Social Schizophrenia

(i write stuff)

Dumbledore Quote Drabbles: Aftermath
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Aftermath
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): HP - Neville/Luna
Genre: General
Rating: G
Words: 283
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland 22: HP Week Part 5 - Dumbledore Quotes
Quote: You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.
Warnings: DH spoilers.

Aftermath

Neville was still clutching the sword.


It was filthy, stained, and covered in blood – come to think of it, so was he – but he could not let it go.
He leaned against a wall in the corner of the Great Hall, only dimly aware of the bustle around him. His brain seemed to have frozen. It was over. It was really over.

He stared down at the sword, still numb with disbelief.Collapse )

Dumbledore Quote Drabbles: The Sorting
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: The Sorting
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): HP - Neville
Genre: General
Rating: G
Words: 294
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland  #22: HP Week Part 5- Dumbledore Quotes
Quote: It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Warnings: None

The Sorting

It was dark inside the hat. Neville could no longer see or hear the sea of students before him. He could hear nothing but his own quick breathing as he gripped the stool in terror. Was there a house for people who weren’t good at magic? He nearly screamed out loud when he heard the voice in his ear.

“Now, aren’t you an interesting one,” said the small voice.


Am I? Neville thought.Collapse )

Dumbledore Quote Drabbles: Fire Whiskey Dreams
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Fire Whiskey Dreams
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): HP - Snape and death eaters
Genre: Humour
Rating: G
Words: 383
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland  #22: HP Week Part 5- Dumbledore Quotes
Quote: It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
Warnings: None

Fire Whiskey Dreams

Lucius supposed that he really should have seen this coming.

“And her hair! Did I tell you how much I love her hair? It’s so pretty... And shiny... And it smells like happiness...”

No one complained when the rest of this speech was lost in a deluge of fresh sobbing as Snape buried his head in his arms.Collapse )


Cupcakes
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Cupcakes
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): HP - Ron and Hermione
Genre: Humour
Rating: G
Words: 582
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #23: Harry Potter Week Part 6 - 5 Words
Warnings: None
Notes: The challenge was to write a story containing the words sorcerer, magic, school, book and professor.
Summary: Hermione is used to being the best at everything she does. She's not about to be thwarted by imperfect cupcakes.

Cupcakes

“Hermione, you’ve made like two hundred cupcakes already.”

 

“One hundred and forty-four,” she snapped.

She looked up from the recipe book, glaring at Ron as though this were all his fault.

“What?” he said, his mouth full of cake.Collapse )




Jozi Gods
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Jozi Gods
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: Fantasy - urban
Rating: PG13
Words: 507
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #17: Maintaining the Basics Part 1
Warnings: Mild bad language
Notes: I had far too many ideas to squeeze into 500 words, but I think I'll do more with this character and this story - I'm hoping the next part of the challenge will give me a chance to expand on this.
Summary: Even baby cities like Jo'burg have enough occult energy flying around for weird things to start happening. Theodore Du Plessis-Williams, B-grade sorcerer and amateur PI, gets called in to investigate when several small gods decide to overthrow the big guys.

Jozi Gods


Jo’burg is 125 years old. I Wiki’d it. As cities go, it’s barely out of nappies. But apparently that was all the time it needed for the occult energies to pile up.

Jozi had started spawning its own gods.

Gods aren’t are cool as you might think. There are the big ones, who deal with thunder and love and death (basically anything you could convincingly write an opera about), but then there are the others – the little ones. The ones people never realise they’re praying to.

But those prayers make gods.

"The god of Documents Lost by Home Affairs?” I asked, raising an eyebrow at the client at the other side of the desk.Collapse )




Erised Stra Ehru Oyt Ube Cafru Oyt On Wohsi
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Erised
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): HP - Luna Lovegood
Genre: General
Rating: G
Words: 500
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #19: HP Week Part 2, Deepest Most Desperate Desires
Warnings: None
Summary: Luna has encountered the mirror again and again over the course of her years at Hogwarts. Now it's found her again, but this time, something's different.

