Author Topic: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!  (Read 4526 times)

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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #75 on: July 21, 2016, 09:12:00 pm »
Almost forgot. :orbunny:  Here is another word Iara.. "scintillate"

I checked your list. So I am pretty sure it's new.


Do Beag L. Howler's word before this one.  I can wait. :orbunny:

These short stories are great. If I may request one, I'd like to see how you do with the word "notorious."

Thank you both! The words have been added to my WIP list and will be completed in due time! Thank you for your readership!
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #76 on: August 10, 2016, 09:33:08 pm »
Polyglot

The phone buzzed on the table. “Yes?”

“The next candidate is ready to see you.”

“Send him in.”

The Andalusian-Friesian stallion stepped quietly into the stately office, his gray pinstripe suit standing out but a little from his raven coat. He decided to wear a blue tie, which accented the star and snip on his face.

He sat across from a stern Fallabella, whose gaze was searing despite her diminutive size. Her coat was a dapple gray, and her white mane was styled in a French braid. She wore a pale pink blouse and gray slacks. She swished her tail as she reached up to shake the nervous Andalusian’s paw.

“Greetings, Giorgio. I’ve heard much about you from our other interns.”

Both horses sat, the Falabella behind the desk and the Andalusian in an uncomfortably small swivel chair on the opposite side.

“Nice to meet you as well, Doctor.”

She scanned his resume. “Let’s see…you’re well versed in language, I noticed.”

“Yes,” Giorgio swallowed. He resisted tapping his hooves on the floor in anxiousness, and adjusted his tie instead.

“You know Spanish, Italian, English and several equine dialects of each. Hrm! Por favor, digame un ejemplo de cada.”

 “Pues…quiero trabajar en este corporacíon por seís años.”

Che è un lungo periodo di tempo!” the Falabella noted, continuing to read his resume.

Non mi qualifico per questa posizione fino a poco tempo, quando ho ottenuto in linguistica del mio Maestro.”

“You have a Master’s degree. Impressive. Most of our candidates stop with a Bachelor’s. You do seem driven, this much is evident.” The Falabella stopped reading his resume and stared at the stallion.

Giorgio smiled, praying the beads of sweat forming under his forelock didn’t begin to drip down his nose.

“You are also quite fluent. We need that in our company.” The Falabella hopped down from her chair and walked to the large window overlooking the city. Giorgio watched her, not daring to move from his chair. His legs began to cramp. 

“I know that science is not my first career choice, but I want to contribute to the community in a unique way.”

“Hm.”

“A lot of science journals are in desperate need of editors that are well versed in multiple languages. I can help with readership, and in turn, influence your impact factor.”

The Falabella turned, her arms folded. She stared hard at Giorgio, taking in his words during their awkward silence.

Then, “Have you edited a peer-reviewed work before?”

“Yes,” Giorgio nodded. “I also moonlighted at Scientific American for a short time. I learned how to write for the general public.”

“Are you implying my articles are not concise?” the Falabella snorted.

“…no!” Giorgio whickered, twisting his ears in confusion. “No! Not at all!” He felt heat rising from his cheeks to his ears.

“Are you implying my English is not good?!” the Falabella stepped closer to the Andalusian, her ears beginning to twist back and her nostrils flaring.

“No, Doctor. It is excellent, I assure you. I…just feel that science articles in general need help…we’d get more readership if we appealed to the general public.”

“Hm.” The Falabella’s ears twisted forward again. She took in his words. “I admit, sometimes…I need help. My English is not as excellent as you proclaim it to be.” She smiled wryly at the nerve-wracked stallion.  “Having a polyglot editor would be useful, someone to catch our mistakes at the company…yes, you will do. Follow me!”

Giorgio stood, flustered. “What?!”

“Come, come, follow me, before I change my mind,” the Falabella whinnied as she trotted out of her office into the hallway.

~Lost in Translation?~
Spanish phrases:
Por favor, digame un ejemplo de cada-Please say an example of each
Pues…quiero trabajar en este corporacíon por seís años-Well, I've wanted to work for this company for six years

Italian phrases:
Che è un lungo periodo di tempo-That's a long time
Non mi qualifico per questa posizione fino a poco tempo, quando ho ottenuto in linguistica del mio Maestro-I didn't qualify for this position until recently, when I obtained my Master's in linguistics
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #77 on: August 12, 2016, 10:01:47 am »
As usual you handled the word, and wrote the story well Iara.

