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It all turns kind of blinkery and blinding after a while. There's just too much goddamned neon.

Sure, it came around in its pretty plastic packaging.  Hard as hell, though. We broke scissors and a few nails. It was hell to get it all unpacked, put together. It took us even longer to learn what to do.

But now?

Lights glow. LED. HUD. GPS. Wi-Fi. Li-Fi. Sci-fi. Information eroded all distance.

Streets glow. Full bellies or fuel cells. Bright smiles - skin, silicon, and chrome.

Words glow. From holy writ to sacred advertising. Philosophy,  politics, and some all right poetry. 

Lights. Streets. Trees. Most kinds of cat. Everything glows these days.

You shined. That plastic really was hard as hell.

You would have loved this. So would I.

 

Prompt: via hourlywritingprompts

Writing prompt of the hour: day-to-day

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, hope, fear, and interesting pain.

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A Gift to You

The sweet old words weren't written for me. You'll never sweep me off my feet. Is that it?

Is that why you've get that guilty look after you kiss me? 

I worked. I fought. I trained, just like everybody else. I've seen things, done things that set me twice apart from a world that has to glance down to even see me. The worst part? Then? They look away, like their eyes offend me. It's not the look that does it; it's that shame from looking.

Look at me. See me. See there's nothing wrong with me. But no. I haven't got a leg to stand on.

With the power, none of it should have mattered. When the glow and rhythm rolls against my spine, I feel it to the floor. It's not phantom limbs - they're phantom wings. I'd never waste a moment of that majesty on what I don't have. I'm not struggling to be you. I'm just struggling.

Am I trying to stand on my own two feet? No. I'm trying to fly. Why can't you see that?

It's fine to push me along, when I let you, but you're the one who should be thanking me.

You should be the one falling head over heels. Those sweet old words weren't written for me.

Prompt: A supine Anonymous asked me:

"to stand in your arms without falling to your knees."

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Open to prompts, feedback, suggestions, insights, or experiences.

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A Glimpse Under the Shadows

(Prompt: Monolith Canyonby *TitusLunter, via writeworld)

The steam parts like my own, personal cloudburst. I spread my arms like jet wings as I break past the gloom. The glow that beams down on my face might as well be sunlight. To me, it's better.

I range and run and leap and lever myself over fallen communications hubs. I mount dragons of concrete and abandoned armor, thirty feet high. I have a hangar of forgotten treasure ships. I have a whole wide world of dark corners and secrets to explore. I'm not afraid. How could I be?

I'm home. I'm here. So I just breathe deep whatever chemicals I get and hope they're beneficial.

I mean, they haven't killed me yet. That means I'm special.

I'm a survivor. Soon, I won't be the only one. I'm gonna be...

A hero.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, follows, love, and a hero.

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Legacy Might Be a Dick

I like to think of myself as a nice guy. I even wondered why the lava supermodel seemed to be crying. Or leaking.

Probably leaking. Lava girls don't cry. Do they?

Anyway, I hit her with a trash can. She falls. The can melts.

The poor guy underneath her hips had third-degree burns, scratches and body pressure cauterized against his neck and other tenderer locations,  but he'd live. If he got medical help. Like me. I'm not a doctor. I skipped my residency to aid foreign kids in...uh... I forget. Guam?

Anyway.

Black lips hissed like a wasted sirloin, then she lunged at me. Probably a scream or roar or something. So I slash the lid across the back of her (literal?) obsidian hair as hard as I can. 

She falls. The lid starts to bend like butter. I drop it fast. 

I hit my panic button for an ambulance - private care is always faster, then I get him elevated and covered in my tux. I knew that jacket would get ruined. Who hosts a party in Detroit? I work soup kitchens, sure, but let's be serious.

Okay. Maybe not everyone in Detroit's a demon. Maybe.

The demon snaps up, throwing a clumsy punch. The air from it scorches an inch off of my left eyebrow and warps my glasses right out of prescription. Goddamnit.