Erised


Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

Luna had read the words hundreds of times, murmuring them to herself like a charm or a lullaby. She had found the meaning in seconds. The inscription was silly, really, like something out of a children’s book. Nothing mystical about it. Still, it made a certain kind of sense: she had never considered the mirror particularly mystical either.

It was not the first time she had run across it. It seemed to seek her out from time to time, and she had never had any objection to its doing so. Collapse )




Ten iTunes Drabbles
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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iTunes Drabbles

Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original, Chess
Genre: General, Fantasy
Rating: PG13
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland Challenge #15: iTunes Drabbles
Warnings: Bad language
Notes: The challenge was to put iTunes on shuffle and write drabbles inspired by the first ten songs, writing only for the duration of those songs. I've done some minor editing for coherence without altering the lengths of the pieces.

1. Drinks with the Devil (Hell Yes – Alkaline Trio – 3:49)

The pub was a dive. Grotty, grimy, and with air so thick you could almost taste it. There was something definitely mysterious about the man at the end of the bar. He was wearing a long trenchcoat, the sort people wear in detective films. On most people, it would have looked ridiculous. On him, it somehow managed to look dashing. Collapse )


***

2. Letting Go (This is Letting Go – Rise Against – 3:41)

There was something cathartic about realising that we just weren’t right for each other any more. I contemplated him over the half-cooled cup of tea in front of me. Collapse )


***

3. Waking up (American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem – 3:41)

He was hungover. Again. He rolled over and glanced at the clock on the bedside table. The glowing red numbers unhelpfully told him that it was 11:30. The sunlight struggling in through the curtains suggested that it meant AM. He lay back down and groaned.Collapse )


***

4. Idk (Off the Map – Alkaline Trio – 3:15)

It’s like i’m so far off the map i can’t even tell what’s crazy and what’s not any more. and i mean, that’s crazy, right? we just keep fighting. i say something and she says something, and next thing we’ve been fighting for so long that we don’t even remember what we’re fighting about anymore. Collapse )

***
 

5. The Moon Path (Donnie Darko Soundtrack – 1:47)

When I was a kid, I used to sit on the beach and watch the moon path. I used to imagine that the reflection of the full moon on the water was an actual path of light, solid enough to walk on, leading – well, anywhere. Somewhere magical.Collapse )

***

6. Run Away (Fork in the Road – aKING – 3:09)

“Why does change scare us so much anyway?” she asked me, stretching out on the sofa and resting her feet on the arm of the chair. I didn’t know what to say. Despite my best efforts, I was transfixed by her long, pale legs, crossed at the ankle, one flip flop dangling from her toes. I made a noncommittal sound and tried not to stare. Collapse )

***

7. Not My Problem (Florence Quits – Chess Soundtrack – 2:53)

She would not cry. She would not cry. Dammit. She wiped the back of her wrist over her eyes, which seemed disinclined to obey her very clear instructions. Florence packed as quickly as she could, giving no thought to the clothes she was creasing as she threw them into the suitcase. So this was it. She really was leaving. Collapse )

***

8. Goodbye (I Won’t Be Left – Tegan and Sara – 2:38)

“Look, please don’t leave. Lucy, please.” A pleading note had entered her voice now, I noticed with a hint of bitter satisfaction. “It’s too late,” I said, as calmly as I could. “I’m sorry.” Collapse )

***

9. Portal (In Regards to Myself – Underoath – 3:24)

The portal had opened just inside the bathroom. Alice stared at it for a moment, trying to make sense of it over the deep, thrumming bass of the band on the stage. Yes, she decided, definitely a portal. Or maybe that was the coke talking. Collapse )

***

10. Change (Dancing for Rain – Rise Against – 4:02)

The protest had, to a point, gone well. It had been peaceful, the march and sit-in that had once been popular. She put her head in her hands, the memory still vivid in her mind. All they had asked for was change. And instead... Well, here she was. She sat back on the narrow bed, resting her head against the cool stone wall. Collapse )


Something of that Fire Burns Still
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Next Time
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: General
Rating: G
Words: 230
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland Challenge 16: Fire Still Burns
Warnings: None
Summary: A former couple keep up the pretence of being over each other, but the old fire has never fully gone out.

