A couple of items:
TWO STORIES COMING! My story about Holly being possessed (the theme: transform) will go into Fault Zone, an anthology that the Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) prints once a year. Their standards are high, at least for me. Also, I sent a story to Scripting Change (my third), Holly’s second encounter with the Karate Queen (the theme: recovering from domestic violence). So I’ll be posting links when they are available. I am slowly becoming an author. (Still have to put a couple stories on Kindle that are ready to go.)
FLASH FICTION! A week ago, at the Fremont CWC, we had a flash fiction exercise with the first line:
As I came out of the coffee shop, there he was again. The stocky grey-haired man. Was he following me?
And below is what I wrote. (I edited and added a little after the exercise.)
Did he have a death wish, like those pervy paparazzi whose telephoto lenses keep zooming in on my butt whenever the slightest breeze brushes my red cape aside? There were still those who tried zooming in on my super-bosom. Usually one growl from me and they retreated, fearful of a telephoto suppository.
No. He did not look the type. He wore a plain grey suit. White shirt. Grey tie. Grey eyes. He was older, but healthy-looking. He walked like a retired linebacker, firmly but gently stomping toward me.
Was he a supervillain? If so, he was certainly not stealthy. And against me, the mightiest of the superheroes, or should I say superheroine, he’d need a lot of muscle. His hands were thick, callused, nails cracked. Many decades of manual labor in those hands. Reminded me of growing up, and meeting the farmers who never ever seemed to stop working. I was still getting used to being a superheroine, getting the call to come to the rescue butting into my life. Remembering the farmers helped me put things into perspective, helped me see what real labor was. Sort of. I STILL hated having to leave half an iced mocha and an early draft of my next graphic novel to go punch out those annoying members of the super man-up club, GOD I hate those guys, most rudely stupidly macho morons ever!
But this guy. He stared at me. But he did not ogle me. And he came closer, closer. And I set my e-bracelet to call Cal the Intellectual just in case. And he stopped in front of me.
“Are you Miss Holly Hansson?” He rolled his Rs with a thick accent from some ancient slavic country. And really, I was in my blue supersuit and red cape. My cape and my long blonde hair were blowing in the wind. He must not watch the news very often.
“Yes,” I said.
He reached into his jacket. I remembered Michael Corleone protecting his (God)father with the same exact motion. I tensed, but remembered I was bulletproof.
He pulled out a graphic novel. “My granddaughter in the old country. She vants your autograph.”
“Certainly, I’d love to.” Ah, another fangirl. I’d have to give him my card so she could contact Kittygirl and maybe join my fanclub. Kittygirl loved to meet new fans. Even if she could only email them.
I opened the book, usually I signed the inside front cover. Then I noticed that I would not be the first person to scribble in this book. All the word balloons had writing near them. He must have translated the entire story into his native tongue. The penmanship was strong, legible, all capital letters. He’d even translated the sound effects words. A dog bark was BOFF instead of WOOF.
I took another look at his hands. They had a constant, slight tremor. Every joint was swollen. Arthritis. Advanced. I turned through the hundreds of pages of the graphic novel. Every last word, translated. Every. last. painful. word. I looked into his deep, grey eyes set in a weather wrinkled face.
He smiled, very apologetic. “Sorry I had to vrite in your book. My granddaughter does not know English.”
I gently held his hand. “You should be the one wearing the cape here.”
He chuckled. “Me? In da clingy supersuit? Dat vould look silly!”