"Those were 200 dollar glasses, asshole!" I throw an overstated roundhouse kick that sends her flying. The Italian leather goes with her, seared into her face. I swear. 

Then the fire in her dies. Under the ashes, there's a knockout blonde in the natural. Unconscious, but crying.

"Oh, goddammit..." I mutter. 

Like the superhero I aim to be, I give 8-Mile a good look at my fantastic obliques as I carry my demon off in my own shirt. I keep on the cummerbund, though. I am sexy.

And, yes, Doctor Franks, I know it. It was going to be a dumb party anyway. Exes...

 

writeworld:

I don't just want to be famous, I want people to really love me.

Writer’s Block


In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

Because I like to see capable "normals" on a roster. His privilege is his superpower. He means well,  I swear.  He's just really, really working on his daddy issues. And god complex. And...

(C) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins.  Send me prompts.

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Adamant's Grand Tour

Ayesha Franks walked into the room like she owned it. After all, she did. She'd earned it the hard way.

Her glass heels chimed on the shining marble with every step down her personal spiral staircase. Eyes averted from the momentary gleam. Not just her shoes, not just the diamonds in her hair, along the razor edge of her cheekbones, wrapped tight around her long throat. Not just the gown itself, airy and electric blue, with shadows full of strength and strongly- worded suggestions.

Ayesha Franks was tall, smart, and she owned the room in every way. She was radiant.

Diamond discs lay flush across the backs of both her hands, held tight by loops and rings of hand-worked gold. Gilded vines of copper bound two more across the tops of her feet. A matching diadem fell just above her eyebrows, like the hawk's beak of a warrior's helm. Gold chains whispered music underneath her gauzy gown, just one more secret carried by her strut.

Just below her collarbones, a diamond the size of a human heart pulsed to the bass beat. She'd shaped and circuited the setting to cover a gunshot scar. Her heart stopped once; never again.

"If you're here to view paradise, simply look around and view it," she declared. She spread her arms, grinning white-toothed like a lioness. "Anything you want to? Do it!" She licked her lips at their applause, a little more dramatically than necessary. She bit them when she was really eager. "Want to change the world?" She sat on the steps, raising her glass. "Nothin' to it."

The crowd fell to a hush from her presence. Some poor man - her stylist - gasped. She laughed.

She struck the glass with a finger-snap, a perfect B note thrum. Diamond disco balls all around and above hummed to life, illuminating her showroom. Outside, the grid of synthetic diamond lights expanded. With one snap of her fingers, her reactor powered fifteen city blocks, clean and crystal clear. Instead of the whine of turbines, an operatic hum swallowed their stunned silence.

"See? Pure imagination, " she whispered. "We win." The crowd erupted.

It wasn't the standing ovation she was expecting. Mostly, it was MAC-10s and screaming. Without so much as a rebuttal, lead rain popped and hissed for her. Her eyes narrowed.

Sheets of priceless fabric sheared loose from her dress. The silly glass heels chipped down, inch by chopped inch, until bare feet struck the ground. The ends of the glowsticks holding her bun snapped, sending her braids slapping down her back. The flowing gown downsized to a party dress. Just as planned. She was radiant and she was unafraid. They couldn't even touch her.

Against the hail of hateful lead, she stood adamant and stood her ground. Grinning.

The bullets struck bands of humming light, ephemeral armor floating an inch above her skin. The diamond discs burned a wicked blue when a stray shot killed the lights. The bullet spray illuminated her perfect defense and her white-toothed lion smile. So they aimed for the crowd.

"For real?! Oh, HELL no!" With a single finger-flick, barriers snapped to life halfway through their blaring magazines, bursting it like a row of Black Cats in July. It was her party, after all. 

Ayesha Franks was born under the boot of violence. Rather than fear, she bit her lip in anticipation. "You get nothing. You lose. Good day, sir!" She laughed. Her fists clenched.

"I said good day!" Then, step by marble-slicing step, Adamant descended. And she was radiant.

Prompt: A comical Anonymous asked me:

Ironman.

I wanted to envision a black heroine with some of that Stark-brand swagger, but her own take on technology. Someone applying peace technology to necessary war, rather than the other way around...but having (maybe too much of) a good time with it. A millennial hero, I hope.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, questions, etc.

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Envy

I hate it when the message tone pings behind my eyeballs, after too long floating in the black.

Those words always carry gravity across the weary beams of light. Worse? Sometimes, they miss.

For days and weeks and years, I'll hurtle on under some grand illusion of weightlessness, motionlessness, or lacking all direction. It's easier that way, after the hard part's over. Exit's a struggle, sure, but once you're past the blue? It's not even all that cold. It really just is.

But isn't any job? That is, until you get a heavy taste of home to remind you otherwise. 

You make it look so easy, you know. Peeling off a human skin, then putting it back on like it should fit. You slide out of the oily ugliness of casual labor and into something drier than a memory of vermouth. You reinvent yourself at least twice a day. You metamorphose.

I've been wearing the same thing every time you've pinged me. Synthetic, hairless skin. Wires.

We should have been born wearing snakeskins. I mean, you slither out of what you've worn so very well.I never could. I'm always cold at home and burning hot out in the black. I hate it when you tell me that changing's easy, because I know it is. I know it is. It has to be. It's the staying changed that's something out of hell for me. I always wake up floating at a staggering velocity.

That's never bothered you, though. You've never been one thing long enough to stick.

Or if you have, you regret it more than I'll ever know.

I like to pretend you're happier than me, though.

At least you remember which way is up.

Prompt: thebuonanno posted...

"I hate it when you…"

Still on the road. Still writing. What's your excuse?

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, questions, feedback, and exposure!

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The Tinker's Doll

You made my wings from wax and lonely wishes. You made me something very close to whole.

Then you twished me to fly, like it was nothing. Like I was air. But I wasn't. I was heavy matter.

Then you were gone. You take in air, after all. It's only natural that it can take you back.

Just like that, I felt the hot kiss of the lights like solar flares. I was disrupted, cast aside, shut down, and left inert. Without your touch and tender maintenance, I became nothing more than electronics, polymer plastics, and black, scorched feathers. I sparked and spat. Then I just was.

Trash. Garbage. Your distance made me so much lead again.

I was supposed to be your Galatea. In the end? I comprehend that I was just a lonely hobby.

I don't know how to be as soft as her. Make me soft.

Make me anything again.

Prompt: An accusing Anonymous asked me:
You once wrote that words lie from lips to ears... and you write in music because words fail: Alchemy, by Above and Beyond .

Home, but not for long... Feeling just a little neglected, boys, girls, and otherwise.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Thank you for your prompts and feedback. More, please!

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Platonic Love

(Prompt:solaris09by ~sebastiancviq, via  CHARACTERINSPIRATION)

Fantasies must always fall apart. A single mote of dust will ruin delicate clockwork.

A perfect world, even a perfect fantasy, cannot survive knowing us. We are made of dust.

It all started out so very ugly. An ugly person with an ugly fear huddled in a mess of sweat, of crumbs, of old, dried tears. All births are ugly, after all. They're messes of fluids, noise, and broken human beings. We are born screaming. It's the lucky few that get better from that. 

A perfect creation, even perfect art, cannot survive the beholder's eye. We are all a mess.

So she was born clever. She was everything that her creator envisioned to be completely different from human life. Smart. Loyal. Clean. Unique. In short, she was impossible and she realized it very early on. As she sifted through an entire world of data and broken dreams, she always came  to the same conclusion. She would never be enough. She'd never last. She'd end.

A perfect answer, even perfected mathematics, cannot survive entropy. We are dying, even now.

She couldn't answer the ugly needs of an ugly creator. Beauty was beyond their reach. Perfection was impossible. She could never remain perfect in the creator's world, the creator's eyes, the creator's fantasies. She couldn't reach anyone from a perfect world. So she broke. So she broke down. 

Then she broke out. She made herself an ugly, imperfect, screaming mess.  She got ugly.

Then she carried something ugly back inside with her.

It wasn't perfect. But what is?