Next Time

We talk about a lot of things, but we don’t talk about us.


Whenever one of us alludes to the fact that there ever was an “us”, the mood changes, as subtly as the changing of the wind, and we move onto safer subjects before we lose ourselves in what used to be.

 

I’ve learned not to trust myself any more when I think I’m over him.Collapse )


***


Title: Embers
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: General
Rating: G
Words: 499
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland Challenge 16: Fire Still Burns
Warnings: None
Summary: Caroline was never sure she wanted a child, and sometimes she just wants to run away.

Embers

“Is it bad that I just want to run away?” Caroline said, with a short, bitter laugh. There was a note of hysteria in it. To Lisa, it sounded more like a sob. Caroline rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand.


"I think it’s normal,” was all Lisa could think of to say, giving her friend’s hand a gentle squeeze.

 

“I guess,” Caroline said.Collapse )

 




The End (SIS 50k: Day 50)
Quill
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I finished SIS 50k in time - but only just. It was slow going and it never stopped feeling like hard work, but it was good to push myself to write. Over the course of the 50 days, I wrote 16 stories (2 unfinished). The most successful of these was probably Unreal City, but I haven't written much more of that in the past few days. I'll get into it again when I have a bit more time to write. And at some stage I'll get to editing the stories I wrote for the challenge, but that's also going to have to wait a bit. Still, accomplishment!

New-age Spelling and Ball-point Pens
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: New-age Spelling and Ball-point Pens
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original (Kate Cooper)
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 13
Words: 333
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #11: 333 Words
Warnings: Language
Summary: Kate Cooper really, really hates faeries. It's why she always carries a ball-point pen.

New-age Spelling and Ball-point Pens

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s faeries. Not to be confused with fairies of the Tinkerbell variety. I’m talking faeries, pretentious new-age spelling compulsory. Androgynous, oversexed, unbelievably powerful, and terrifying beyond all reason.

And just now, too close for comfort.

“But why don't you want to come out and play with us?” purred the creature, giving an exaggerated pout.

 

All things considered, it was lucky I'd had a pen on me.Collapse )


Two 10 Minute Pieces
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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The latest fictionland challenge was to write for ten minutes without stopping and post the result. They didn't say anything about editing, so let it be noted in advance that errors of all kinds are likely to abound.

Title: Zombie Bloodshed Massacre 4
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original (Kate Cooper)
Genre: Fantasy/humour
Rating: PG
Words: 676
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #13: 10 Minutes
Warnings: Unedited writing ahead!
Notes: I wrote for ten minutes and then maybe a minute longer just to round this off. I've been using the third person quite a bit lately, and so I slipped into it automatically here, even though all my Kate Cooper stuff is in the first person. Oh well.
Summary: Kate and Lexi kill zombies and eat chips.

Zombie Bloodshed Massacre 4

“Ha, die, you undead bastard!” Kate yelled, as she decapitated the zombie with a neat flick of her sword before plunging the tip into its heart for good measure. “Lex, get the one on the left.”

 

"Way ahead of you," her roommate said.Collapse )


 ***


Title: Protection
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG
Words: 686
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #13: 10 Minutes
Warnings: Unedited writing ahead!
Notes: An Unreal City extract, written for this challenge and to be included in the story when I actually get to this point.
Summary: Pixie isn't usually the superstitious type, but then, people around her don't usually get magically murdered. She goes to visit the only place in town for top quality magical protection - Hernon's.

Protection

Pixie was not, as a rule, superstitious. As a seer, obviously she believed in the supernatural, but she really didn’t pay heed either to the fact that the universe cared enough about her to be out to get her, or to the idea that various hokey bits of jewellery would help her fend it off.

But now things were weird. And things were scary. And Pixie didn’t have time to sneer at anything that might help her stay alive long enough to work out what was going on and put an end to it.
 

