Auggie

“They call you what?” Dec asked with a raise of the brow. He checked over his camera’s case to make sure he had everything he needed. The last thing he needed right now was to leave anything behind. Or maybe it was the first thing he needed. With care, he switched his cellphone from one shoulder to the other, cradling it to his ear as he zipped the camera case closed.

“You heard me.”

“Auggie? Isn’t that a cartoon dog?”

“Shut up, Dec.

“Yeah, yeah.”

Why did their parents think it was a great idea to name them after their birthdays? Well, on the up side, it meant that it made their birthdays easier to remember–provided people knew their middle names. Dec did pretty much anything in his power to keep that secret.

“You should really give them a call though, August.” Silence on the other end–but the kind of silence that spoke volumes. Dec sighed as he slipped his camera bag over his head and brought the phone back up to his ear. Still nothing?

“Come on. How long are you going to hold it against them that they’re… well, you know. Themselves?”

“Look. Now’s not the time or place for this,” August said, sounding weary of the topic. Dec could just see him rolling his eyes. Hell, he could practically hear it over the phone. “Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how things were going and see what was new with you. Sounds like things are basically the same.”

“Pre-etty much.”

Dec stopped to look around the studio. The photoshoot was over and he was the only one left, trailing behind everybody else. The models were long gone, of course, their managers and friends ushering them away with promises of new jobs or celebratory drinks. And the rest of the crew had either cleared out or were taking a break before they did, too.

“Anyway, I saw your last shoot in my girlfriend’s magazine.”

“Uh-huh. You bought it and you’re just using her as a cover.”

His brother laughed and just like that, the tension seemed to melt away.

“Yeah. Sure. I do it just to stroke your ego. But yeah! I think you’re getting really good. Like… I think you should be able to do more than magazines, you know?”

“There’s not really much that gets bigger than these magazines. I like having models and those people who put out books are more landscape and travel photographers. Or… abstract, I guess. I like what I’m doing. Fashion. You know. And models. Nothing’s more expressive than a human. Their face. Their body.”

“All right, all right. Don’t get all artsy fartsy on me. Listen, I gotta go. I’m meeting Leah in a few. But I’ll talk to you later. And next time, don’t hold out on me. If I have to find out from my girlfriend one more time that you’ve done another shoot–!”

Dec smirked. August had no idea he just did a shoot. But it didn’t matter–the thing wouldn’t be out until they edited the life out of the photos. That was probably one of the most annoying parts about his job. The photoshoppers were more valuable to the magazines than he was.

“I’ll talk to you later, Auggie.

“Bye, December Eleven.”

“Hey–!” But before he could counter with his brother’s full name, August hung up. “Asshole.”

Nano 2015!

Nano is fast approaching. This year, my friend and I are going to try something a little different. Since we’re both busy with various things and this is her first official try for Nano, we’re going to go halfsies. Yep, she is writing one half and I am writing one half–in the form of a penpal letters back and forth. I’m looking forward to it. I think we’ll put together a cohesive tale between the letters. 🙂

[Snippet] Madness

“And you’ll feel a little pinch…”

Nerio barely felt the needle entering his skin. Only a couple of years ago, the sight of a needle would have made him light-headed and sick to his stomach. Now he didn’t so much as blink as Dr. Mercury injected him with… He didn’t know what. He used to ask each time with anxiety shaking his voice. Now he didn’t care. Vitamins, steroids, immunizations. A pilot needed to take a lot of shit in order to stay in fighting shape.

“There you go. You’re all set.”

Dr. Mercury smiled at him, her lipstick too red, her smile almost clownish. Nerio’s smile back was empty, brief, and insecure as he slid off the exam table and let his sleeve fall back down over the bandage the doctor placed on his arm. It did burn a little but these days, he was becoming numb to the after effects.

“Remember to report any side effects to your supervisor.”

“…right.” Nerio nodded and bumbled through the door and out of the sterile room, with its beige walls and posters of how to stay healthy and know the signals of illness. Lately, he was in such a fog that he wasn’t sure he knew which way was up and which was down.

Somehow, he made it back to the barracks, where he dropped into a heavy sleep. But when he woke up, he felt like he never slept and his whole body was shaking. The windows were dark and other soldiers and mecha pilots were now occupying their beds. Some snored loudly, others breathed in, out–soft and peaceful. Nerio raised a shaking hand to the side of his head, which pounded incessantly. Slowly, he crawled out of bed and swung his legs over the bunk. His feet touched the ground but when he tried to stand, everything felt like jelly.

He had to crawl to the bathroom, where he heaved out his guts. First he felt hot, searing from the inside and then he felt cold. He shivered and shook, holding onto the toilet bowl. Normally, he’d never rest his cheek tiredly against a toilet bowl but he felt like he was dying. His face on a toilet bowl was hardly the pressing issue here. Flashes of red clotted his vision and then the most horrific thoughts. Blood on his hands, blood on his face. His mother, his father. And who was that? Rien?

The next thing he knew, somebody was laughing and poking him on the shoulder, jabbing him where the shot had been given. Pain ran all the way down his arm. He lifted his head and looked up at one of the soldiers. A couple of the other guys were laughing and jostling one another. Amongst the words spoken, he heard hangover and something about partying too much. Ha ha. That was so Nerio. Such a partier. Not.

Forcing himself to stand up, Nerio dragged himself to a sink so he could wash his face. No, what he needed was a full on shower. Stripping down, he stepped into one of the showers and let the cool water cascade over him, waking him up and mostly dispelling the sickly feeling that clung to the edges of consciousness. Once he was washed up and awake, he made his way back over to his bunk. Honestly, now that he was clean and moving, he almost forgot just how crappy he felt the day before.

