Random song title challenge: Road Tripping

This weeks challenge: Pick random song. Write story with random song as title.

This is my contribution, hurtled into cyberspace in a hurry because I am off to work in a few minutes. Yeah! Made it before the time limit. (Please excuse any spelling mistakes and other weird mistakes I’ve made. Haven’t got the time to be so anal about it as I usually am=

My song was Road Trip by Runrig.

Road Trip

By Trine Toft Schmidt

“So can I take it out for a test drive?” Mum smiles a dazzling smile at the pot-bellied forty-something man and gives the shiny red convertible another lingering look.

Danica leans back against her Ford Escape and feel sorry for the guy. She’s watched her mother work her smiles since she was a kid and know this guy doesn’t stand a chance.

“Sure, I’ll take you round the block.”

Mum’s smile dips with a dash of disappointment.

“Oh, I was hoping… You see, my grandson turns 16 in a couple of days, but my daughter is a…” an eye roll is applied “…hen-mothering control freak. Do you think we could take it out for a spin on our own? I promise we will be right back.”

“Oh I don’t know.” The man shoots Danica a look. Bites his lip.

“How about this? You hold on to the keys to her…” Flick of head toward Danica. “…dull-mobile, while we give your little tiger a spin.” She ramps up the smile up to flirtatious.

“Oh, why not? You look like nice enough ladies.” He fishes a set of keys out his pocket.

 

The wind is playing havoc on Danica’s hair and she is freezing. The her arms are so dimpled with goosebumps it almost hurts.

Mum is clearly enjoying herself though, she’s tied a scarf around her hair and is grinning, singing along to the radio and waving, like some Hollywood starlet, at passing cars. A trucker leers down at them from above and honks his horn. Danica looks away, but mum waggles her fingers at him and floors the accelerator.

“Jeez mum. You’re fifty nine, not twenty nine!”

“Don’t talk about my age honey.” Mum turns up the music, probably to drown out further insults, and starts sabotaging Money For Nothing.

“Can’t we turn back? We’re going away for the weekend and I want to be home when Caleb comes home.”

Mum makes a sound in the back of her throat.

“What?”

“Nothing. Relax, I told you, I’ll drive down to the Plains City exit then turn back. Thirty minutes tops.”

Danica sighs. Leans back against the seat and watches the road.

“So what do you think?”

“About what?”

“The car. Isn’t she amazing?” Mum strokes the leather of the steering wheel.

“No. It’s uncomfortable, too small. Where are you going to keep your groceries and stuff?”

“A convertible isn’t about comfort or groceries. It’s about fun and love and sex and freedom!” Mum presses the accelerator again and the car vibrates underneath Danica. It’s slightly nauseating.

“I like my Ford Explorer just fine. It’s solid and steady and it takes me where I want without any fuss.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe you are actually my daughter Danica. You need to live a little, since you met Caleb you’ve been so… static.”

“I am not even going to dignify that with an answer.” Barbs about her husband is par for the course when she spends time with mum.

A sign saying something about Plains City and exit 79 zips by on the right and Danica closes her eyes and waits for the turn around. Does up a list of things to pack, reminds herself to pick up a couple of bottles of wine for dinner. Imagines snuggling up in front of the fireplace and having slow passionate sex under the star-filled skylight.

 

She wakes up, stiff and uncomfortable, when a truck honks its horn right next to her.

“I guess I nodded off.” She sits up straight. “It feels like I’ve been in this seat for hours, my ass is killing me.”

Mum doesn’t say anything, just sends her a strange smile, one she doesn’t recognize, a stiff widening of lips until they snap back into a determined half-scowl. Danica blinks and takes a deep breath.

“So, are you going to buy it?” Danica runs her hand down the seat, twirl her finger in one of the cup holders. Mum just shrug.

A green sign heralding exit 123 flies by.

Danica blink. Shakes her head and turns around in the seat in the foolish quest to re-read the sign.

“Did that sign just say New Castle? Where the hell is New Castle?”

“Indiana.”

“What? Indiana? Why the hell are we in Indiana? You were supposed to turn around at Plains City?”

“I decided not to.”

“But…” Danica snaps her mouth shut, looks at the dashboard clock. “You gotta turn around. Caleb’s could be home already.”

“No. We’re going on a road trip.”

“You are what?”

“Road trip, honey. You know the concept right? We are going to Las Vegas.”

“You’ve decided to go on a road trip, in a car… Wait. You stole the car. That’s why you told the whole my grandson’s going to be 16 lie, so you could steal the car?”

A faint hint of color touch mum’s cheeks, but she nods.

“Yes.”

“Are you out of your mind? You put up my car as security so you could steal this junk-bucket? This is crazy. Pull over. I want to get out.”

“No.”

“What do you mean, no? That guy’s probably already called the cops. We’ll be in jail before the sun sets. I don’t want to be a part of this.”

“You already are.”

“No, I am not. I am calling Caleb.”

She pulls out her phone, and starts to punch in Caleb’s number. Marleen reaches over and wrenches the phone out of her hands.

“No calls.”

“Stop playing around, give me back my phone.”

“No.”

“But Caleb’s at home, he must be worried sick.”

“Pah! Of course he isn’t.”

“What do you mean? If he’s not home, then he will be soon. We are going to…”

“To the cabin. Yes. I heard. I don’t understand why you keep believing him. How many times haven’t he promised you he’ll make time and then you end up disappointed?”

“That’s not true, mum give me the phone. I have to call him.”

“No, you don’t.”

Danica eyes the phone, eyes the road. Tries to calculate the risk of grabbing it. Decides against it. She cross her arms over her breasts.

“This is kidnapping. You are kidnapping me.”

“Yes. You might say that.” Mum looks down at the phone in her left hand, then looks to Danica. She flicks her wrist and the phone sails over the door and is gone. She finally looks at Danica. Send her the I-know-best smile.

“It is for your own good honey.”

Twisted Love, a challenge.

Chuck Wendig’s challenge for this… ahem… last… week, was to write a story about twisted love.

My story has two different sets of twisted love, and I had a blast writing it, but it was also seriously difficult, because I tried to write a light-hearted story that insisted on being dark and not very funny at all. I hope the result is still readable.

The word count is 1588. And some of those words are not of the pretty kind, so consider yourself warmed.

Conjugal Love

By Trine Toft Schmidt

Abby can’t get his eyes off the monitors. His heart is tearing apart in tiny icicle splinters.

She’s disappearing out of the left edge of the monitor and he clicks a button, flip the view to another angle, and she is there again, walking three steps behind George. From Abby’s birds-eye view he watch her stop at room 4 while George fiddles with a key.

George open the door and steps inside, but she hesitate. Runs her hands through her hair, finger-combs it over her right shoulder. Smooths down the front of her shirt.

Abby glances at another monitor that overlooks the bleak room 4, with its dingy sofa set and the small bolted-to-the-floor table in the middle.

George is standing at the bottom of the frame and in the middle, already sitting at the table, the psychopathic creep, that is the cause of Abby’s heartbreak, is watching the door with a hollow eyes.

On the hallway monitor Abby’s love puts on a smile, and moves into the lions den. Another shard of ice separate itself from his diminishing heart.

When George steps out of the room and lock the door Abby flips the view so both monitors show room 4.

She has stopped just inside the door, her back to the camera, looking at the crazy psychopath she calls her husband. None of them move.

Then, suddenly, they snap into action. The creep jumps out of his chair and move toward her and she, she opens up her arms for him and they collide in an crushing embrace. Abby’s heart implodes, raining down fragments of ice onto his lungs.

George step back into the office and Abby takes a deep breath. He doesn’t look away from the monitor, doesn’t even blink. If he looks away he is sure it will all spin out of control and she will die.

“What’re you doing?” There’s a creek from George’s chair when he drops himself into it, as if gravity is no longer not strong enough to hold up his ass. Abby doesn’t want to speak, but if he doesn’t, George might start to wonder if Abby’s a little weird. And a little wondering can quickly turn into a lot, and then there’ll be talks in the office and union reps and relocations. Abby needs to stay here, where he can watch over her and keep her safe.

“Just needed to stand a little. That chair seriously needs a replacement.” He flicks his head back, indicating his own chair, foam layer compacted into a half inch slap of rock by a decade’s worth of fat asses.

“Oh.” George sounds bored, uncaring of Abby’s lumbar area.

On the monitor the creep’s long thin arms are like snakes, wrapping themselves around her, as he’s caught his prey, but she is leaning into them as if she doesn’t mind the slither of his arms. It makes Abby’s legs crawl with tiny invisible fire-ants.

“So, do you have any great plans for tonight?” There isn’t room in Abby for  conversation, it’s all he can do to focus on the monitor and try to maintain a look of sanity, while anger, disgust and fear roil inside of him. He puts his hands into his pockets so he can form them into white knuckled fists unseen. He force himself to answer.

“No. Why would I?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day. You can’t possibly not have noticed?”

A psychopathic killer is enjoying the prospects of having a little Valentine’s Day conjugal love with Abby’s dream girl. How could he not have noticed?

Abby shrug.

“So you don’t have a date?”

“No. I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day.”

“Mnnnn. I’ve got tickets for a show and a reservation at LeCuisin, me and the missus is…” George drones on and Abby tunes him out.

On the monitor the hug has morphed into a hungry kiss. The creep has lowered his mouth over her’s, like he’s going to twist his jaws apart and pull her in, inch by inch, until she’s gone.

She has one hand under the orange fabric of his shirt and the other one is toying with the waistband of his jeans. Abby stumbles backwards into his chair, unable to stand any longer.

“How do you think he won the Valentine’s Day Conjugal Lottery? George kicks his chair closer to Abby.

Abby’s legs starts jack-hammering their way through the linoleum.

Tap tap tap taptaptaptaptapapapapapapapap

“I don’t know.” He says through his clenched jaw.

On the monitor the kiss is frantic now. Hands are flying everywhere, squeezing and pinching. Stroking. The creep is pulling her backwards, toward the sofa, his hands on her ass.

Abby’s fingers itch to wrap themselves around something. Someone. He want to carve off the creep’s lips with a butter knife. Burn his fingertips off with a thousand matches. Excise every part of her from him.

The hate is filling his hollow body with pumice and magma and sulfur. His vision blurs and the pressure builds inside, the eruption gathering under his skin.

“Abby? Are you alright?” George asks.

He’s undressing her now, tearing at the buttons of her shirt, and Abby can’t hold it inside any longer.

“No. He’s going to kill her.”

There’s a pause.

“Who is going to kill who?” George sounds the wrong kind of alarmed.

“Him!” Abby stabs a finger at the monitor. “He’s going to kill her. I know it.”

“Abby, what the hell are you on about?”

“ARE YOU COMPLETELY BLIND? Look at him. He’s going to strangle her, like he did his mother.”

“Abby, calm down. He isn’t doing anything. They are just…”

“I DON’T WANT TO KNOW! Listen to me. I worked D-section. I’ve heard him talk about killing, how much he enjoys it, how he enjoys the women who throw themselves at him, like he’s some sort of Psycho-killer-rockstar. He killed his own fucking mother, chopped up his girlfriend with an axe. He’s going to do the same to that girl.” Abby’s out of his seat, his knuckles white around the rim of the monitor. “He’s going to kill her too.”

“Abby, calm down, now. Or I am going to have to go get help. Nothing is happening. He’s not tou…”

“YES HE IS. LOOK!”

George pulls on Abby’s arm, tries to turn him away from the monitors.

“Abby. Calm down. You know how this goes. I’ll have to report this. It’ll go on your record. You’ll loos…”

“TO HELL WITH MY RECORD.” Abby jerks his arm free and suddenly he’s running down the corridor, his hand fumbling with the gun in the holster on his hip. George is calling after him, but Abby can’t hear what he is saying. The only thing he can hear is his heartbeat thundering in his ears and the air that explodes out of him with every straggled breath.

He manages to slip his gun from the holster and he wraps his hand around the cold reliable steel of the grip, while an ear piercing howl start up above him. George has hit the alarm, is probably watching him on the monitors, seeing the gun in his hand. Abby knows he’s going to die. He doesn’t care, he will gladly die, if he can just save her from her husband.

He reaches the door and fumbles with his keys and somehow manages to extricate the right one from the bundle with his shaking hand. The lock has barely clicked, when he aims a kick at the handle and the door slams open. He raises his gun and aim it toward the sofa.

It is empty.

Abby stops dead, his gun shaking in front of him.

“What the fuck are you doing?” A voice says to his right and Abby spins around. He knows that voice.

The world split apart, like a cell dividing, become frames that merge on top of each other. Abby blinks and fights to regain focus.

She’s lying on her stomach across the table and he is fucking her hard from behind, crushing her head against the table. She’s crying and moaning in pain.

Abby blinks again and another frame slides into focus.

They are sitting on either side of the table, hands stretched toward each other, not quite touching. She’s turned in her chair, looking at Abby. Her eyes are dark with fear, locked on the gun he has aimed right at her head.

He blinks a third time and the view shifts again. She’s on her back across the table, naked from the waist down and the creep is thrusting in and out of her, his hands wrapped around her neck. Her eyes are opaque and dead.

Abby shakes his head and tries to make sense of it all, but sounds are assaulting him from all sides, George screaming at him from the door, the alarm howling and someone, a woman, somewhere, is screaming. It is all too much. The magma chamber blows.

He pulls the trigger, feels the recoil in his shaking arms, hears the loud crack and then another, louder, crack.

He is flying sideways, crashing into the sofa, sliding down until he’s on the floor. The pain is a bear ripping into his shoulder with three inch claws. Sounds disappear, light fades.

The last thing he sees before he close his eyes, is her. She’s on the floor, lying on her side, her back turned toward him, an ugly blossom of scarlet red spreading all over her white silk shirt.

The Fairy Tale, Remixed Flash Fiction Challenge

Chuck’s challenge this week was fun. Take a fairy tale and rewrite it any way you see fit. Only requirement: pick a genre and apply it to said fairy tale.

I played around with a lot of fairy tales, mostly H.C. Andersen one’s but ended up rewriting Grimm’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin and applied a dose of Urban Fantasy to it. I hope I do them both justice.

A fair warning, the story is 300 words over goal and I have not reworked the ending as much as I would like to, as time is up and there’s a new challenge waiting for my attention.

Hamelin City Blues

by Trine Toft Schmidt

It had been a pretty shitty day for the mayor. One in an endless string of shitty days. The mayor downed his fifth scotch and blamed the job. The job and the breeds, they were in collusion to kill him.

He looked up from his empty glass and tried to catch Sid’s eye. But Sid was busy serving a couple of doe-eyed werewolves. Damn breeds!

The mayor nodded to himself, recognizing the fact that he was getting closer to cause of the shittiness. Breeds. Making themselves publicly known. Two days after he’d taken office. Kicking up a raging non-stop shitstorm that hadn’t died down yet.

“Is this seat taken?” A young naiad stood in front of him, smiling, all golden hair and perfect skin, except for an oddly attractive patch of scales that ran up the side of her neck.

He smiled back, feeling a little better already, now that a young beautiful thing wanted to sit at his table. Maybe the shitty day could turn into a rather pleasant night.

“No, not at all.” He had to focus not to slur his words and blink to unblur the view of her.

“Great.” She smiled again and the mayor felt a little light-headed. He’d never tried naiad sex before, but he’d heard it was amazing. “Then you wont mind if I borrow this?”

She put a hand on one of the empty chairs and immediately dragged it away. The mayor watched as she gave the chair to one of her mates and then sat down on his lap, laughing hard, probably at the old gullible fool who’d just got sucker punched. The weight of his world settled itself back on his shoulders.

“Tough luck. She’s a stunner.” A tall lean man, dressed in an outrageous purple and white checkered suit, stood in front of him, holding two glasses of delicious amber-colored liquid. The mayor thought he looked like a gypsy or some other traveller.

“If you want the chair just take it.” This time the mayor didn’t care if he slurred his words. He might as well just drown his shitty night in scotch. If he could get Sid’s attention.

“I thought you looked a little thirsty, so I told Sid to give me two of whatever it was you were drinking.” The man pushed a glass filled with amber liquid over to the mayor, then he pulled out the last empty chair and sat down. The mayor noticed that his eyes were almost white.

“What a crowd huh? I mean, I’ve never seen so many breeds in one place, having fun, being harmonious.”

“They can all go to hell. Or better yet, walk right back into the woods.”

“You don’t like breeds? Odd place to drink then.”

“This was my favorite bar before they all declared themselves. Trouble makers one and all.”

“Really? They all seem peaceful to me”

The mayor emptied the glass, feeling all of his rage and frustration bubble in his ulcer-infested stomach.

“Pah! It’s a facade. I’ve got werewolves running amok every bloody full moon. There’s the vampires,” the mayor shuddered, “…don’t get me started on the fucking vampires.”

The traveller blinked again, slow and sideways. The mayor lost his train of thought for a second, then continued.