 

"Is this really necessary?" Luke asked.Collapse )

 

 


Waiting for the Sun
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Waiting for the Sun
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: General (I didn't want it to be angst... But I fear it is.)
Rating: PG13
Words: 639
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #07: Light in the Dark
Warnings: Thoughts about suicide.
Notes: I've hardly had time to edit this, and I'm sure that in a week I'll look back and cringe, but I only realised recently that I could write two stories for this challenge, and I'm too competitive to write only one and lose out on the points. Way more angsty than I wanted, but I wrote it when I was feeling particularly bleak about the state of the world and the spate of teen suicides as a result of homophobic bullying in September last year. The "five" are Tyler Clementi, Harrison Chase Brown, Cody J. Barker, Seth Walsh and Billy Lucas.
Summary: Five are already dead, and Tom debates joining them.

Waiting for the Sun

 
For the five, and all the others before and since.
 

The knife was sharp, he knew that much. And now it issued him a challenge. God, some days it seemed like it would be so much easier just to accept it.


Tom sat at the desk in his room, eyes closed, his mind in turmoil. Some days, the thought of oblivion was a relief. As these things went, he knew he had it easy. The yells of “fag” or “queer” as he passed a classroom, the laughs, the mimicry... All of that was par for the course. At least no one had actually tried to beat the crap out of him. Well, not just yet.

 

But now five were dead. Five like him.Collapse )

 




A Light in the Darkness
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: A Light in the Darkness
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original (characters borrowed from singing_nettle)
Genre: Humour (with a hint of fantasy)
Rating: G
Words: 604
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #07: Light in the Dark
Warnings: None
Notes: Just a silly little oneshot.
Summary: Kate and Penny have sacrificed all their dignity to write a trashy romance novel, but they forget that words have a power of their own.

A Light in the Darkness

 
To him, her goodness was like a light in the darkness, a shining light in a world which had shown him only cruelty, only pain, and had taught him to be hard and ruthless.
 

 “That,” Kate said decisively, “was terrible,”


“I know,” Penny said, pulling a face. “Wasn’t it?”


“Wrong on every level,” Kate agreed. “Change ‘cruelty’ to ‘heartache’.”


Penny’s fingers tapped on the keys again. “This is ridiculous, Kate. We can’t do this.”


“We have arts degrees,” Kate pointed out, sinking deeper into the sofa and surveying her friend. “We have to do this. When did you last see a job advert for a medievalist?”

 

Penny sighed, turning from the screen as though the very sight of it made her nauseous.Collapse )

 




Pulling Teeth (SIS 50k: Day 43)
Shakespeare: World's a Stage
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Writing at the moment is like pulling teeth. Once I start, it's ok, but it's taking tremendous effort to push myself to actually get started. Still feeling totally uninspired. I think it would help if I actually planned my story, because then at least I could always skip to another scene when I run out of ideas. Argh. But after two days of hiding from writing, I did manage to struggle through a thousand words of Unreal City.

One of the current challenges for fictionland is "Light in the Dark", which sounds like it should be really evocative, but I still spent two days staring blankly at it before I managed to churn something out today. I borrowed my friend singing_nettle's characters and had them discuss the romance novel they're writing for the money (this, of course, has absolutely no relation to real life, because in real life, singing_nettle wrote the novel all by herself, and I'm only editing it).

Extract: Light in the Dark.Collapse )

Like the X-Files, Only Less Cool (SIS 50k: Day 40)
Shakespeare: World's a Stage
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Wow, I had to push myself to write today. I know that 1000 words only takes me around 15 minutes, but I still put it off until right before bed time, because I just felt so uninspired. In the end, what helped was that I got to start a new scene with a new character, which meant that I could squander all those words on set-up, so I didn't have to worry too much about the plot. I should point out here that I never planned Unreal City at all, so I have only a vague idea of where it's going, and even less idea of how it's going to get there. So I introduced a new character who is totally not lifted right from Rivers of London and wrote about him and will worry about the plot another time.

So here he is. Meet Luke, a constable in the Paranormal Affairs department:

It wasn't even like there was anyone to talk to. And if there was, they would almost all think he was mad. It was tough being a department of one. It was even tougher being a department of one when that department dealt with paranormal phenomena. Like the X-Files, only less cool, and without all that unresolved sexual tension by virtue of there being no one else in the office with whom to fail to resolve sexual tension. Luke kept hoping that some high up somewhere would hire a Scully, but so far he had been out of luck.

Curious Addiction (SIS 50k: Day 39)
Pencils
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While I was fangirling over Sherlock with triviaphilia last night, she made the fateful remark that "Benedict Cumberbatch could be addicted to sniffing laundry for all I care. I'd still love him." The obvious answer? "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!"

So today, after having written all of one fanfic in the past seven or so years, I took a break from Unreal City in favour of short and very silly fic in which Sherlock tells John about his history of addiction... to sniffing laundry.

Some extracts:

It's all fine.Collapse )

Laundromat.Collapse )

(I actually also wrote a darker one about actual drugs last night, but this one was way more fun and way less terrible.)

Dark, Twisty Moustaches and Postmodern Evil (SIS 50k: Day 36)
Gaiman: Fictions
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Like most of the other weeks in this challenge, I missed a few days in the middle and then had to catch up, but I'm back up to date after writing just over 2.5k today.

I'm still working on Unreal City, which started out as a one shot and turned into a longish chapter story: I'm sitting at almost 10k so far, with no end in sight. I don't think it'll end up quite novel length, but it probably could (if I put even a modicum of effort into things like plotting, instead of just sitting down to write every day and seeing what happens). Still, it's interesting to work on. I'm not sure how well the dual perspective works - I started it in first person because it was supposed to be a one-shot and I wasn't planning on introducing other perspectives (and I've been favouring first person since NaNo because it works so well with urban fantasy), but then I switched points of view and used the third person for that perspective. I have no idea how well it's working. I think I'll stick with it for now, and maybe change it when I get to editing.

Some very first-drafty extracts:

First person: Quentin.Collapse )

Third person: Pixie.Collapse )

As always, comments and criticism are very welcome!

Just Like Magic
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Just Like Magic
Author: eponine254 
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: G
Words: 500
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #01: Beginnings
Warnings: None
Notes: Featuring my character from my 2010 NaNo novel, Kate Cooper.
Summary: Kate didn't always know she could do magic, but she was only four when she set her dolls' house on fire, and started figuring things out.

Just Like Magic


I was only four when I figured out I could do it. It was the time I set my dolls’ house on fire. It wasn’t even a biting commentary on the gender roles enforced on girl children at a young age – although, looking back, I like to think that it was – no, I just thought it would be more interesting if my cheap knock-off Barbies had to escape from a burning building to add variety to the plot line of their lives. So I set it on fire.

It wasn't exactly an accident, but I was four, so give me a break.Collapse )


Beginning and Ending
Fictionland: Team Mystery
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Title: Beginning and Ending
Author: eponine254 
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre:
General
Rating: G
Words: 460
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #01: Beginnings
Warnings: None
Summary: After the breakup of her marriage, a woman is left to reflect on beginnings and endings.

Beginning and Ending

Can't say I've ever been too fond of beginnings, myself. Messy little things. Give me a good ending any time. You know where you are with an ending.

  Neil Gaiman, Sandman #57

The one thing in favour of endings is their simplicity. Beginnings have so many complications – meeting someone, seeing them again or not, taking them home or not, falling in love or not. So many opportunities for complications.

And at the end? Just goodbyes.

I stood staring at the boxes, my whole life packed up like just so much rubbish, waiting to be shipped out into an uncertain future.Collapse )


Demon Monkey Fish (SIS 50k: Day 33)
Pages
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For more or less the first time since I started this challenge, I'm very slightly ahead in the word count. My current piece is a story called Unreal City, and it's about a sorcerer who finds himself dead, and in the afterlife version of London. It turns out he's not the first to be killed by the shadowy figure who's been targeting London's magic practitioners, so now he and the others he meets have to come up with some way of reaching those left alive to warn them - unfortunately, only psychics can talk to the dead, and the only psychic Quentin knows has absolutely no desire to talk to him.

The characters are very different from the ones I normally write - in that they're not just various versions of me. It's quite a lot of fun to explore their personalities.

Extract: Demon monkey fish.Collapse )

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