I look forward to your next story. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #78 on: September 24, 2016, 09:47:39 pm »
Notorious

Moongaze waited in the darkness. She could hear other furs milling around, their muffled voices filling the air.

Someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was time.

She lowered her head, rotated her head to the left and right. She took several deep breaths, jogged a bit out of nervousness.

She was known for lounging in the coffee shops around town, but she had never dared to do something like this before. It reminded her of playing the violin as a cub…the thrill of being on stage, with the hot lights on her fur and clothes…performing for others made all the walls around her crash to the ground, forgotten in the ecstasy of hitting all the right notes.

The music came on. “Ladies and gentlefurs…here is…Cupcake Sprinkles!”

She began to move as she hadn’t done before…twirling, skipping, walking like an Egyptian.

Nothin’ I can’t see but you…when you dance, dance, dance girl…

The furs in the audience watched. The judges scribbled notes. She moonwalked. She clapped her paws, and the furs in the audience did the same.

I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can't take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock the way we rock it, so don't stop


She was energized by the music, and the comfort of being hidden from view while dancing gave her a surge of confidence.

Ooh, it's something magical
It's in the air, it's in my blood, it's rushing on
Don't need no reason, don't need control
I fly so high, no ceiling, when I'm in my zone


Her tongue lolled in suit as she began to end her dance. The music sent chills up and down her spine, numbing her…enveloping her…

She barely heard the judges responses. All she knew is that she felt like she was floating above the stage as she made her way back to the changing station. She gently removed the pink unicorn head, and shakily unzipped her suit.

She sat in front of the cooling fans, sucked down an entire water bottle while she cooled off. She wondered if what she had just done would be plastered all over the Internet.

She would finally be notorious for something more than just being an introvert.

Music: Can't Stop the Feeling
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2016, 07:55:50 am »
More good work Iara.  I would have commented sooner, but politics has distracted me. :-[

Keep up the good work. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2016, 07:07:12 pm »
Scintillate

She wondered if she would ever see the stars again.

The rain pattered on the sides of the train car as it rattled along the track. The fluorescent glare in the car was blanketed by darkness as it moved into a tunnel. The car raced above ground, and she looked below at the city, its grime temporarily washed away by the rain.

The crumpled letter was in her clenched left paw. She brushed the tears from her fur again, drawing her legs close to her chest as she sat in the train car, her hooded sweatshirt and soaked leggings reminding her of home. Anywhere but here.

We regret to inform you…

That was all she needed to read. All she heard was the cacophony of raindrops on the rattling windows, the choked internal sobs, the years of ridicule that resurfaced. Fog enclosed the city as it enshrouded her mind, enveloping her in doubt, melancholy and fear.

She remembered the stars twinkling overhead in all those times she went camping, doing fieldwork. It didn’t matter with what group, or why…all she wanted to think about were the stars. How that huge vastness held so much possibility with each scintillating speck, how she chased her hopes and dreams as if she could somehow reach those stars, and bring one home.

Now, all she could focus on was the bitterness of rejection. All she wanted was to curl up, and never see the light of day or night again.

How many times has my disability held me back? How many times have I seen their sad glances despite their false smiles? I thought I had friends…I guess I was wrong, so very wrong…about everything…I guess…this dream really is that, after all…

She pulled her hoodie over her ears tighter, let the tears flow down her muzzle freely. I don’t care who sees…I just want to be accepted for who I am…and if my dream job won’t let me be myself, it’s not worth my time…my passion…it’s gone…

She barely registered when the intercom announced her stop. She reluctantly left the train car, watching it rush off into the night like a swift vanishing into the darkness.

She sighed, her sadness engulfing her as the rain soaked her to the bone. She opened her left paw over the empty railway.

The letter fell to the rail ties unceremoniously. Its words became blurred by the water and it began to absorb the surrounding soil.

Headlights lit her silhouette, and her mate ran to her, his uniform getting drenched.

She followed him back to the car, sobbing. A freight train rushed past the station, demolishing the letter and her dreams in the same instant.
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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2016, 09:34:30 am »
That story is full of strong emotions. Was nice she had someone to
cling to at the end.

