratch and burn my nasal passage. The notion of weightlessness is but a faint, cruel, memory now. My feet are lead; my hands are clawing nubs. Coarseness rushes to my lungs and punches out any remaining air leaving behind only a saline sludge. Stabbing blindness and stinging deafness are also claimed by the sludge and I know now, I’m in way too deep. This must be what it feels like to drown at sea.

But, wait. There’s something pulling me. It’s pulling me down even further than I thought possible, aiding the death that lingers in my final thoughts. No one should have to experience their last seconds of existence so vividly. Why – am – I – not – dead – ye…?

>Ping<

What was that? Where am I? Why aren’t I dead?

>Ping. Ping.<

Wait. I can see. I can hear. What the heck? I can breathe, but I’m still under water. Wonder if I can talk?

Yep. I must still be pretty deep. All the colors are somehow a bit grey. But… it’s not cold. At least I don’t feel cold. He he he. I do feel weightless though. I feel like I could float, maybe even fly. Ha ha he he. There’s no reason I should be feeling this good. Pretty sure I just drowned to death, but …

Whoa, am I seriously bound? What the effen heck is happening? Why am I chained to the – the – I guess, the sea floor?

>Ping. Ping. Glur glur. Glur glur. Wooosssssssshhhhh.<

“Ah, there you are. You’re awake.”

Did I seriously just see a green fish person whoosh up to me? “What the holy heck are you?”

“Oh, my love. My sweet mortal. I am your savior?”

“Uh, no you’re not.” Are its eyes fluttering at me? “You’re some magic welding sea monster who brought me back from a death I was just beginning to accept. Please, I beg you. Send me back to my doom?”

“Aren’t you silly. I know this will be quite an adjustment, but once you acclimate, everything will be fine. You’ll see. You’ll be happy here with me.”

“No. This isn’t right. I died. I should be dead.” I sure as heck shouldn’t be trapped by a sea monster. “I’m guessing you’re a nice sea monster and all, but I’m pretty certain what’s dead is supposed to stay that way.”

“First of all, I’m not a monster; just because I look different from you. Secondly, you died a horrible death and I saved you. Would you really rather go back to being a bloated sinking corpse?

A bloated corpse sounds terrible, but if I’m dead, it’s not like I’ll know. This situation, on the other hand, is downright scary. “Sorry, you’re right. I had no right to call you a monster. It’s just that I’m not used to talking to creatures with scales and green skin. Oh, is creature offensive?”

“No, creature is fine. Besides, you’re my favorite creature in all the world. That’s why I saved you.”

“But, don’t you see. You didn’t save me. You brought me back to life. Why would you do that?”

>Ping. Ping.<

“Oh goodness me. I’m so glad I set these alarms. We’ll be late if we don’t hurry.”

“Late for what? You haven’t told me why you brought me back. And while you’re at it, why can I breathe underwater now?”

“Oh you, silly guppy. We’ll have our whole lives to learn about each other. We really must hurry.”

“What do you mean we have our whole lives? Please, for all that is decent in this crazy world, will you tell me what’s going on?”

“Fine. If you must know, I’m Fae of the sea. I grant wishes from time to time. And your wish was irresistible.”

“My wish? What wish?”

“Your last dying request. ‘Somebody, anybody, save me! My lover’s trying to kill me! Save me, please! Save me! I’ll do anything to repay you!’

“Wait. I didn’t say those words to you. I was pleading for my life. I was being thrown overboard. I wanted someone to pull me out.”

“Well, I heard your plea, and unfortunately I can’t pull people out. I can only pull them down. I also can’t restore human lives, but I can reshape a mortal soul into something else. You have been given a second chance. A new life among the merfolk. A life you will spend wed to me.”

“Wait, merfolk? Wed? What the holy…” I can’t believe a scaly webbed hand just mushed my face.

“Sorry, we don’t look like your human fairy tales. But when you live this deep, what do you expect?

~

816 words in progressAnybody, Save Me 2018 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas

So, I tried something a little different this time. I wanted to be as descriptive as possible while not using any gender-specific words. I was hoping to tell a story where the reader could decide for themselves the sex/gender of the characters, but I’m not really sure if I pulled it off. I’ve seen other writers try to use gender-neutral pronouns, but most of these efforts have left me feeling disconnected from the story. When I thought I didn’t like romance and could never write it, I challenged myself to dive in and do it. While the work I produced may not be award-winning, it’s not too bad and it’s made me appreciate the genre and those who write it so much more. So that’s what I’m trying today. I’m diving in to see if I can write a gender-neutral story and have it actually make sense. Please let me know if this worked or not; this really is a learning experience for me.

If anyone is interested in the finale to my five-part series, Music My Muse, head over to A Small Gang of Authors to check it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Book Blast: Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color #mystery

Color-coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world-renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary, Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Buy on Amazon  | Free on Kindle Unlimited

See my 4-star review of this book on Goodreads.com

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. Catalina has lived in various countries and is fluent in four languages; Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Her first book The Bridge of Deaths revolves around her maternal grandfather’s death in 1939. A true-life pre-WWII event. It has over 200 footnotes with the resources of her extensive search through Archival materials as well as the use of psychometry and past life regressions. It is more fact than fiction.

The revised edition of The Bridge of Deaths: A Love Story And A Mystery, focuses on the storyline as opposed to fact, but all footnotes and facts are available through the website for any curious minds. www.thebridgeofdeaths.com

Defined by Others taps into the dark quirky side found even in the best of people. With the 2012 American elections as a backdrop and the fearless reassurance that the world might end on December 12, 2012, as predicted by the Mayan Calendar.

