Argyria (A 200-Word Drabble)

So I’m dipping my toes into science fiction with Wattpad @sciencefiction’s challenge of writing a 200-word drabble (hence, a duoabble) that involves a teen-ager and an alien life form in 200 words, no more, no less.

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Dear Diary,

I made a new friend today.  Her name is Argyria, though I only named her that because her real name was too hard to pronounce it was ridiculous. Oh, and she’s got blue skin, like those people who spent too much time around silver, though I think it’s pretty awesome.  I call her Argy.

And she’s new. Her family arrived that one night the sky lit up and the whole world showed up in our little town to ask if we saw anything (we didn’t).  So when the lights disappeared, they did, too.  Anyway, everything’s back to normal in Nowhere Town. Population: 500.

Argy says, make that 501.

She’s all Goth, too, like me, and she wears the coolest all-black contact lenses that look way too real to be contacts, so not like the ones I wore for Halloween that sent me to the ER.  That’s what I get for buying cheap stuff online, so now I need to know where she buys hers from.

Oh, and she invited me to her house tonight for a welcome party for some Chosen One or something. It sure sounds pretty awesome and I can’t wait to check it out.  Laters.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Girl At the Top of the Stairs

Go for a classic genre of suspense: write a horror story, using the break to build tension as your readers move to the next page.

Papa was stupid.

That was all I could think of as I lay in bed thinking of what people were saying about him now that he was dead and buried. And the woman who had been in the car with him buried, too, though none of us knew who she was. Just some random woman maybe. Or his mistress. For all dads had their mistresses. For wasn’t that that how the world worked?

I rolled onto my belly, letting my back cool off as sweat had soaked the sheets beneath me. I had been napping when the overhead fan simply stopped working, but downstairs, I could hear the stand fan keep going as the neighbor’s dog barked outside. I sighed. Just another quirk of this new apartment we had moved into since papa’s unexpected death. We had been forced to move out of the house we’d lived in for years to help pay for his mounting debts, and now here we were in a small apartment in a cul-de-sac, a place that never seemed to get any sunlight.

And yet it was damn hot.

Papa had gone out that night, not planning on returning till the following morning. He and mama had had another argument, like they always did. It was always about the women. He simply could not get his hands off them. And they couldn’t get their hands off his money.

But that morning, he didn’t return. By afternoon, we learned the news long after everyone else did. One of my aunts had been the one brave enough to go to the morgue to identify him, as no one else dared to do it. Even mama could not do it.

He’d been in a car accident just outside of the city. The car was speeding along the darkened roads, and it swerved, wrapping around a balete tree, a form of a ficus that grew abundantly along the countryside. Papa and the woman did not survive, but the stories still being told of how their bodies were found could still be heard throughout the days following his death. I could not listen to them. He was my papa after all, no matter what a bastard he’d been to us.

Mama had found the apartment through a friend of a friend though we could no longer remember who. It was only a few blocks from our closest relatives, and it was cheap. It was also available on such short notice and that was what mattered, for the bank was quick to kick us out and take over their property.

And so we moved in, despite the worried stares of the neighbors who shut their doors and peered at us through their windows, their hands to their mouths. And each time we caught their gaze, they’d look up at the second story window, before looking away.

But that was two weeks ago, and each morning since then they’d say hello and ask us how our night went, whether we were all okay. But of course we were fine.

Why wouldn’t we be?

The Guilt Trip

I’ve been slacking off on my Daily Prompts and to make up for all those missed posts, I’m going to do the WP Weekly Writing Challenge instead.  This week, I will get to learn how to add pages to my blog post while I tell you a story.  So let’s hope you’re buckled in and ready to go!

I was finally back in New York City, and this time, I was actually staying in New York City – as in Manhattan.

No more taking the cab to Forest Hills where my mother lived and where each trip into Manhattan took some logistical planning, and having to say good-bye to my Manhattan friends and to a night of more promising fun (that I couldn’t have) broke my adventurous heart each time.  Because even in my late twenties, whenever I visited my mother, I had a curfew to keep.

However, this day was not that day to start watching that clock.

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That first night, I stayed in a hotel in midtown, where my friend Greg took me to dinner and then up to the Empire State Building.  For a local, he said he’d never been up there before – but that was because he was, after all, a local.

“Only tourists come up here,” he smiled.

The next day, I met up with John, who also lived in Midtown and whose studio apartment had a view of the Empire State Building.  We were going to be joined by another friend from Canada who would come in two days later.  In the meantime, John and I had the time to ourselves and the first order of business was who got the floor and who got the only couch/bed in his studio – because I sure as heck wasn’t sharing that one with him.

Thank goodness, John and I were just friends  because I don’t think I could have handled any more sexual romantic advances on this adventure.

Those first two days were filled with so many activities.  I got to see Manhattan from the eyes of a local – and not just from John’s point of view, but from my other friends as well.  John took me out to lunch at South Street Seaport after a long walk from Midtown, stopping by Central Park to meet friends, before browsing through flea markets.  And after a brief break, we then met more friends at some hip new restaurant called Americano – or something like that.  Honestly, it was all a blur.

Why?

Because I didn’t tell my mother I was in town.  Neither did I tell my boyfriend who lived a few blocks from my mother in Forest Hills.

I know, I was bad.  Like, really bad.

And guilt was making me not really enjoy myself unless I had a lot to drink – which, in Manhattan is not a problem at all.