Enjoyed it. :orbunny:


By the way here is another word if you like. "banality"
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 09:41:17 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2016, 02:18:29 pm »
Thank you, Old Rabbit! I added your word to the list and will write a story around it soon.
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #83 on: January 07, 2017, 10:18:56 pm »
Banality

Moongaze was curled up in front of her TV, absentmindedly flipping through the channels. Ugh, nothing’s on, as usual…

A flash of a black cape, the crescendo of the violins, the rapid pace of the Spanish guitar and the dramatic pause of a masked hero…the glimpse of such banality made her roll her eyes. And yet…

She stopped channel surfing to watch the telenovela unfold, not wanting to watch but unable to look away.

“They’ve stolen my father’s sword! You must help!” a swooning vixen wept, her flouncy curls and running mascara enough to convey her tragedy.

“Of course, my lady!” cried the masked silver vulpine, his eyes narrowing at the escaping stallions with the sword held in the carriage between them.

The fox whistled sharply, and his stallion, a black destrier, rushed over to him. He leaped on, and galloped after the escaping bandits.

The hero chased the villains for a time, navigating the crowded city streets with ease, eventually winding up in a vast desert. The villains shot at the hero, but they missed, and he clung to the top of the carriage.

“You’ll never catch us alive!” the ne’er-do-wells protested.

The stallions whinnied in fright as they were cut loose from the carriage, bolting to the empty desert. The black destrier had somehow kept pace with the carriage, waiting patiently for his master.

The carriage came to a crashing halt, spilling the villains to the dust along with their prize, the missing sword. The masked hero stood over them, tsking.

“You should have let me drive!”

He snatched the sword, eyeing it in the summer sun. It was a beautiful piece of weaponry, a thin blade that was perfect for him to wield, even though it wasn’t made for him.

He swung the sword to them, grinning.

“I think I’ll take this back to the governor straight away.”

“Not if we can help it!” A nasty fight ensued between the silver vulpine and the two brutish coyotes, involving missed shots and close calls for the fox, but somehow he mounted his stallion, the sword in his paw. He raised it victoriously, his horse rearing and whinnying, his cape fluttering behind him.

Adios, amigos!” he laughed at them as he sped into town.

The villagers cheered as he dismounted, returning the sword with a flourish to the surprised governor and his teary daughter.

“Thank you, masked stranger!” the vixen placed a kiss on his cheek, and the fox winked, laughing.

That…was terrible…Moongaze shook her head, shutting off the TV.

Later that night, she sketched a black destrier in the mask with cape and hat, grinning mischievously…
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Offline Howie_Noble

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #84 on: January 08, 2017, 06:32:28 pm »
Wow, this is great stuff! You're wiz at this!
I have a word for you: murmuration
If you choose to do this one, I'll do a haiku based on your short story to accompany it.
“What love we've given, we'll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity." Dr. Leo Buscaglia

Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2017, 12:48:55 pm »
Wow, this is great stuff! You're wiz at this!
I have a word for you: murmuration
If you choose to do this one, I'll do a haiku based on your short story to accompany it.

Thanks, Howie! I will add your word to my list and write a story around it asap.  (:
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2017, 11:43:24 am »
More good writing Iara.  It's kind of nice to see a FOX as a hero. They
tend to be vilified in many stories.

"Vilified or vilify if you prefer." is my next word offer. :orbunny:
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 11:46:31 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2017, 03:53:35 pm »
More good writing Iara.  It's kind of nice to see a FOX as a hero. They
tend to be vilified in many stories.

"Vilified or vilify if you prefer." is my next word offer. :orbunny:

Thanks, Old Rabbit! I will add villify to the list.  (:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #88 on: March 01, 2017, 09:54:27 pm »
I've been busy with work, but will catch up on the stories asap! Thanks for your readership and patience!  :-[
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #89 on: March 10, 2017, 11:30:51 pm »
Murmuration
Moongaze had only seen it on documentaries: what appeared to be a cloud of soot twisting in an evening sky was actually a huge flock of starlings. They moved as a single mass, each bird moving in time with the ones around it, as fish in the ocean. The birds who couldn’t keep up were prey for other birds or even mammals, should they falter and fall.

Right now, she felt like that starling who couldn’t keep up.

She persisted in joining the field crew for another expedition, despite her rejection letter and lack of experience. She’d been on trips before, but was often unsuccessful in her attempts to fit in. She wanted so badly to fit in, she was willing to sacrifice a whole month’s worth of decent pay…a whole month away from her mate…a whole month of sanity to prove to herself she was worthy of being accepted.

The rest of the team was huddled in the corner by the vehicles, which were loaded up with gear and supplies. They chatted amongst themselves, their movements as one, their goals aligned.

Murmurs and glances, shaking heads, deep sighs.

“Not her again! She’s slow and weak. She’ll just get in the way.”

“The only thing she was good at was sitting on her paws.”

“…or tripping over them.” Hushed giggles and smirks followed.

“She doesn’t get us…or what we’re about…just leave her behind, like we did before. She’s just going to weigh us down.”

“It was only her second time in the field, though.” The dissenter folded his arms, head down, listening to the team’s reasoning. “We shouldn’t be so hard on her. How can she learn if she can’t make mistakes?”

“She’s socially inept! We don’t need that!” another crew member argued, almost a little too loudly.

Silence followed the outburst.

Moongaze watched their heated discussion from a distance. She looked at the caravan, at the gravel beneath her feet. She looked at the horizon, the bright blue sky framed by wispy white clouds. Anything to keep her thoughts positive. Anything to keep her heart from sinking.

“She slowed down for me. She stayed with me when everyone else here decided to go ahead.”

“She was careful with excavating and prospecting. She helped me find a potential quarry site.”

“She was good with the cubs.”

“We won’t be bringing them with us, though.”

Silence again filled the air. The team shuffled their boots in the dirt, argued amongst themselves some more.

“She’s an educator, not a researcher. Leave her here. She’s not worth our time. We need serious work, not a trial run.”

The team moved toward her. She waited, ears perked, heart pounding.

“Our answer is no,” one of the team members bluntly spat. “Please go home. Stop wasting your time.”

The team turned away, heading toward the vehicles. The dissenter paused, letting the group go.

He approached Moongaze. She did her best to hide her tears and pain. He watched her hoist her things with great effort, heading back to her mate’s waiting car.

“Wait!”

Moongaze sighed. She didn’t look back, but paused, setting her things down somewhat. “Whatever you have to say, I don’t need to hear it. You’ve made your choice.”

“Look, I think you have potential, okay? Maybe not with this team, but with another. You deserve to work with a better one.”

“Like I haven’t heard that before,” Moongaze shook her head.

“You deserve another chance. Come with me, join my team halfway round the world, where you’ll be respected for once.”

“Ptah, what for? To be ridiculed again?” Moongaze turned around to face the dissenter.

“We need more educators who are willing to be a part of fieldwork, to share their experiences and encourage interest in our work. Those are fools that rejected you. Please, reconsider?”

Moongaze paused. “Will I be compensated?”

“Monetarily, only partially. Funds and space are limited.”

“I will think about it.”

Moongaze picked up her gear, made her way back to her mate’s car. They drove off, away from the caravan and away from her idea of securing her dream career. Away from the screeching starlings that twisted in the wind, their harsh voices fading with each mile beneath the tire treads.
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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #90 on: March 25, 2017, 09:47:42 am »
Nicely written as usual Iara.  I have a suggestion. The list of used
words is getting long. How about posting them alphabetically?  :orbunny:

Here is a new word "Choleric"

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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #91 on: July 01, 2017, 05:28:53 pm »
Villify

Author's Note: So often, we tend to villify predatory animals, when they are simply trying to exist as much as prey animals are. This is my take on the term.

A pair of broad nostrils widened, huffing loudly. The beak that contained the nostrils opened wide, shearing off what little vegetation existed near the oasis.

The Protoceratops had wandered far from her herd on the outskirts of the desert, trying to find food so she could bear her mate worthy offspring. Last season was impossible, given the frequent sandstorms and flash floods. This year, with the winds abating and the storms lessening, she felt she stood a better chance…a few sparse cycads dotted the desolate landscape, and oases like the one she was near were perfect for her purpose.

She dipped her beak delicately into the water, tossing her frilled head back to swallow it. She did this several times, unaware of the predator lurking in the underbrush.

She has been separated from her herd…the fool, the Velociraptor thought as he waited, watching her movements carefully. He was silently evaluating her position, the angle of his attack. His beige and burnt umber plumes concealed his body from her sight, his amber eyes locked on her.

He held his breath. She suddenly paused her drinking, having heard the familiar distant warning rumble of an impending sandstorm.

The Velociraptor paid the winds no mind. He hadn’t eaten in two weeks; his ribs were showing and he had lost his mate to a strange illness brought on by the oasis water. Hunting alone was difficult, and grieving over his mate made the process that much more challenging. A Protoceratops could sate his hunger for well over a month, if he calculated the kill correctly. He couldn’t afford to lose the fight…he would surely lose his life.

The Protoceratops sniffed at the wind, her eyes wide. She had to finish foraging, otherwise she couldn’t provide enough sustenance for herself and her brood.

She decided to continue to eat. The Velociraptor, relieved, lowered his body close to the ground. He tensed his legs, opened his jaw, and propelled himself from his hiding place. With his primaries keeping him slightly aloft and his tail acting as a balance, he lunged at the terrified Protoceratops, saliva spraying into the wind.

He was trying to aim for her throat or her exposed backside. She thrust her frilled head down instead, her vicious beak grasping his left wing. He let out a hideous scream of agony as she stumbled backward, his cracked ulna sending showers of blood into her nostrils. The Protoceratops, unable to breathe, backed away from the oasis, dragging the Velociraptor with her into the mud.

The Velociraptor took his right wing and jammed its claws into the Protoceratops’ tough hide as she flung herself into the oasis mud. She writhed to free herself from the profusely bleeding wing, but the shrieks of the Velociraptor and the howling wind of the oncoming storm overwhelmed her.

The Protoceratops gasped her last breath, the blood from the raptor completely clogging her nostrils and the toxic fumes from the oasis mud suffocating her. The Velociraptor continued to struggle to free himself, his attempts weakening as his blood left his body.

The sandstorm howled over the ridge, its fury and force unequaled in recent months. The oasis was blanketed in sand and debris, the cycads destroyed instantaneously. The Velociraptor choked out his final breaths, buried by what he was certain was his saving grace.
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #92 on: July 09, 2017, 10:34:52 am »
Very good story as usual Iara.

The food chain seems  cruel, but without it life as we know it wouldn't
exist.

I will try to come up with a new word for you.  :orbunny:

I found one  - Ilk -   Yep just 3 letters.
 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 10:03:56 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Sither

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2017, 07:28:07 pm »
These stories are absolutely fantastic. If you are still open for more here is a sentence.

The loud explosion jarred him awake an nearly out of his tent.
Never let the fear of what other people think stop you from doing what you love.

Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #94 on: September 26, 2017, 06:43:39 pm »
Sither-thank you, I will add the phrase to the list!

Update-sorry for the delay in posting, RL has been stomping on my tailfeathers as of late. But I will get to posting more prompts soon!  8)
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #95 on: September 29, 2017, 11:38:54 pm »
Choleric

Moongaze glumly sat, her chin in her paws, her eyes glazing over at the computer screen.

The deadline for her paper was on the horizon, but all she wanted was to explore the horizon. She wanted to be swept off her feet on a grand adventure. She wanted to experience the romance of fieldwork, watching the males paw at the earth, seeking treasures of lost time…watching the stars at night as the fire of alcohol coursed through her veins…wondering if any male even found her remotely desirable one moment and wondering if her research would be understood the next.

The Word document glared at her, its bright white page screaming for her attention.

Moongaze huffed in frustration, her ears pinned back. She slammed the laptop shut and briskly walked to the adjoining hallway. She had to get some air.

She walked out of the busy museum halls, trying to ignore the cries and crowds of cubs in her wake. She caught sight of her mentor out of the corner of her eye as she temporarily fled the building, making her way toward the street.

The coffeeshop down the way from the museum offered her solace during these choleric moods she suffered as she wrote. She wondered if her mentor even had the same problems. She sighed, considering the years of experience he had, how much better he was than her at everything. She pushed the thought away as she entered the shop, desperate for caffeine and sugar, anything to ease her clouded mind.

Another jaguar, a melanistic one she had never seen before, sat in front of a laptop, his brows furrowed. His tea was untouched at the table, his bespectacled eyes glued to it as hers had been moments before. Moongaze felt her cheeks flush and realized she was blushing, staring at this newcomer with a little too much intensity.

She cleared her throat and turned her attention to the waiting barista. The barista, a mink, grinned cheekily at Moongaze.

“He’s cute, huh?” she murmured, tilting her head toward the male jaguar across the room. Moongaze blushed even more, upset she was feeling so flustered in his presence. It’s bad enough I am distracted when I write, now when I get my coffee, too?!

