9 June, 2010
Somehow I seem to have fallen out of fictional inspiration lately, having difficulties finding the time and inspiration to focusing my mind on it.
It is still my hope and intention to some day get back to the Wordzzle game and finish off The Slumber Party Mystery story.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #69

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 69

Mini challenge: motorcycle, grandiose, summer, flying off the handle, blue jays

Ten Word Challenge: Chorus line, clam chowder, apples, jack-in-the-box, puddles, Iran, quarry, housekeeping, speed, letter

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 16
- The Letter

Lt. Skittles was beginning to question seriously whether he really had the right qualifications for his job. Right now, he felt he would need to be a psychatrist to be able to sort out whether this young girl was suffering from serious grandiose delusions, or just babbling. How do you continue questioning someone who has just informed you that she thinks of herself as "the goddess of the hunt"? In combination with the summer heat, he felt himself dangerously close to flying off the handle. He looked desperately around the room for inspiration, but all the strange objects in there were no help at all. That picture on the wall, for example, of two blue jays sitting on a motorcycle… Actually, anyone could go crazy growing up in a place like this, he suddenly thought.

"Look here," he started to say, but was interrupted by the butler appearing like a jack-in-the-box, carrying a tray with a letter, a glass of water and the aspirins that Skittles had asked for earlier.

"Oh, Bumblebee!" exclaimed Diana. "You're a darling, you always know exactly what I need!" She rose from her chair, took the pills and emptied the glass, before Skittles had time to even blink. "I'm so sorry you have to do all the housekeeping this weekend, but of course we shall have to change the menu for this evening. Do you think you could manage to whip up that clam chowder of yours instead? And I was thinking of asking you to make raspberry tart for dessert, but if there aren't any raspberries, you could use apples instead." She was talking with such speed that Skittles suddenly got the impression of watching a chorus line, except of course that she was performing solo.

"May I suggest bass instead of clam chowder, miss?" asked Bumblebee. "And by the way, I thought you might want to know that Puddles is back."

"Puddles? Who is Puddles?" said Skittles, hoping for some useful information at last.

"Oh, I'm so glad! I was wondering whether I would have to go out on a hunt again, with her as quarry," said Diana. Turning to Skittles, she added: "Puddles is my cat, a Persian. Like from Iran. I mean, Iran used to be Persia, you know. But don't worry, I don't really hunt cats any more, that was just an attempt at a joke." She took the letter from the tray that Bumblebee was still holding out to her. "Oh, excellent!" she exclaimed. "This is the blackmail letter I sent to myself. And the right postage, too."

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 68

For the rules of the game, go to Raven's Nest. For this week's words, also a special thanks to Dr John!

Since I've been a on a "break" from this game for a couple of weeks, I take the opportunity to make double use of this weeks words instead - first the 10 word challenge, then the mini, then all 15 together - to move along with my ongoing story:

The Slumber Party Mystery
Ten Word Challenge: sow, close, console, lives, minute, polish, bass, pussy, complex, resume

Chapter 13 - Meditations in the Garden

While Diana was pouring her heart out to Lieutenant Skittles in the library, William and Adam were left together out on the terrace, not knowing how to resume the conversation, or even if they were supposed to talk at all.

William looked at the marigolds that he himself had helped the gardener sow, thinking about how much he would like to be close to Diana and console her. She had seemed so upset about the fire, even though it had been put out (by him, William!) before it had done any real damage.

Adam, meanwhile, absentmindedly polished the smooth surface of a marble statue with his handkerchief, contemplating how complex the whole situation was, and how people's lives can change in less than a minute.

A cat came strolling over the lawn. William tried to call it: "Pussy-pussy-puss…" but the cat ignored him and disappeared around the corner of the house. Seeing the cat reminded Adam of that time several years ago that he had caught Diana chasing another cat in the same garden, with a bow and arrow from her grandfather's collection. He did not know what to make of the young woman she had grown up to be. Deeply absorbed in his own thoughts, he hardly took any notice when William said:

"If the lieutenant asks for me, tell him I just went round to the kitchen to help Bumblebee with the groceries. I really need to explain to him why he got bass instead of stingray."

Mini challenge: bow, sewer, house, import, intern

Chapter 14 - Following the Cat

William followed the cat around the corner of the house. Entering the kitchen, he made a polite bow to Bumblebee. He had always found the butler a very impressive man, and he himself was really only a sort of intern at the grocery store, at least when it came to dealing with more important things than just driving the van.

"I'm very sorry about the fish, sir," he said. "I know you wanted stingray, but there was some kind of problem with the import regulations and the bill of lading, so we didn't get any. I took the liberty of bringing you bass instead."

For a moment, William felt that the butler looked at him as if he was something that had just come up out of the sewer; but then he just sighed and said in a quite friendly tone of voice: "Never mind, it obviously wasn't your fault. And by the looks of things no one will be wanting a barbeque this evening anyway…"

Mega Challenge: All 15 words
Chapter 15 - A Life of Pretending

In the library, Diana had had another attack of tears, and Lieutenant Skittles was trying to console her and make her resume her complex story; which he still sensed might possibly be of some import, although he found it difficult to understand.

"Come, come," he said in a deep bass voice, "take a minute to calm yourself, and then try to explain it all to me again.

"My grandmother used to say, we all reap what we sow," sighed Diana, "and I guess she was right, wasn't she, although we were never really close. It wasn't all easy, you know, growing up in this house. Sometimes I felt like an intern, a prisoner, or something they had had to rescue from the sewer. It often seemed to me that in this family, we had to polish our lives as well as all the silver and brass. But all that shiny stuff, that's not really me. So that's why I started making up my own adventures. Like pretending Pussy was a tiger, and borrowing grandfather's bow for the hunt, to make it feel real." She looked at Skittles to see if he understood, but he just stared back blankly at her.

"You don't get it, do you?" she said. "The only thing I felt I had as a child that was really my own was my name: Diana. And Diana is the goddess of the hunt. That I learned from these books." She made another gesture around the walls of the library. "So all the games I played as a child were based on that. And when I took up writing – well, I didn't realize it at first, but I do now – it's just been another way of continuing the same game."