Sunday, September 28, 2014


Milk Wood

Never had Ronald felt so insulted. It was true that he dragged his feet in the morning and that he tried to cut short the work day by starting to get ready to leave the office half an hour before the end of the shift.

However, he had never missed a day’s work, never lost a paper or misfiled a document.

“You’re always stealing our doughnuts,” was far more than he could handle. He even brought the coffee, well, once or twice a month. The least the crew could do was to allow him to take a doughnut, or three.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


France Portnawak (Titanic)

September 20 2014
Event: 500 Word Challenge
Host: Lizzie Gudkov
Prompt: Picture 
Time: 30 mins

Trapped in a corner, she recalled her days of wandering, of lurking in the shadows, of hiding. 

She still clutched onto the Victorian medallion. It was stroking her soul, scratch by scratch, widening the deep wound slowly. 

She had been advised not to take it, but she didn’t listen. She had to have it. No one would ever tell her she couldn’t have it. 

She knew far too well that the medallion was not hers. She knew it would never be. Yet, she held on to it, determined. 

Trapped in a corner, she recalled her days of believing, of dreaming, of hiding. She saw it, the hungry wolf. His red eyes were glimmering faintly. It was preying on her soul, circling her fears slowly, step by step. 

The medallion would be her protection, they said. And she held it close to her chest, an uncontrollable wave of desperation taking over her feeble decisiveness. 

And now she was trapped. And the wolf knew it. And she turned to face the wall, the medallion still in her hand, its edges sinking in the soft skin of her palm. And she couldn’t wait anymore. And the fear was overpowering. And no one else knew those red eyes as she did. And no one cared. And… 

She woke up. Nights were becoming worse for her. The nightmares… 

She sat up in her bed and looked around. Where was the medallion? She looked for it all over the house. She turned drawers inside out. Nothing. It had done its job. It had somehow moved on. 

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, the obsession growing, while sleeping and being awake. 

It’s a spell, someone said, or was it a curse? 

Time going by didn’t help even when she became confused and started looking for the wolf out in the garden till late at night, the neighbors peering through the curtains concerned about her unusual behavior. 

Her family got more and more anxious and decided to commit her to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. She’s so young, they said, mourning the loss of a promised future. 

She never left that place again, that horrid white place, forever recalling that Victorian medallion with the face of a wolf on it, forever trapped in a lonely inexplicable corner.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Is there something you want to tell me?

Mystic Falls

September 6 2014
Event: 500 Word Challenge
Prompt: Is there something you want to tell me?
Time: 30 mins

A smile, a pause, a silence and a defeating feeling that there’s something you want to tell me. You don’t smile. You’re just in silence.

I try to bridge the awkwardness, knowing well that your motionless despair, so unlike you, is the bearer of more silence, perhaps even such a devastating silence that no sound, not even noise, will ever cross it.

And the lunacy of blindness, the deafening sense of loss, weakens my willingness to stay.

Should I volunteer a word or two? Should I attempt that?

You just sit there, looking at your hands, twisting your fingers against one another, making me feel their pain for being forced into odd positions. They are white in the knuckles.

And I drift into that crazy chain of thoughts I seem to follow more and more. White is good. It’s a sign of purity, of new beginnings. Purity?!

I look around and try to remember. The wooden chair that had to be repainted, for which we had a very serious plan and that ended up being covered with hippie flowers and a black skull so small that no one ever noticed it. It was our private joke. The bookshelf that wasn’t straight simply because it was so amusing to watch people’s faces, tilting their heads to make sure it was not in their minds.

And you twist your fingers and staring at them as if they could come off from all the twisting, a panicking eyebrow dancing up and down dangerously.

Fear turns into anger. Slowly and stubbornly I practice my fake smile; I’m going to need it. And it is this suspended smile, held only by the thinnest of lines, that dangles desperately on my face.
“I have to go,” he says.

And I totally misunderstand what he means. I nod, agreeing. That surprises him. He expects some resistance, an argument even. And I think he has to go somewhere. But he has to go.

And when he stands up, he finally looks at me, his tortured fingers tucked away in the tight pockets of his blue jeans, so very blue, too blue, the ones he bought recently along with a few colorful T-shirts and shoes and a black leather jacket that didn’t match anything he has.

He walks out the door, his steps reverberating onto the white walls, that special white we had chosen together a long time ago. And he was gone.

A few weeks later, he took his new clothes with him and left the old ones behind. “You can give them to charity,” he said. And he was wearing that black leather jacket that looked ridiculous on him.

The clothes went to the local church; they’d know what to do with them. I gave the fishing gear to the neighbor’s kid. The CDs and DVDs were offered to the small high-school’s media library. Everything else went to the garbage.

It didn’t feel like a break-up. It felt like mourning.

And that was it. After we signed the papers, we never saw each other again.

I went back to that same church to drop a few of my own old clothes and I saw the dreadful black leather jacket. “Your ex-husband left it here. He said you thought it looked ridiculous on him,” said the priest, stuttering slightly.

No, I hadn’t told him anything. It was her. And I stood there, twisting my fingers and wondering if it had all been a waste of time.

“I have to go,” I said. The priest nodded. And I left, my steps reverberating onto the white walls, that white that was so insidiously strange to me.

Sunday, September 21, 2014



The wolf was a hungry beast. It prowled around, lurking in the shadows, its red eyes glimmering in the darkness. It fed on my anger.

“Keep it,” the man whispered.

I tried to stifle its eagerness, its thirst.

“Kill it, kill it,” the man whispered.

I couldn’t understand. Keep it or kill it? Keeping it would feed the hunger. Killing it would perpetuate the hatred. I too would’ve given in. I saw no way out.

The man grinned, his teeth as sharp as the wolf’s and he said “There’s your wolf. Guard it with your soul. It’ll keep you alive.”

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Kat Beach

The devil crossed the border, looked around and decided that that small village was the perfect place for a vacation. When he set out to find a hotel, he came across a smartly dressed man. He felt so tempted; a foot, just a foot, and the idiot would trip. He sneered. Then he came across a kid on his new bike; a foot, just a foot… He sneered. Finally, he came across an elderly lady. This was the one. A foot, just a foot, and… The devil was shocked and mortified. His pride was completely shattered. The elderly lady sneered.

Sunday, September 7, 2014



The man stormed out of the restaurant, screaming. He ran around aimlessly before collapsing onto a pile of snow. Upon closer inspection, the police officer realized that the man had a fork stuck in his eye. Some said it was an accident, others a bet. When the officer got closer, the man lifted his face from the snow and smiled. “What a ride!” The officer was baffled. Suddenly, the man stood up and took off running. The ambulance eventually caught up with him in a field, digging for money, he said. “Oh yeah, it was a bet,” concluded the officer.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Story Waiting to Happen


... MOSP (click here for full text).

This post is part of a series of monthly articles for the Virtual Writers about sims in Second Life that could be the source of inspiration for writers. My goal is to trigger ideas for new stories, new characters and new settings. Enjoy!

Note: One of the characteristics of Second Life is the fact that it's constantly and rapidly changing. Sims come and go; others look quite different, as time goes by. Do take that into consideration when using the links provided. 



Second Life® is an extraordinarily rich source of material and environments for any creator, performers, painters, photographers, artists in general, writers and machinima filmmakers.

I’d like to invite you, this month, to join me on a tour of the MOSP, the Machinima Open Studio Project whose curator is Chic Aeon.

This project was originally part of the Artist’s in Residence program and is now part of the Linden Endowment for the Arts as a permanent region. As its name indicates, it is organized so that machinimatographers have several different backdrops in either an indoors setup or outdoors.

Now, we are not going to shoot a machinima! Yet, this asset is very interesting for writers as well.

As you arrive, at ground level, I suggest you grab the HUD. It’s a great way to move about in the sim easily. The valley, a beach, the city, a desert, a winter landscape are only a few of the various options available. These areas are decorated with just the right details to trigger ideas and moods to create the setting(s) in your story.

The options are countless and so varied that I feel tempted to drag you along with me in an extensive post about the multitude of possibilities. However, I would like you to explore the sim by yourself, so you can find what you need for your own story.

Having this in mind, I decide to teleport to the “Specialty Area” (HUD), also referred to as “New Areas” if you teleport to the Landing Point at ground level. I am taken to a room with pictures of a dungeon, a park, a romantic garden, a country road, a spaceship, to mention only a few. Click the pictures to teleport to the location(s) you choose.

I visit several of them randomly and especially enjoy the rainy day loft. This is where my story would begin. A woman stands at the glass door by the balcony and watches the relentless rain. She recalls what happened to her recently.

I then visit “Stage 1” and check the first studio carefully. This could be the apartment of that man, the one who triggered the catastrophe that forced her to flee abroad. A map on the wall with several locations marked by red pins, a few posters, computer cables, a lounger and a gaming chair keep company to a tie rack. He was a spy.

I move on to the studio next door. The setup is a bedroom. A few pictures on the wall, good moments spent together, and photo of a child, but my character doesn’t remember being a mother… A frame on the wall shows the letters “C” and “E”. These will be the first letters of my main characters’ names.

The next studio prompts me to add the escape itself to the story. It could be a hotel room furnished with a bed, a tall chest, a vanity table, a chair and a bench. On the floor, neatly placed against the window, are several chests. They look expensive. I inspect the vanity table closer. A diary reveals a few interesting details, a few letters, drawings and perhaps a poem. 4.07.07. Dates are always a great source of inspiration! Now I have a time for the story.

I continue on to the next studio and see that it’s a classroom. I wonder for a bit if I can make my main female character a teacher. Would that fit with the male character, the spy? I hesitate a lot and that is usually a sign that being a teacher is not the right option. So, I move on to “Stage 2” (HUD).

Now, the first setup at “Stage 2” looks promising. The drum set and the music sheets on the floor make me think that she could be a musician, the member of a band. Yes, that works!

The next studio is a pub. The pool table takes over the whole room. I decide to sit at the bar. This is where they first met. In fact, what seemed to have been the result of utter chance had been carefully, even obsessively, planned. They chatted, they played, and they flirted.

The next studio makes me think I need a third character, a journalist. The bag, in the corner, is ready to go. He always has a bag packed, just in case. The chess set waits neatly and patiently to be played. A few books are witness to this quietude. The coffee machine is brewing a fresh pot, leaving an inebriating aroma in the air. Curiously enough, there seems to be another diary on a side-table. Oh, it’s the diary, her diary. How did he get his hands on that? I need a name for the journalist. A portrait of Jules Verne and one of Edgar Allen Poe make me ponder the possibility of calling him Edgar Verne. Too obvious? Umm… I have to work on this.

The last studio at “Stage 2” is the atelier of a fashion designer. Perhaps she’s a friend, a confident, of my main female character, someone she thinks she can rely on, someone who betrays her in the end. The spy and the fashion designer could be working together. Yes.

Characters, settings, time and a few ideas for the plot are drafted. The conflict, the why and how, and the resolution need to be worked on. And everything needs time to simmer!

The notecard “About MOSP” states that “MOSP was embraced by machinimatographers, photographers and explorers.” I believe we could add writers to this group.

So, walk around. Explore. Imagine new stories or draw inspiration from the different environments for the story you’re working on at the moment, because… there’s a story waiting to happen at MOSP!



Disclaimer: Virtual Writers and I are in no way affiliated with any shop located in the sims featured in this column nor do we intend to promote them.