Moongaze grunted, “Uh, yeah, sure.” The response was terse, but her temper was already flared. She hadn’t written a single sentence all day, and the paper was due in less than a week. Thousands of words, and not even one could work its way onto the page. Her tail lashed in annoyance at the thought. “Can I get my usual?”

“A dirty chai, coming right up!” the barista blurted a little too loudly, definitely within earshot of the male in the corner. Moongaze was grateful he was too absorbed in his work to even twitch an ear. “You know,” the barista added, winking, “he ordered the same thing.”

“That’s great,” Moongaze forced a smile. She hated making small talk when she was so upset.

“You should say hello,” the barista went on, oblivious to her frustration. “He looks like he could use a pick me up!”

“Maybe later…” Moongaze took her chai hastily and was about to walk out the door when the male darted in and snagged a stopper from the self serve cart.

“Oh!” he grunted, his crooked grin highlighting his bright blue eyes. “Sorry about that!”

“It’s okay,” Moongaze lied. She tried to avoid his smile, his concerned gaze as their eyes met.

“I’m Riley!” he grunted, his smile fading somewhat as they shook paws. “I’m visiting for a little bit, and I am doing a story on the museum. You’re Moongaze, right? I think we’ve met before, it’s been a while, yeah?”

Moongaze paused, studying the melanistic jaguar carefully. “…Riley?”

“Yeah!” he grinned again. She swore he was blushing too, but his pelt hid it well. She smiled a little, more out of courtesy than mood.

“I think I remember you…yeah! It’s good to see you again. I’ve got to run, though…I have a paper to write and…”

“Oh, you’re doing more research!” Riley grinned, appearing thrilled. “Sounds awesome!”

Moongaze bit her tongue. She was tempted to eschew her mentor’s demands right then and there, to bemoan the lack of imagination required in scientific writing, but she simply gave a polite nod. “Yeah…it’s…”

Riley grinned even bigger, a glint of mischief in his eyes. “…it sucks!” he pronounced gladly.

“…what?!” Moongaze’s jaw dropped. She found herself suddenly sitting across from Riley, her anger slowly melting away and changing to relief.

“Yeah, it sucks. It’s so tough to write on a deadline, to change your every word to suit your editor’s whims. It sucks to see your baby be butchered, to watch it writhe and bleed out and then to revive it as a ghost of its former self. Ah, yes, to be a researcher again! I don’t miss it.”

“But…isn’t that what you do…?”

“Not to the same extent. The process doesn’t get any easier though…” he grinned, setting his jaw in his paw, holding his tea with the other paw gently. “Let me guess, you haven’t done a damn thing?”

“…no…” Moongaze was ashamed to admit, blushing.

“Neither have I.” Riley’s anger matched hers. “I can’t come up with anything. I keep thinking about the tour I just took, the meetings I have had. Nothing. Nada. Nope. I keep wanting to write about fieldwork, for some weird reason…”

“…me, too…!”

“Wait…you, too?” Riley tilted his head. He chuckled, “Are you sure we’re not on the same wavelength or something?” He closed his laptop, drank his tea, stared at her, amused.

“I…I don’t know why I can’t think of anything except being in the field,” Moongaze felt her eyes well up with tears. “..I…I hated it!”

“Ah, from that anger comes powerful work,” Riley grunted, fascinated now.

“…huh?”

“My last trip to the field was due to frustration…I…I can only do that right, in my life. Just dig and stare at bones that are long gone. That’s all I know how to do well. That’s all I want to do, half the time.” He turned away, gazing out the window longingly. “Ah, to be swept up in the adventure of deep time!”
He paused, he gasped. “Wait! Wait wait wait…” he felt an urge to type maddeningly, and Moongaze stood.

“Um, are you--?”

“I am more than okay,” he grinned up at her, his eyes flashing behind his glasses. He typed furiously, and gently murmured, “…thank you.”

Moongaze’s mentor swept into the coffeeshop, searching for her. She was transfixed as Riley wrote, his grin lighting up like it hadn’t in ages. She wished she could feel that way.

She snuck off before her mentor could catch her, chai in her paws. She felt dizzy, thrilled that another could feel the same as she about writing. She sat on a bench by the museum entrance, dazed.

“Write what you know,” her mentor’s voice soothed. He sat next to her, as he had done so often all those years ago. “Write what you know, hm?”

“Oh!...oh, no, um…I know I am supposed to be working, I am sorry…”

“It’s okay,” he grunted. “I could tell you needed a break.”

They sat, watching the visitors come and go, the birds darting beneath the benches and chattering amongst themselves.

“I…I don’t know if I can do this,” Moongaze confessed. “I haven’t done research in a long time. It’s been tough for me to think much less write well lately. I’m…I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to be like me to succeed, Moongaze,” her mentor shook his head gently. He stood. “Your voice will come, in time. Think it over, write when you can. No pressure, ok?” He squeezed her shoulder and ascended the steps, heading inside the museum once more.

Moongaze sat, tears in her fur. She felt so foolish, for being so mad. She didn’t know why the words hadn’t come to her. She envied Riley then, and let the feeling go.

I really need to get back into my work, she thought as she turned around to go inside the museum.

“Wait!” came a familiar call. Riley bolted up the stairs, his eyes shining and his enthusiasm sparkling. “Hey! Let me help!”

“…you…want to help?” Moongaze paused, and Riley faced her.

“Sure! You helped me,” he breathed. “It’s only fair.”

“I…I don’t see how my sour mood can help anyone,” Moongaze lowered her head, feeling embarrassed.

“Nonsense!” Riley beamed. “I was in no better shape than you. You know, you are rather inspiring!”

“…really…?”

“Yes!” Riley tilted his head in the direction of the museum. They walked inside. “Think about it—how many cubs have you passed your torch to? How many look up to you? You know a hell of a lot more than most ever will in their lifetimes. You…you helped remind me of that.”

“I will never know as much as…”

“No one knows everything,” Riley shook his head, tilting it, staring at Moongaze. “Sure, some of us are good at certain aspects of paleo, not everyone is a fieldworker, so what! I think you’re great, and I think you have potential. I can help you edit your work as you go, if you’d like. Gives me a chance to appreciate my editors!” he chuckled.

“Oh, I don’t know, I don’t want to burden you…!”

“You’re not,” Riley grinned. He sat next to her, rotated her laptop around, and typed a paragraph on the blank page.

She wanted to experience the romance of fieldwork, seeking treasures of lost time…watching the stars at night, beacons of the past…wondering if her research would be understood and appreciated in the years after publication, long after the years of pain in the process had passed. For writing as a scientist is never easy, it is often a skill we don’t use enough in this day and age. Know that this work you are about to read is one she has labored on for more than enough time. She volunteered her time to travel and see the world as she does, in her eyes the dinosaurs of long ago live again, and in ways more detailed than many can ascertain. Thank her for it, and thank you for reading.

Moongaze’s eyes filmed with tears. She wiped them away as she started writing, the glare of the computer screen in the dark room the only light in her path.
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #96 on: October 12, 2017, 10:10:07 am »
Nicly written as usual Iara. I look forward to your next work. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #97 on: October 14, 2017, 05:08:36 pm »
Thank you Old Rabbit! Developing ideas for the WIP prompts that remain...your readership is appreciated!  (:
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #98 on: October 15, 2017, 10:27:18 am »
Glad to help Iara. 

I might try a bit of writing myself next month. :orbunny: Since I can't
see well enough to draw much of anything nowadays.

By the way. Here is anew word. "Isolate"
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #99 on: October 21, 2017, 10:28:35 pm »
Ilk

Moongaze sat in her room, the sunlight streaming through the window and hitting her desk. She was in the middle of drawing a comic about a unicorn that owned a bakery when the rumble of her father’s snarl ripped the air. “Moongaze!!” he yelled, his rage barely contained as per the usual.

Moongaze hid her work hastily as her mother entered the room, her eyes sad. “Moongaze, why aren’t you at dinner with us?”

“I’m coming,” she warbled, reluctant to leave the sanctuary of her room. There, she would not be teased endlessly. In her art, she could be free. Free from the pain of being different, free from ridicule and criticism by turns from her siblings, her parents, her so-called friends.

Years had passed since that time of living with her parents, but the memories flooded her mind as she set foot in the conference, donning her new fursuit.

“What are you doing, associating with that ilk?!” her father would admonish her for creating her characters. “You need to get serious about your career!”

Moongaze tried to hold her head high inside her unicorn suit. Echoes of her father’s voice traveled to her from the lion that shook his head at her, the shocked conference attendees.