Death of a Sculptor; in Hue, Shape, and Color is a novella written in sixteen different voices. It is a murder mystery. She is currently working on a sequel; Bruce (title subject to change).

M.C.V. Egan lives and works in South Florida. She is married and has a teenage son. You can find M.C.V. Egan everywhere online.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Juneta Key presents: Toi Thomas Romance vs. Love Story

Happy Valentine’s Day. Sorry, I’m a bit late. No part of my day has gone quite according to plan, but hey, I’m here and I love that you are too. Please check me out over at the Juneta Key Speculative Fiction blog, the Writer’s Gambit …

A romance and a love story is not the same thing. It took me a while to realize that. I once had someone (a male of the human species) tell me that Superman Returns was a chick flick (a romance specifically) because of the way the relationship between Superman and Lois Lane was portrayed…. Read more at the Writer’s Gambit.

There’s also a really sweet post by Rebecca Tran over at A Small Gang of Authors you might want to check out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG February 2018: For the love of #paranormal; oh, and some #graphicnovels

72b25-iwsg2bbadge

Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write in many genres most of the time, which isn’t always a good thing, but that’s a topic for another day. I’d say the genre I’m most passionate about is ‘paranormal’. I love to read and write about the paranormal in its many and diverse forms. Of all the speculative genres (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all subgenres) it’s the most speculative. I find that for, those like me, who like to blend a bit of spirituality and or religion into some of my writing, the paranormal genre is the easiest fit. I love to explore and manipulate ideas and concepts about myths and legends to find fun, new, and sometimes thought-provoking ways to show the many facets of humanity. Whether it’s vampires, werewolves, ghost, angels, or demons, I can never get enough of the supernatural goodness of the paranormal genre.

****

Now on to the personal updates.

The IWSG Book Club is reading Lord of the Flies for our March discussion on symbolism. I’ll admit that I was a bit bummed by the outcome of the vote, but I’m not heartbroken over it. I was hoping to use this as an opportunity, a motivator, for me to finally read Moby Dick (I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read it either), but I think that ship has sailed (no pun initially intended). I just don’t know if I’ll ever get around to reading that, when I have so many other books that I really really want to read. In any case, I’m hoping my second read of LOTF will go better than the first. Perhaps being older and not being forced to read it for a class will make all the difference.

I’ve been struggling with how to approach the future of my writing. I feel like I need to start over from scratch, but can’t quite bring myself to make the leap. I’m trying to figure out a way to maybe take baby steps instead. For now, at least, I’m going to focus on reading, writing my rewrites, as well as the new ideas I’m developing, and am making no plans to publish anything in the near future. Perhaps in a year or two, I’ll be ready to take on the publishing challenge once again.

Over at A Small Gang of Authors, I’ve been writing a blog series about music, inspiration, and my writing. In today’s part 4 of the series, I talk about character theme songs, if you care to check it out.

I’m challenging myself to a graphic novel read-a-thon this month. Please check it out, if your interested.

****

Why do you love to write in the genre of your choice?

Read any good graphic novels lately? Thinking about trying one out?

Have you clarified all your goals for the immediate future?

****

After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Stephen Tremp,
Pat Garcia,
Angela Wooldridge,
Victoria Marie Lees, and
Madeline Mora-Summonte!

****

Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #57).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: The Abduction of Rupert DeVille #humor #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: The Abduction of Rupert DeVille
Series: NA
Author: Paul White
Genre: Humor, Contemporary
Pages: 235
Reading Level: Adult
Content: R (language, violence, crime, adult and mature situations, comedic nudity, strong sexual content)

This is a very British dark comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I was disturbed a bit at times. This book takes you on an emotional journey, traversing every possible feeling, sometimes with no transitions or segues to ease the mental whiplash. Yet, somehow it all worked together, in the end, to make the story wonderful it a very specifically dark, funny, and unique way. And, don’t get me wrong; the writing is impeccable, almost lyrical at times. It was an easy and engaging read.

This emotional adventure starts with Rupert early in his day, contemplating the step-by-step (literally) plans he’d made for his special evening. Then he’s snatched off the street and the story begins. As the description explains, there’s a girlfriend and an employer worried about Rupert’s disappearance, and after you get to know him, you can totally understand why they’d worry so only after a few short hours.

Attempting to avoid spoilers, none of the characters in this book are quite what they seem. While Rupert is definitely mild-mannered, he’s also calculating, considerate, and most definitely a lover (not a fighter). George is probably my favorite character in this wacky tale of random events that all fit together perfectly, actually making sense in the larger scheme of things. He’s older and calmer than Rupert and Carla, but he might also be a bit scary (in the best possible way). Carla’s a simple girly-girl on the surface, but after taking a peek into her past, you learn that her perfect simplicity is hard-earned.

There are moments in this story that made me blush, made me feel a bit queasy, made me laugh out loud, and even made me feel sentimental. I imagine that it was like reading the screenplay of a Guy Richie modern adaptation of a classic whodunit. There was violence, sex, mystery, and all the complexities of family dynamics.

This is definitely an adult only read; perfect for fans of dark humor, British humor, tales of calamity, and upbeat characters in odd and sometimes violent situations. I hope this author has more stories like this.

I give this book a 5.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords