The Importance of Names (fiction)

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This story directly follows The Gateway.

 

The Importance of Names

 

Cindy looked down at the small figure of Babradon.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but what are you?” She asked him. He looked at her surprised.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“Well I’m human, but I don’t think you are.” Cindy stated. Babradon laughed.

“I keep forgetting in your world humans are mostly the only sentient race there. You’re probably not used to seeing other races like me. I’m what you would call a gnome.” He informed her.

” I see. What do you mean we’re mostly the only sentient race?” Cindy asked curiously.

“It’s not important. There are others like us still living in the fringes of your world, if you know where to look. And being near a gateway means you get a few peoples going back and forth.”

“So what other races live here in Faerie?”

“Well aside from gnomes, there are also elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins, pixies, boggarts, to name a few.” Babradon said.

“A few?”

“There are all manner of strange creatures here, possibly countless numbers of them.” He revealed. Cindy gazed in wonder at the vibrant green landscape before her.

“How far does it go on?” She asked.

“Probably forever.” He told her. “This is your first time here isn’t it?”

“Yes.” Cindy admitted.

“There are some basic rules to Faerie you will need to know. Firstly don’t be so trusting with anyone you meet here and don’t accept everything you see at face value. Always look deeper. And be careful who you give your name out to. Give everyone your nickname or something similar.”

“Why?” Cindy asked him.

“Because if you give out your true name to someone, you give them power over you.”

“Okay.” Cindy replied. “What do you mean by true name?”

“What’s the name you give yourself?” He asked.

“Me.” Cindy replied. Babradon looked away for a moment.

“I mean what name do you think defines you? What name do you think is you?” He asked carefully.

“Well everyone calls me Cindy, and that’s the name I think of myself as.” She answered.

“Then don’t give that name to people here. Are there any other names people call you?”

“I was christened Cynthia, and a lot of people call me Cinders, and when I was at school some people used to call me Cinderella, but that was to annoy me.”

“Maybe use the name Cinders?” Babradon suggested.

“Okay.” Cindy replied. “So I guess Babradon isn’t your true name then?”

“No it’s my use name. My true name I keep to myself.” Babradon revealed.

“So do you live out here?” Cindy asked.

“I have a small house nearby. I help keep an eye on the gateway you came through.”

“It’s so lovely here.” Cindy said as she sat down on the ground with the sun on her.

“You’re very much like your grandmother. Did you know that?” Babradon told her. Cindy gave out a short laugh.

“Yeah some people have said that to me before. I think we have a similar temperament.”

“I’m sorry to hear she has died. I’ll miss her.”

“I miss her too. Me and Jess now have her farm.” Cindy revealed.

“Who is Jess? Tell me more Cindy” He asked.

“My girlfriend.” Cindy answered. “Does it bother you I’m in a same-sex relationship?”

“Following your heart and being with your True Love is what’s important, no matter who they are.” Babradon responded.

“We had to clear all the farmland as everything had become overgrown, and we also had to fix the farmstead, but now we are living there together and I’m very happy.” Cindy told him.

“That’s good to hear.”

“I’ve recently found out that Jess slept with a mutual friend when I was still living in the city. We weren’t together again at that point, but for some reason it’s made me feel very jealous. I just want Jess all to myself and I get very possessive over her, which I know isn’t a good thing. I worry she might have feelings for our friend.” Cindy told him.

“I’m not an expert when it comes to love, but if you fixed the farm together and now live there with each other, surely you’re the one she wants to be with.” Babradon advised her. Cindy sighed loudly.

“I know. It’s not like we both didn’t have affairs when we were apart, but for some reason I feel really threatened by this other person. I was really horrid to her at a friend’s funeral recently.”

“Jealousy is not an attractive trait in anyone. If you continue to be jealous your partner may always feel under pressure when socialising with others and that may end up pushing her away. Always remember if she is with you, she wants to be there. Trust in that.”

“Thanks for the advice.” Cindy replied. “Sorry about unloading my problems on you. I’m not sure why I told you all this.” Babradon shrugged his shoulders.

“When you’re the Warden of a gateway, people tell you all sorts of things.” he said.

Cindy looked at the path that led away and went beyond the trees.

“So where does that path go?” She asked.

“It goes on through the forest and eventually leads to towns and great cities. Just beyond those trees there I think there is a marketplace at the moment. That could be well worth a look, though I would advise you to be careful with everything you say or do there .” Babradon informed her.

“Ooh a marketplace! I would love to check that out! Maybe I’ll have a quick look at it.” Cindy enthused.

“Yes you’ll find it rather eye-opening I’m sure. Just be careful there! Faerie can be quite perilous. And remember what I told you about names.” Babradon warned.

“I will.” Cindy told him.

Cindy stood up and wandered down the path. As she looked behind her she saw Babradon had sat down again and was relighting his pipe. She turned around again and faced the trees. She took a deep breath and walked into the forest.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

I’m quite enjoying writing these Jess and Cindy stories.

 

 

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ยฉ2019 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

The Shipment (fiction)

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This story follows on from Escape.

The Shipment (fiction)

 

Brynla waited. She was seated at a table in a bar waiting for her contact. The bartender had given her some brilliant-green sickly alcoholic confection to drink. It tasted foul and was definitely not what she had wanted. No matter how rough and tough she looked she was always given some rather dainty-looking drink by bartenders who assumed that’s what human females wanted.

“Mistress Brynla I believe our contact is late.” said E-5JF.

“That would be correct” Brynla confirmed. She looked at her droid in absolute hatred. E-5JF was a silver protocol droid with a light feminine voice who liked stating the perfectly obvious whenever she had the chance. Brynla entertained fantasies of taking to her droid with a sledgehammer until she was nothing but spare parts. But droids were expensive to replace and she was useful sometimes, in fact she had got them out of the recent tight spot they had been in. Still, hitting her with sledgehammer a few times… Brynla began tapping her fingers on the table.

“Wilya Brynla?”said a voice above her. Brynla looked up to see a woman in a rather dull light-green outfit. She had shoulder-length dirty-blonde hair and blue eyes. Brynla found her reasonably attractive.

“Yes.” Brynla answered. The woman sat down on the other side of the table.

“I’m sorry I’m late Wilya. When I was told I was meeting a smuggler I assumed it was going to be a male.” Brynla rolled her eyes. If she had a credit for every time she heard that…

“Call me Brynla. Everyone else does.” Brynla informed her.

“Oh sorry! My name is Juslak, but you can call me Jus if you like. Do you have the shipment we asked for?” Jus asked her.

“Yes. I know we agreed on 15,000 credits, but the job was a lot more dangerous than I realised. I’ve decided I want 18,000 credits now.” Brynla stated. Jus looked at her in surprise.

“18,000? That’s 20 percent more! How dangerous did you think stealing contraband from an Imperial facility would be? You agreed to do this for 15,000.” Jus replied. She was very displeased.

“I’m sorry sweetheart but I’ve altered the deal. I’m sure I could sell the contraband on the street for a lot more than 18,000, so it’s still a bargain price.” Brynla casually informed her.

“Well I’ll have to go back to my superiors. It’s a shame people like you just use this opportunity to cream some more credits off the top, rather than actually helping us. I’m disappointed in you. I’ll see you later.” Jus looked at her coldly and stood up.

“I don’t have any affiliation. To me the galactic civil war is just an opportunity for me to make money from either side.” Brynla stated. Jus shook her head and walked off.

“The meeting doesn’t seem to have gone well mistress Brynla.” E-5JF informed her.

“Right again.” Brynla replied.

*

As Brynla left the bar her way was suddenly blocked by two hulking Gamorreans. A Quarren appeared beside them.

“The Boss wants to see you.” The Quarren said in heavily accented Basic.

“What now?” Brynla complained.

Brynla was taken to the spacious residence of Slyz-Bol, the local crime lord. He sat there in all his magnificence. Slyz-Bol was larger than a Wookie and had green craggy hairless skin and a protruding proboscis that was almost a meter long. Brynla had no idea what alien race he was, and if truth be told, neither did anyone else.

“The word on the street is you are in the possession of some Imperial contraband. If the local authorities hear about it life could become very difficult for you. If you were to give it all to me I’m sure they’ll never know of it.” Slyz-Bol said in his very nasally voice.

“And if I don’t turn it over I guess I’ll have stormtroopers all over my ship.” Brynla said in an aggrieved tone.

“It would be such a shame if that happened.” Slyz-Bol said trying to smile which was something his facial features weren’t terribly suited for.

Brynla let out a long sigh. Now that the local crime lord knew about it there was little she could do.

“Fine. I guess you’ll have to pick it up from my ship. At the moment my First Mate is on board with instructions to not let anyone else enter until I turn up. So you’re going to need me there.” Brynla informed him. She would have to think up some sort of plan on the way there.

“Okay. But don’t try anything or we will ensure you end up in an Imperial prison facility, or even dead” warned Slyz-Bol. Brynla nodded. She understood completely.

*

The next thing she knew she was in one of Slyz-Bol’s speeders and they were heading for Docking Bay 127 where her ship, The Star Wolf, was docked. Upon arrival Brynla walked up to her ship and waved at Ennik through one of the windows. She brought out her comlink.

“Ennik open the hold up” she ordered.

“Righto!” Ennik replied with his usual gusto and the next thing Brynla heard was the motors of the ships hold turning on and slowly the doors to the hold opening on the underside of the ship.

Without warning at least half a dozen figures dropped out of the hold and opened fire on Slyz-Bol’s men. Instinctively Brynla jumped out of the way. Slyz-Bol’s men were caught completely by surprise. A few of them got their blasters out, but most were shot down before they could respond. A couple of them used the speeders as a shield from the blaster fire before they slinked away, while the remaining ones ran off in panic. Brynla retrieved her heavy blaster and fired a few shots off at the fleeing figures. She turned to see the others who had dropped out of her ships hold were advancing on her. The one in front was Jus with a blaster rifle in her hands. Brynla’s mouth dropped open.

“How did you do that?” She asked incredulously. Jus smiled.

“When I returned to the bar I found your droid was waiting there and she told me she saw you being apprehended by Slyz-Bol’s men. Realising that maybe he had come to hear about what your ship was carrying we decided to wait for them to come here. We guessed you’d be with them. So we convinced Ennik to let us on board and we waited.” Jus explained.

“Well thank you.” Brynla said feeling sheepish.

“Well we have our speeders nearby and we have the 15,000 credits for you. I reckon getting rid of your criminal underworld problem was worth at least 3000.” Jus informed her.

“Okay I think I deserved that.” Brynla conceded.

“So we’re all square then?” asked Jus. Brynla smiled and nodded in agreement.

“Feel free to load up the contraband. Then I’ll be gone and I suggest you get out of here too. When Slyz-Bol finds out what has happened here he won’t be happy and there’s no knowing what he might do.” Brynla suggested.

“Yes we’ll load everything up as quickly as we can. However one more thing…”

“What now?” asked Brynla frowning.

“Though we have some reservations about you, we have another job we want you to do for us….”

 

Joanne Fisher

 

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Red Riding Hood (a twisted fairy tale)

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Red Riding Hood (or at least my version of it)

 

Red took the brownies out of the oven. Once they were cooled she placed them in her wooden basket. Seeing it was quite cold outside she put on her red hooded coat and left her apartment to go and visit Grandma. She didn’t have a lot of money, but the word on the street was that Grandma had a new shipment in and at least she liked the edibles that Red baked enough to offer a trade with her.

Once she left the building she walked across the road to cut through the park to get to Grandma’s. When she came to the wooded area of the park she saw that among the trees Wolfy was standing there. Wolfy was a tall butch with closely shaved dark hair who had a reputation for being trouble. She usually wore a leather jacket but today she was wearing a long black fur coat which made her look rather strange. She leaned on a tree trunk smoking a cigarette sizing Red up.

“Hey little chapstick! I see you been baking some cookies. Wanna share?” Wolfy said as Red passed her by.

“I’m off to Grandmas. She’s got some new supplies in. I’m going to see if she’s willing to trade some for my edibles.” Red informed her.

“I hadn’t heard she got a new shipment. Maybe I should pay her a call.” Wolfy replied thoughtfully. “If she doesn’t want to trade you could always try scoring some skittles off the schoolkids.” Red just looked at her shaking her head and then continued walking. Wolfy watched her leave flicking her cigarette after her and then disappeared among the trees.

When Red finally got to Grandma’s house she climbed up the steps and knocked on the door.

“Come in!” cried out a muffled voice. Red opened the door and walked in to the hallway.

“I’ve got some brownies for you Grandma. I was hoping we could do a trade.” Red said in a loud voice. She thought she could hear some knocking from down below.

“Just put them on the table. What are you looking for hun?” said a voice from another room. Red put the basket on the table.

“I was hoping to get some beans, a little Special K, and maybe some E?” Red replied.

“How about some Snow White?” asked the voice sounding strangely high pitched.

“No it clogs my sinuses up.” Red answered. “Are you okay? You sound a bit strange.”

“I have a cold.” the voice replied.

“Where are you Grandma?” Red asked.

“I’m in my bedroom.” Red followed the voice to Grandma’s bedroom. She walked into the room to see a figure wrapped in blankets sitting on the bed.

“You must be quite sick.” Red said to the figure. The figure on the bed nodded.

“I’m just trying to keep warm since it’s so cold, but seeing you makes me feel better. I love that long red hair of yours. Why don’t you sit beside me?” Red sat down beside her feeling suspicious. The figure turned and put a hand on her leg.

“Grandma?”

“Yes my sweet?”

“What big ears you have.”

“All the better to hear your moans with.” the figure replied smiling.

“What big eyes you have!”

“All the better to take in your beauty with.” Red looked down at the hand on her leg.

“What big hands you have.”

“All the better to finger you with!” the figure replied again as her hand slowly went up Red’s leg and then leaned in for a kiss. Red dodged her head out of the way.

“What a big mouth you have!”

“All the better to eat you out with!” the figure said as she lunged towards Red, but Red was too quick for her. She quickly stood up and yanked the blanket away from the figure revealing a surprised looking Wolfy.

“Wolfy! What have you done with Grandma?” Red asked.

“Let’s just say she won’t be leaving the cellar anytime soon.” Wolfy replied arching her right eyebrow.

“You came to steal her drugs?” Red asked her incredulously.

“And to see if I could make it past first base with you.” Wolfy revealed. “It’s well known you two have a thing going on.”

“If you wanted to hang you should have just asked.” Red told her.

“Whatever. Anyway I’m so outta here.” Wolfy said as she stood up with a package in her left arm trying to get past Red.

“You’re not going anywhere with Grandma’s stash!” Red stated as she tried to get in her way. Wolfy darkly smiled and started advancing towards Red menacingly.

“And you’re going to stop me little girl?” she snarled as she came right up to Red and towered above her. Red backed away to the doorway. “That’s right chapstick. Get out of my way!”

“Help!” Red cried out. Just then the front door flew open and Jesse ran in.

“What’s going on here?” Jesse asked as she came up to Red. Jesse was wearing a plaid shirt and men’s jeans. Her hair was cut short.

“Wolfy’s trying to steal Grandma’s stash.” Red told her.

“Well if it isn’t Jesse the lumberdyke! What are you doing here?” Wolfy asked angrily.

“I wanted to get some edibles. I was just seeing if Grandma had any. When I heard Red scream I came right in.” Jesse replied as she walked right up to Wolfy. It was well known Jesse didn’t like Wolfy and Wolfy was scared of her. Wolfy began to back away.

“She also pretended to be Grandma and tried to make out with me!” Red informed Jesse.

“Is that so?” Jesse replied with rising anger while continuing to advance towards Wolfy. All of a sudden Wolfy threw the package over their heads. As their attention was diverted by the package flying over them Wolfy dodged them both and ran out of the house. Jesse chased after her.

Red went to the cellar door and unlocked it. Out came Grandma looking annoyed.

“That bitch Wolfy pushed me into the cellar and stole my stash!” Grandma fumed.

“Don’t worry! Me and Jesse stopped her.” Red informed her. “Your drugs are still here and Jesse has chased her off.” Grandma smiled at the news. She gave Red a hug and kissed her.

“You were always my favourite.” Grandma said to her.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This story began forming in my head when I read some other people’s versions of classic fairy stories. I’m not into drugs or anything and nor do I like the drugs scene,ย  I just thought it was an interesting take which started with the question for what other reason was Red Riding Hood taking baked goods to Grandma? Grandma by the way is just the name others gave her as she was the local dealer. I imagined she was probably in her thirties or forties. I had fun writing this. Trying to get a woodcutter into an urban story was the sticking point until I remembered that lumberdyke is a term I came across recently. After that it all fell into place. It took me a long time to find an image I thought was okay. In the end I resorted to using a photo from the Amanda Seyfried movie.

Maybe there are some other classic tales I can despoil…

 

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Life After The Invasion (fiction)

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Commodore Starship by oigaitnas

Life After The Invasion

 

Katie awoke to the sound of her alarm. She sighed. She didn’t want to get up but she had an appointment with her doctor. She pulled back the curtain and looked out the window. The sky was clear aside from the large spaceship in the air above them all. It just hung there with the underside displaying messages: Remember You Are Special! and We Love You! Katie inwardly groaned as she got out of bed. It didn’t help she was on her period and felt even more wretched than usual. She felt life sucked after the aliens had invaded. If they had been aggressive aliens intent on wiping out humanity she would have understood that at some level, but the Kren were not what anyone had been expecting.

When the Kren first arrived in their large spaceships they announced to the world they were invading us. They said they loved us and they believed they had to invade our world to save us from ourselves. All the governments of the world united with a military response against them. However Kren technology was so superior to our own that our response offered no threat to them whatsoever. They just disregarded it with a good nature and then took over our world and we all watched helplessly as they did so. All top branches of government were now controlled by Kren. They cleaned up the environment, destroyed all our weapons, and ensured everyone was fed and housed. Katie just thought of them as sanctimonious bastards. They were worse than having helicopter parents or overly zealous social workers in her opinion. And now she had to go and meet one, since her doctor was a Kren.

She showered and then got dressed. Though she didn’t feel like eating she made sure she ate and drank something as she knew her blood sugar levels and nutrition would be monitored and if her doctor wasn’t happy with it then Katie would be told off and she didn’t want to risk ending up in Re-education again. As she ate she watched TV which had become a mixture of bland and annoying due to the constant updates from the Kren. She sighed again and switched it off. She left her apartment and entered the lift and stood in a corner watching the display counting down all the way to ground level. Once the lift doors opened she left the building and headed for the subway.

On the way she spotted a Kren in the street since they were rather unmistakable being eight foot tall with green and bluish skin. They were bipedal like us but instead of arms and legs they had two sets of tentacles which they could manipulate the ends of into any shape. They also had large soft eyes. This one was making a cooing noise at a human couple holding hands that walked by it. For some reason humans showing signs of affection to each other delighted the Kren. Katie walked past grimacing as usual. The Kren seemed to ignore her. Luckily once she got to the subway there was a train leaving almost immediately. She hurriedly squeezed through the doors just as they began to close. She found a seat and stared at the blackness outside the windows once the subway car started speeding along. On the walls there were messages: Remember You Are Loved! and You Are Special! There Is No One Else Like You! She tried to ignore them, though she was grateful there was no one else exactly like her…

For once she arrived at the medical centre on time. They gave her a blood test, checked her blood pressure and temperature, changed her pad, and lastly did a data scan of her. Then she sat in a small white room waiting for the doctor.

“I see you are currently menstruating.” said a robotic-sounding voice. Katie was startled and looked around to see her doctor slithering into the room. The doctor was using a computer synthesised voice, as all Kren did due to their physiology; they could not speak human languages unaided.

“Um yes.” Katie confirmed not really wanting to talk about it. The doctor she knew as Doctor Fy-Lo nodded it’s head. It had a data pad in it’s right tentacle that it seemed to be consulting.

“You are aware if you were impregnated you would not have to worry about the effects of the menstrual cycle, at least during the term of the pregnancy.” Doctor Fy-Lo’s large soft eyes looked into hers.

“Yes I’m aware of that.” Katie replied flicking her long dark hair out of her brown eyes. The Kren had the annoying habit of telling you things you already knew.

“According to this you prefer to mate with other females of your species. You are aware that impregnation can only occur with medical intervention this way?”

“Or a turkey baster.” Katie added. The doctor gave her a puzzled look and then continued on undeterred:

“If you were to mate with a male of your species then impregnation is more likely and will probably not need medical intervention.”

“Well sorry I’m not interested in being with a male of my species.” she said mimicking the doctor’s robotic voice. “And why do you seem so keen to get me pregnant anyhow?”

“We notice you have never given birth to any offspring and thought you might be happier with some.” The doctor informed her seemingly ignoring her attempts at mimicking them.

“The last thing I need now is some screaming brats. Maybe in the future…” her voice trailed away. She had never seriously thought about having kids.

“The records state you are still single. We could assign you a mate that we think would be compatible with you.”

“I’m used to being on my own.” she answered skeptical about what sort of match-up the Kren would make for her. “Besides why do you care so much? And why do I have to come here so often?”

“You come here regularly because we are worried about you. We want you to be happy. Assigning a mate will give you some companionship and make you feel less lonely.” Fy-Lo replied.

“Maybe I don’t want to be happy.” Katie stated. The doctor looked at her in shock. They then consulted the data pad.

“Our information shows you have been sent to Re-Education three times now. It does not seem to have had much effect, but we can send you there again if you think it will help.”

“I don’t want to go back there.” Katie informed Fy-Lo.

“Then what will make you happier?” Fy-Lo asked their eyes looking into Katie’s with almost a deep sadness.

“Maybe you can’t fix everyone.” Katie suggested looking away. The doctor looked at her silently for a while, as if it didn’t know what to say.

“You are an interesting species. Very creative, but also very destructive. We try to make things better for you all, but some of you resist us and we don’t understand why.” the doctor stated.

“Did you ever wonder if by getting rid of our destructive side you also destroy our creative side as well? That maybe to have a creative nature we also need to be destructive?”

“Your destructive nature was going to destroy yourselves and possibly take all the other species of this planet with you. If this was the case, maybe the cost was too high. Maybe your creative side is worth sacrificing if it means you all survive.” the doctor informed her.

“Yeh so you came to this world to make everything suck.” Katie replied belligerently.

“Made everything suck.” the doctor repeated. There was a pause. “When we came to your world many of your governments were spending more resources to harm others of your own species than they were for education or healthcare. In parts of your planet your people were starving to death or lacked decent housing while in other areas food was being thrown away. The biosphere was dying. Many species were becoming extinct and your own species didn’t seem to realise that you too would become extinct eventually because of this as well. None of this planet’s species exist anywhere else. Once the biosphere is destroyed they are gone forever. You were fortunate to live in a prosperous area of this world. You always had access to food, healthcare, decent shelter, education, and anything else you needed. The fact that your skin has low levels of melanin also helped you, for a reason we don’t quite understand. If you had been born in some other area of the planet your life would have been very different. So maybe our coming to your world may “suck” for you, but I don’t think other members of your species living in other areas of this planet would say the same thing.” There was a silence. Katie felt slightly uncomfortable though still rolled her eyes at the lecture from the doctor. “All we are doing is trying to curb the worst excesses of your species, even if some of you are rather self-involved.” Katie could feel her face go red.

“I’m sorry I just miss the old days when I could drive a car really fast down the road, or eat a nice big steak.” Katie said. Doctor Fy-Lo looked at her and shook their head, or at least did the Kren equivalent of it. The doctor consulted their data pad again.

“Maybe Re-Education is pointless for you. Maybe we should send you to Re-Processing.”

“What’s Re-Processing?” Katie asked with a feeling of rising concern.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

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Joanne’s Handbag (fiction)

Joanne’s Handbag

She was so excited when she first got me. I was glossy black with gold-coloured zips, much better than the tacky bag that was falling to pieces she was carrying around with her. I had all these hidden pockets and she immediately began stuffing things into them. One of them still has a pair of 3D glasses for the cinema which she hasn’t taken out in a long time. And then she began taking me everywhere and showing me to her friends who all seemed very impressed with me. I was so proud.

These days she usually stuffs me with her wallet, her phone, and a reusable shopping bag. In the front pocket there are tissues, spare paper, a pen and pencil, emergency lipstick, and some peppermints that seem to have been there for a while now. Occasionally she puts her Magic decks and containers of dice in me. I reckon she has to be a brilliant Magic player, but I’m biased. Even when she loses she’s amazing. Sometimes she overstuffs me and I become bulging and pillow shaped. I don’t like it when she does that. She’s extended my strap so she can wear me across her body rather than leave me hanging on her right shoulder. I feel so safe and protected when I am around her like that. When we come home sometimes she drops me on her nice soft bed as she unpacks what’s inside me, but sometimes she just drops me on the cold hard floor and leaves me there until she goes out again. I get very sad and lonely there sometimes.

I do worry a lot. I am not how I used to be. My top zip is starting to fail, it’s because she’s overfilled me too many times. Also a patch of my black skin has come off at the back and at the top where there is also a lot of wear and tear. I fear that one day she will wander off and go on some adventure without me, or that maybe she will replace me with a new bag and I will go and live out the rest of my life in a dark drawer or somewhere far worse *shudder*. I don’t know what happened to the bag I replaced and she never talks about it.

She can be a bit cold and heartless sometimes…

Joanne Fisher

This was inspired by a post I saw about another bloggers handbag. I saw the title and thought cool they’ve written a story from the perspective of their handbag, but it turned out to be a blog about how they had made their own handbag and showed the patterns they had used. I’m never one to waste an idea, be it good or bad, so I thought I would tackle it. I have to admit after writing this I’m feeling rather guilty ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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The Inquisitor, part three

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Part One Part Two

The Inquisitor, part three

The lightsabers clashed. Taran tried to strike down her opponent, but Olen was too good at deflecting her blows. Olen narrowed her eyes.

“You are full of hate and anger. How can one so young be so full of hate?” Olen asked as she withstood more attacks from Taran’s lightsaber.

Taran didn’t respond but instead redoubled her efforts to overcome Olen’s defences. Olen began to apply more power to her blocking forcing Taran back into the corridor. As she followed her down the corridor she began to counter Taran’s attacks with her own. Taran tried to stand her ground but was forced back by the strength of Olen’s counter-attack.

“You are outclassed here. I don’t want to kill you. Maybe you should consider leaving.” Olen advised her.

“You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.” Taran responded trying to hold her ground.

“Are all you Dark Side users programmed to say that?” Olen asked her. Taran just grunted at her.

One more thrust from Olen led them both outside of the cave. In the distance Olen could see the Star Destroyers in the upper atmosphere raining down destruction onto the planet’s surface only a few miles away. A warm wind was rising.

“You brought all this destruction here just to find me?” She asked critically.

“It allowed me to locate you.” Taran admitted as the lightsaber hummed in her hands.

“Whatever the cost?” Olen asked pointedly.

“All methods to locate and destroy the last remaining Jedi will be used.” Taran informed her. Olen just shook her head sadly and then made another attack at Taran.

“You know what’s unfortunate? Underneath all that hate in you there is still a good person in there. I can feel it.” Olen said after Taran parried her blow.

“I must obey my orders!” Taran stated.

“If you let go of all that hate. I could train you.” Taran spat at Olen when she suggested this.

“A Jedi train me?” Taran looked at her incredulously while striking her lightsaber in anger. “You Jedi are the reason why I serve the Emperor! He has shown strength while all the Jedi did was show how weak they were!”

“Not true! Your mind has been poisoned by him.” Olen said as she parried a thrust from Taran.

“If it wasn’t for the Jedi my parents would be alive!” Taran screamed at her. Olen frowned.

“What do you mean?” she asked her.

“The Jedi couldn’t stop my planet from being invaded by the Separatists. They did nothing. It was days before they showed up and by then my parents and everyone I knew were dead. So you and your Order are to blame!” Taran informed her as she paced angrily and Olen deflected her blows.

“It was a galaxy-wide war. We never had enough resources to protect everyone. We couldn’t be everywhere. I’m sorry your planet got invaded by the Separatists, but there were many tragedies like this through the war, and you can’t blame the Jedi for this.” Olen explained. As they got further away from the caves she noticed the fire and destruction from the Star Destroyers were getting closer.

“Then who is to blame Jedi?” Taran taunted her.

“If you’re looking for someone to blame you should blame your master, the Emperor. He was playing both sides to gain more power. The Clone Wars wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for his machinations. Those Separatists that invaded your world were ultimately working for him.” Olen informed her. Taran looked enraged at her. She launched a violent flurry of blows onto Olen with such force that it caught Olen by surprise and she found herself backing away.

“You lie!” Taran cried vehemently. “The Emperor ended the conflict and brought peace to the galaxy!”

“Yes he brought “peace”. Once the galaxy was his after he destroyed the Jedi and all serious opposition to him was defeated.” Olen said while backing away from Taran’s relentless blows. “It was his fault and he has turned you into his own instrument of evil doing acts of destruction in his name, when it was his own hunger for power that resulted in the death of your parents and many others on both sides.” Olen was able to strike back. She saw a moment of hesitation and indecision in Taran’s movements and tried to force her back again. But then Taran renewed her attack.

“No I don’t believe it!” Taran cried. Olen saw the Star Destroyers getting even closer. A hot gale was rising. Taran’s long dark hair was flapping around her head like a dark halo.

“Are you aware your forces are getting closer? Are they coming for you to? Has your master betrayed even you?” Olen asked her. Taran looked to her side. Olen could see the concern in her eyes.

“They weren’t meant to come this far north!” She turned to face Olen. “I should kill you quickly then.” She launched another violent onslaught at Olen. Olen parried. Taran held out one hand and Olen found herself abruptly pushed back towards the caves. Taran advanced on her.

“You know my words are true. Your master is not on your side. He has manipulated into becoming this monster and he will dispense with you when you’re no longer needed.” Olen warned her. Again she saw the indecision on Taran’s face. “Come away with me! I will train you. I will help you get rid of all that hate you carry in your heart. It is eating you away.” Taran looked at her and then with a look of resolve she renewed her attacks. The Jedi was stripping away layers inside her. She could feel the old hurts, and the gaping black emptiness inside her. It was making her feel naked. It had to stop.

“There is no saving me.” she said as spun around catching Olen by surprise. Taran’s red blade plunged straight into Olen’s chest. Olen dropped to the ground with a look of surprise on her face. Taran then dropped to her knees beside the dead figure seeing the gaping hole left in her chest. For the first time since she was that small frightened child living in the ruins of her home tears ran down her face. She started to cry as the world behind her exploded. She cried for her lost childhood, her dead parents, and the evil she had done in their name. She continued crying as the turbolaser blasts got ever closer.

She had followed her orders. The Jedi was dead. But she hadn’t passed the test.

The End.

Joanne Fisher

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Graffiti (micro fiction)

Graffiti

โ€œIf you want to be included in things maybe you shouldnโ€™t be so obviously lesbian!โ€ taunted Bill.

Teri tried to pay him no attention as she spray painted the wall in front of her. She felt angry and hurt and disappointed. She was always left out of things. Maybe it was because she was gay, but she wasnโ€™t going to change so she could fit in. If she had do face things alone then so be it. She would continue to be herself.

She surveyed her finished graffiti: a big red hand flipping off the rest of the world.

Joanne Fisher

The word prompt was graffiti and had to be 99 words, no more, no less.

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Into The Dark (micro fiction)

Into The Dark

Tess got out her hand-carved wand. They had taken her girlfriend Chloe during the night. Now they would pay dearly. She knew it was all a ploy to get her to follow them, but the best way to deal with a trap was to know it was a trap beforehand. Or so she reckoned.

She opened a magical gateway to the Shadow World. Before her lay darkness through the shimmering gate. A chill wind ruffled her long brown hair. She breathed out slowly to conquer the rising fear in her. To save her love, she walked into the dark.

Joanne Fisher

I wrote this for the Carrot Ranch November 29 Flash Fiction Challenge.

The instructions were: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase โ€œinto the dark.โ€ What must a character face? Write about an encounter, journey, relationship, or quest. Follow the shipโ€™s lights on gloomy seas. Go where the prompt leads you

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Walking at Night (micro fiction)

Walking At Night

Alex walked along the beach. It was a nice warm night. You could see the stars blazing in the dark sky. He saw figures rising out of the water’s surface. The moon provided enough illumination to show they had large eyes and scaly skin. Though bipedal they clearly weren’t human. They walked towards Alex.

“This is a good night for hunting humans. ” he said in their gutteral language. The figures nodded and continued walking.

Joanne Fisher

This was a Sammi Cox writing prompt to use the word illumination in a story or poem in 73 words.

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Taking A Photo (micro fiction)

Taking A Photo

“Smile Jenny!” Jenny smiled. Through the lens Sonya watched Jenny sitting in front of the tree, her long brown hair being blown about by the wind. After a trek through the cemetery, this was the place they had always liked coming to. Sonya pressed the button and heard the camera click.

By the time she looked at the picture, tears were beginning to stream down her face. All she had was a picture of their favourite tree and empty space where Jenny would have been.

Joanne Fisher

This story was inspired by a prompt that I totally misunderstood. It turned out the prompt was something completely different, but by then I had the story…

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