She made her way toward the bar, eager to drink some of her pain away.

She sat, unable to see who was next to her. Her plush pastel pink fur contrasted with the rich mahogany of the bar table, her punky rainbow swirl of mane and tail catching the fluorescent lighting and making it sparkle.

A throat was cleared, and someone sat next to her. “Nice suit,” a male voice grunted. It sounded muffled and far away.

“Thanks,” Moongaze sighed. She gestured for the bartender, but the male next to her took care of her request.

“What’ll it be…uh…”

The bartender, a gray fox, wrinked his nose at the sight of his new clientele. One was in suit as a unicorn, the other a dragon. Other conference attendees leaned in and whispered to each other, their looks a mixture of confusion, scorn and dismissal.

“Some wine for my lady?” the dragon turned to the unicorn.

“Uh…sure,” Moongaze blushed.

The dragon slid some cash to the bartender, who quickly turned away to get the glasses and wine poured. “These conferences get weirder every year,” he grumbled as he popped the cork.

“So uh…the conference is off to a good start,” the unicorn began nervously, pawing her multicolored tail with her golden hooves. The bartender slid the unlikely pair the glasses of wine.

“Yes, it is,” the dragon nodded. “Tell me true,” the dragon swirled the wine in his glass, “how are things with you?”

“They are going well,” the unicorn lied, sipped her wine slowly. “And with you?”

“Eh, yes, they are going well also.” He tossed the wine back, a practiced move that indicated he was used to drinking in suit, a feat unto itself.

“You don’t belong with them,” came an old echo, a harsh hiss in Moongaze’s ear. “You can’t be an artist, what money is there in that? You will fail at everything you want to be good at, because you can’t do it. What do you have to offer? You are disabled and antisocial, Moongaze. No one wants you around, you are a burden and you are a curse upon this family!”

Moongaze swallowed the wine. It burned through her body like her father’s harsh words.

“Old wounds take a long time to heal,” the dragon sighed, staring at the empty glass. He set it on the bar table, gazed at Moongaze gently. “Is that why you suit?”

“…huh?” Moongaze was pulled out of her dark reverie.

“…do you suit, to escape the pain?”

“I…uh…” Moongaze felt her cheeks flush, the interior of the suit becoming hotter every second. It was a bad idea to drink while in suit, she thought as the buzz washed over her.

“It’s okay,” the dragon turned toward her. He held her paws in his, in a sudden gesture of gentleness. “I understand how you feel.”

Moongaze felt tears sting her eyes. This complete stranger was so warm and tender, and all at once she felt like a fool for just sitting there, her paws in his, not saying a word.

She felt she didn’t deserve any of it.

“Um…excuse me,” she stood, her legs wobbly from the drink. “I uh…I have to go…”

“Want some air?” the dragon nodded. “It does get really hot in these things.”

“No…I uh…listen, this is all sudden, you know? I…I’m not ready…I’m not what you think, who you want.” Moongaze looked around for the bathroom, feeling lightheaded and as clouded as her unicorn suit.

The dragon was taken aback. He sat at the bar again. “Well…it’s okay. Thank you for your time. Take care, okay?”

Moongaze stumbled into the bathroom, slammed the stall door shut.

She tore off her unicorn head, sat down on the toilet, and sobbed.

“I feel so alone,” she wept.

A knock on the stall door. “Hey,” came a soft feminine voice. “Hey. You ok?”

“…uh…” Moongaze quickly wiped her tears and nose, dabbed the sweat off her tongue and flushed the toilet. “Uh…sorry, I didn’t know I wasn’t in here by myself…”

“You ok?” the voice repeated.

“…yeah. Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks.”

Moongaze waited for the other fur to leave. She replaced her head and sighed.

She unclipped her badge, wandered out the convention’s doors, her father’s words gutting her.

“Wait a second!” called the dragon, who ran up behind her. She was about to get into her ride home.

“Why?” Moongaze hissed at the kind stranger. “You’ll just reject me anyway.”

She slammed the car door shut and the dragon stood, watching her leave. He clenched his fists in rage, wondering why he wanted her to come to the convention, why he expected anything else.

Moongaze looked out the car window, her unicorn head’s eyes reflecting the streetlights. She sighed. She regretted her decision, but it was too late to change it.

Rejecting one of his ilk is easier than being rejected in the first place, she told herself.
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