“Then there are the trolls, they owe me three school buses and a new fire station. The goblins…” the mayor hammered his hand down on the table. “reproduce like rats. And the ghosts! They are all… hovering and translucent and creepy. It is sickening to be served by a man you can poke your finger through as if he was nothing.” The mayor looked up and saw Sid looking at him, like maybe he could hear him. His translucent body framed a selection of dark rum.

The traveller leaned in closer and something alien, cloying sweet and musky filled the air.

With a sinking feeling in his stomach the Mayor realized that the traveller was something unfamiliar, something fresh out of the woods. He pulled back in his chair and felt the blessed intoxication leave him. The man, or whatever he was, didn’t seem to notice.

“What if I told you I could help you with your problem.”

“We have no problem. I am just letting out steam after a long stressful week.” The mayor donned his politician sing-song voice.

“I have helped others with similar… ehm trouble.” The traveller smiled, showing the mayor a row of teeth that looked suspiciously shark-like. The mayor pushed his chair even further back, his ulcer starting up a burn in his stomach.

“I am not interested. But thank you for the drink.” The mayor got up, eager to get away, the world wobbled under his feet. The traveller just smiled some more.

“Sure sure. But I hope you will allow me to give you a demonstration of my skills.” The traveller bend down to the floor and for one wild crazy second the mayor thought he would bring up a gun and start shooting people, but when he reappeared he was holding a flute. The mayor couldn’t help himself, he started to laugh.

“You are going to help me with a flute? You are out of your mind.”

“Well, maybe I am, maybe I am not.” The man put the flute to his lips and gentle watery tones appeared. The mayor looked around, feeling rather self-conscious standing there with a dude playing the flute.

There was a crashing sound and to his right the young naiad stood up, the chair she had borrowed, crashed to the floor. The naiad ignored her boyfriend surprised squawk and made her way through the crowds back toward the mayor. When she stood in front of him she looked up and smiled a slow, seducing smile. The mayor couldn’t help himself, he smiled back and his heart did a little two-step in his chest. The naiad stood on tip-toe and was just about to kiss the mayor when the traveller pulled the flute from his lips and the naiad froze. The mayor watched as she blinked slowly and looked around, saw her expression of disgust when she seemed to realize what she’d been about to do.

“I can make her do anything. I can make them all do whatever it is you want.” The man put the flute back to his lips and the naiad smiled again, pressing her breasts against the mayors chest. When she pressed her lips against his, she tasted like salt and seaweed, like smoke and beer and bubblegum.

The melody changed, became darker and slower and the naiad retreated, her face a blank, her eyes dead. When the tune stopped she just stood there like a robot that had been switched off.

The mayor looked around. Every being in the bar, human or breed, were still, sitting or standing, caught in mid-laugh, or kiss or sneer or talk, their eyes dark voids in blank docile faces.

A rush of excitement flooded the mayor. The traveller could make people do anything just by playing his flute. This was a perfect solution. He could send all the breeds back to where they’d come from, make them forget their civil rights claims and their ambitions and with them gone the mayor could get his wife back, his old job back, he could get his old world back. He turned to the traveller and pushed away the little pebble of doubt that clung to his heart.

“What is your price?”

“Nevermind, we can discuss price and terms later.”

The traveller smiled a hungry toothy smile and put his flute up to his lips again.

Flash Fiction Friday – roll for your title.

So, lets just skip all the excuses and all the horribly belated holiday greetings. It is  a new year and I’ve made a resolution to cut back on guilt trips this year.

So woohoo, here is the first Flash Fiction of the year, of course courtesy of the fabulous Chuck Wendig who is as witty, entertaining and generally fucking amazing in 2014, as he was in 2013.  I should have made my resolution to be like him, but I would probably suck at it too much and thus guilt trip, so I’ll just stick with participating in his Flash Fiction Challenges instead.

This first one of 2014 involved two lists of 20 words each and the handy help of random.org. I rolled 2 and 5, dropping the title Devil’s Bookstore into my lap.

And here are the 104o-something words going with that title.

Devil’s Bookstore

By Trine Toft Schmidt

There are two types of small towns in this country. Those that welcome you with white picket fence smiles and freshly painted facades, and then there are those that turn you away with a brown rotting sneer and gray concrete travesties.

I definitely prefer the latter, since my business is the ugly and miserable.

Bramville didn’t have much potential. It was of the former sort, a pretty little thing, pastel colored cottages dotting sweeping green hills, overlooking the small cozy town. It was peaceful and content and I hated it, but I still parked my car on the main road outside a cutesy little barber shop.