He smiled slightly to himself as he sat on the edge of the bunk.

Novel Updates

My novel’s up for critique and I’ve received several reviews already. I’m pretty excited about the direction of this novel. I’ve also commissioned artwork of the three main characters, so keep an eye out for those. I plan to link them here when they’re finished! In the meantime, check out this review excerpt:

I enjoyed reading this a lot. You immediately drop the reader into situation where there has obviously been a fair amount of action already having taken place—so I’m interested finding out how we got to this point—and clearly there’s a fair amount of action yet to come—which I also want to know.

Why do I roleplay?

Honestly… I roleplay because I love to write and I know my partner at least will be reading it and that they’ll care what happens next in the story. They’re a part of it, so they’re every bit as invested as I am. When I write alone, I don’t get that same feeling. In fact, I start feeling despair the further I go on by myself that everything I’m writing will forever be left unread and it’s depressing. Like what’s the point?

Most of the things I write aren’t things the people around me in real life care about so I don’t show them what I’m writing or get any input. It’s lonely. Roleplay allows me to do my number one favorite thing: write–and it matters to at least the one person I’m writing with. That’s all that matters and all I ever wanted. Being rich and famous? Not really and that’s why I become less motivated to spit out novels as time goes on.

I still call myself a writer because I usually spend most of my day writing and I get to define myself the same way anybody else does. I write, therefore, I am a writer. I don’t get paid to do it, but that doesn’t make me any less of a writer.

And that’s what I was thinking about today when asked the question: “What makes you RP?”

Follow You

Long, wicked black claws curled around his closet door with a soft tick-tick sound. One narrow red eye peered through the slim opening, glowing imperiously. Everything else in the room was cast in deep shadow. Only that eye and those claws seemed visible in a sea of darkness.
Matthew held his breath and watched. He tried not to move. He tried not to exist. Wide hazel eyes remained fixed on the claws because the eye filled him with cold dread. That eye paralyzed him.
Visions of blood and claw marks flashed through his memory, sepia and red film reeling violently. Matthew could not breathe. He couldn’t think. He closed his eyes. He trembled.
The sound of claws sliding over wood and plaster sent a shiver down his spine.
“Gil,” he whispered, his voice shaking on the single syllable.
He heard Gil’s voice in his head.
“I see them every night, Matt. They’re hunting me.”

School

NOVEMBER 7: school

“Lemme school you on this,” Connor said in his lyrical accent, shaking the can of spray paint in his hand. He regarded the dusty brick wall in front of him with a slightly tilted his head. He took a step forward. “I’ve been doing this since you were in diapers.”

“Uh-huh,” Noel said but he watched Connor with veiled interest in his blue eyes. He sat on an old milk crate turned upside down, hands between his legs and gripping the crate. His black and grey striped tuque was pulled down low enough to cover his eyebrows, covering his piercing. He bit his lower lip and Connor could see him jiggling his right leg before his gaze darted around.

“Don’t worry, we won’t be caught,” he assured the kid before he stepped forward and began to spray out his initials. CDO. He smirked at its correlation with OCD. People thought that was what it was, the code that he sprayed. He heard some girls scoffing about it before and he almost laughed aloud right in their ears. He didn’t, of course. Graffiti artists were a notorious attention seeking lot but they wanted to remain anonymous at the same time. It was a weird kind of exhibition.

“You start with your signature?” Noel asked.

“Yep.” He didn’t bother explaining why.

When he finished his initials, he started in on his actual painting, which he had decided would be…

“Is that a shamrock?” Noel asked.

“Yep.” He smirked. “Irish, in case you didn’t notice.”

Crashing

It’s a little early but I’m already at that point in my NaNo novel where I hate what I’m writing… Just going to keep chugging along because I want to at least finish this thing but once it’s over, I need to go back to my one of my older novels and get in some editing…

Callous

NOVEMBER 6: callous

He stared down the barrel of the gun, imagining how it might feel to pull the trigger.

Loneliness was a bitter ache, deep in his bones. All this time, he thought by remaining detached and callous, he could keep his heart guarded. All this time, he didn’t even believe he had a heart to guard. Who in all this time had he loved as much as his younger brother, whom he loved as much as he resented, whom he missed and who seemed to have forgotten him. Then when they saw one another again, he was met with anger and misunderstandings. Miki was too quick to jump to conclusions. And what must he think of Hiro, deep, deep down, for him to believe that Hiro willingly melted into the shadows and out of his life.

Hiro didn’t want a heart, when it felt so heavy as this. He thought of all those nights he came home late and Joo Won looked at him with those hurt eyes but smiled as he tried to understand, tried to logically piece together the reasons Hiro stayed away or the way he touched him, the way he tried to keep pace when Hiro was disgustingly voracious or when he was dolorously incapable, his body unable to react even when his heart was at its fullest.

Joo Won was a man of science. Logically, if Hiro said one thing but his body said another, it was easier to believe the body. A body wasn’t supposed to lie while the tongue could elicit and create untruths, hundreds of them, thousands. He watched for a long time, the way Joo Won’s mind tried to be practical when he was feeling emotional, the way he tried to apply emotion to logic later. What would he do, in his place? It was frustrating.

He wished lately he had no heart to ache and he wondered if it would be better that way in the end for Joo Won. He lowered the gun. It would be easier for him to pull the trigger but deep down, deep, deep down, he knew it would do Joo Won no favors. Lying to himself about why he wanted to do it made it no less easier to put the gun down.

The heart inside him, that was a testament to the human still left inside. He touched his hand to his chest. It ached even to touch, as if his body sympathized with his heart and mind.