You see, I know these towns. They hide it well, but somewhere below the shining white paint and the cheery signs, they all hide monsters. All I have to do is take a walk and I find them.

I must that Bramville’s pretty went deeper than I’d thought. It wasn’t until I crossed to the eastern side of town, that the painted shingles and shutters reluctantly gave way to ugly seventies tract houses and weed infested empty plots. It was all miserably sad and unattractive, but they weren’t monsters by far. To much care was stowed upon lawns and gardens. It simply wasn’t atrocious enough.

So I kept walking, my gut-feeling urging me further and further down a disintegrating road that eventually came to a complete stop at some old train tracks. On the other side the road was a path leading into a dense impenetrable line of trees. My heart started dancing against my ribs. Something old lurked behind there, I could feel it as a cold happy chill racing up my back. This was what Bramville didn’t want me to see.

Brambles and nettles ruled the forest, grasping at me as I struggled to pull my suitcase after me. Somewhere to my right branches snapped and a flock of crows rose from the trees above me all in a huff. I followed their witch-like caws out of the forest into a field of thistles.

In the middle of the field stood what had once been a beautiful, two story, red brick plantation house with a covered porch sprouting from an impressive Greek revival colonnade in the center. If I closed my eyes I could just see Orry Main leaning against the railing of the balcony on the second floor.

It was in terrible disrepair, nobody had taken a paint brush to the woodwork since sometime before the war and the front door was two warped plywood boards hanging on rusty hinges. The brick had weathered to slivers and only the middle four feet of the porch looked safe to stand on, the rest was a jumble of boards, rusting bicycles, washing machines, sofas and old carpets.

My heart skipped ahead in double speed. It was all I’d ever hoped for.

I stopped and eyed the house. It looked deserted. No smoke came out of the chimneys and a scrap of lace curtain swayed gently in the gaping hole where a window had once been. The only sound came from the crows that had settled in an old chestnut tree to my right. But I could feel eyes on me and one of the curtains on the bottom floor moved minutely. I allowed myself a smile and flipped my suitcase over on its side to sit on, slipping my sunglasses into the breast pocket of my black suit.

I settled into the wait, crossing my ankles and tilting my face to the sun. Above me a crow cawed and flapped its wings noisily.

I waited.

The sun was on its way down when, finally, the plywood door squeaked open and there was a creak of stressed wood. A thin-as-rails woman with lank mousy hair and creases the size of grand canyon on the sides of her mouth stepped out on the porch.

“What do you want?” Her voice was rusty and phlegmy, courtesy of a forty-a-day Marlboro habit. I brushed off specks of dust on my pants and stood up.

“Madam. I have a simple question for you.” I smiled.  She narrowed her eyes.

“Is that right?”

“Are you happy with your current living condition?” I spread my arms to encompass the house and the thistle field.

“Listen mister, get off my lawn. I ain’t buying what you’re selling.” Her eyes flicked to my suitcase. Curiosity is such a bitch.

“Please.” I fondled the handle of the suitcase and she licked her lips. “What harm can come from a simple question?” She snorted and I smiled again.

“Listen if you are from some sort of freak-ass religion trying to sell me Jesus on a stick, then you are wasting your time.”  I held my hand up in mock surrender.

“I am not a religious man, madam, I promise.”

“And how is my current living conditions any of your business?” She stepped a little closer dropping her arms to her side.

“I am so glad you asked.” In one fluid move I flipped the suitcase over on its back, released the clasps and opened it up. In two seconds flat my trap was up and operational. She wouldn’t know what hit her.

“I told you, I ain’t buying nothing you have to sell.” She shuffled her feet and tried to wrench her eyes away from the glittery paper that was now on display.

“I am not selling you anything you can’t afford.” I took a step back and she took a step closer. I call it the Swedish dance, my suitcase a perfect substitute for the maypole.

“What is that?” Her eyes were glued to the thick magazines. I took one and presented it to her with a flourish. She took it and turned it in her hand with glittering eyes. The paper sang as she riffled through the pages, fast at first and then slower and slower until each sheet clicked against her nails like a playing card against the spokes of a bike.

“Have you ever heard of Sweden madam? It is truly the land of milk and honey. And this, this is the IKEA catalog.”

But she was already gone, her eyes wide open and dreamy, her fingers gently caressing the image of a deep white sofa.

 

Heaven/Rush

14

 

I’m waiting for the night to fall
I know that it will save us all
When everything’s dark
Keeps us from the stark reality
I’m waiting for the night to fall
When everything is bearable
And there in the still
All that you feel
Is tranquility

“Waiting for the Night to Fall” Depeche Mode

When I come up
When I rush
I rush for you

“Rush” Depeche Mode

 

Last night, I made it to my first ever Depeche Mode concert. I’ve been floating in a bubble of happiness and ecstasy (the natural kind of course) ever since.

Black Celebration

It was a party, I danced, screamed and sang for two hours straight. It was amazing, mind-blowing and a total rush! The only regret I have: Why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?

5

I met these two nice men at the concert and the guy on the right borrowed my phone and shot some pictures for me, including sneaking a picture of me onto my phone. I appreciate it, but can’t give credit, so this grainy dark selfie will have to suffice. Hope you had a blast guys.

11

 

The videos below capture the atmosphere much more eloquently than I can right now.

Embedded via youtube.

Welcome to My World

(video by Peter Nordentoft)

Personal Jesus

(video by Muldeberg)

Behind the Wheel

(video also by Muldeberg)

 

Personal Jesus

Report from Loony Land.. The lost days.

So I learned a few lessons this week:

1. If you stay away from your story for a whole day it is so much harder to ignore the voice in your head, that tells you it is OK to take a break from writing. That watching an episode of Vampire Diaries is absolutely fine instead of plonking your ass into the chair and strapping your fingers to the keyboard.

2. If you stay away from your story for a whole day it is so much harder to get back into the heads of your characters. They get all upset and insulted and then they turn their backs and sulk in the corner instead of whispering in your ear all the fricking time.

3. If you do throw away a whole day you just have to GET THE FUCK BACK UP ON THAT HORSE, or it will ride off without you.

 

We celebrated my daughters birthday this friday and saturday. I took friday off, telling myself that I could manage organising the whole party thing, shop, cook and clean and still have hours left over to write. And I was right.

But the thing about having lots of time is that I tend to squander it. Friday rolled around. I gave myself 1½ extra hours of sleep, got up, drove husband and daughter to work and school. Came home. And instead of doing the right thing and write my ass off for an hour or so before going shopping, I told myself I deserved a little time off to watch a little VD. Highschool Vampire Drama. It’s a slippery slope I tell you. Later I shamed myself into writing a measly 5-600 words, before allowing myself another episode.

When the last of a gaggle of 11-year-old girls had gone at 9.45 pm I was beat. Went to bed. And got up late. Ignored the voice in the back of my head telling me I had to get up and write something. Tucked myself under the covers with the Ipad and watched another episode before a new round of cooking and guests began. When I went to bed saturday I still hadn’t put a single word on paper.

So when I got up this morning my nice little 2500 word lead was gone.

Let me tell you, that is really bad for morale. My little spreadsheet of daily written words, is now full of red squares and more :-(‘s than I like. Positive reinforcement has left the building baby. So I named today Get-Back-On-The-MF-Horse day.  And my backside hurts and it feels like I have dragged words out of my brain by force. And though I am ahead in the word count again I still feel a little guilty and wasteful to have thrown away my nice little lead just to watch television.

Stats

2756/18086 (31914 to go)

I should post the stats for the other days. But I won’t. I’ll just pretend it’s never happened.

 

Report from the Looney Land part 5 or 6… but who’s counting

November madness is starting. And by this I don’t mean NaNoWriMo. I mean the insanity of November in general. I normally don’t plan things for my weekends. I probably only have set-in-concrete plans for 10 of years 52 weekends. Apparently those ten weekends all occur in November. My stress levels are off the charts.

Last year around this time I took a course in stress management, and learned some of the physical symptoms of stress and what stress does to your body. One thing is your memory centers shrinking when confronted with stress.  And I am suffering badly. Normally I can juggle a large number of requests from co-workers and bosses, commitments and appointments. But now I have to write note after note to myself to remember even the smallest thing.

Not for the first time I wish NaNoWriMo was NaMaWriMo or NaFeWriMo.

But to be fair on myself, it is going pretty well.  I write 2-3 times a day, I am over target and if I keep up this pace I hit 50000 with a week to spare. GO ME!

Stats for the day

Words written: 2334/12838 (37162 to go)

To hell with the other stats. This is what matters.