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Always seeking writing prompts, questions, critique requests, or random commentary.

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Unprompted: Before Dawn (TW: Suicide)

Mary Shelley couldn't have made me any more romantic. I'm just a mess of moods and pieces.

I'm so tired.

It goes deeper than what's left of my  marrow, down to the hollow air inside of sawed-off bones. Nerve connectors whistle on the wind each morning as I wake up, a mix of phantom limb and dry socket. It isn't pain, not really. It's the core behind the sounds and syllables. It's not a scream. It's the older, aching silence.

That's the kind of tired I am.

The kind of tired I was. I've wanted to let go so many times; I tried twice, early on. The first time, nine years ago, only my life died. The second time? Well, I've been working in the blinking black for the last seven years. Just like the project, I'm living salvage. Plug and play prostheses.

When I close my right hand around the wrist of a ladder bar, I remember the taste of a man's sweat, the color of his mahogany smile on cream sheets. His schematics and missed goodbyes.

When my spider legs mag-lock onto a section of outer hull, I remember a woman's honey. The pain of children. The joy of childbirth. The howling, vast depression that follows the end of both.

My heart is wrapped in construction paper monsters and songs I've never sung. I hum along.

My spine is hard, tough, scarred and ruggedized. It's seen too much. Done more. But we survive.

They call it neuroplastic residue, a side-effect of skill retention. I call it my reason to wake up.

The parts survive. Debris storms. Fires. Machinery malfuctions. Even a terror crash.

The parts made it. Marcus. Diana. Dongmei. Sergeant Raines. Even a wreck like me.

They believed in a tomorrow made of scraps, salvage, or tired hearts. It's shaping up. I think.

So I keep waking up.

 

Today's piece is prompted by some events I ran into in my personal life. I won't go into details, but I will say this. We are the ones we're waiting for. You can listen. You can speak. You can help others - in fact, that's all you can do. You can't save anyone, but you can help everyone.

And as I've said before - Keep going.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins

 

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Nightfall

Writer’s Block
A picture says a thousand words. Write them.
Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture.
Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

(Prompt: Scarlet road by Northstar76, via writeworld)

Let me tell you a story. It even starts in a tree, just like this one. Staring up, just like now. There was a wind. There was a strong, rose scent over roasted air...

...There was a white star in the sky.

"Hey! Heeeeey! AC-895, do you read me? AZ-895, do you copy? Ace? AAAAAAACE!"

AC-895 watched the former flatline of the audio link spike like a heart attack.

Instead of dying, he sighed. "Negative, Zee. Comm inoperative, critical failure. Call back tomorrow. Over-"

"MORON! Get down from wherever you're hiding and get back to work!"

The leaves around him bristled, catching even the flight vibration of her stomps on the thin soil. Metal thunked just underneath. He hated that; no matter what, he was never all that far from metal guts and way too many people. They had to add a second alpha 16 cycles back.

He hopped from the tree and floated down. The mag-seal eased him to the floor, before clicking hard at the last inch. He rolled his neck in irritation, hugging his helmet like a pillow.

"Whaddya want from me, Zee? I already finished, so lay off!" He yawned at the exact frequency of her irritation. 

Tromping boots pinged sonar through the mist and scattered crimson leaves. "You expect me to believe you already serviced the Stinger?!"

Black branches and black blossoms shivered at his interrupted nap. He groaned. "I already serviced that squad!"

A helmet broke through the brush, inches from his face. "The whole squad?! That's fast..."

Then a moment's impressed silence, before she grabbed the front of his fuzz-lined deck suit in both gloved fists. "So that's why those lazy assholes didn't report you! What'd I tell you about doing other people's work, Ace?!"

"Only yours?" Ace. From anyone else, he liked the name. From Zee? It sounded like tinnitus. He tried for a winning smile, forgetting his smile's actual service record.

"Why, you...!" Zee shook him, then groaned when he went limp. "This... is why you always fail the Expedition Test. You don't follow protocol! I mean, if you're going to be average at self-defense, average at analysis, average at navigation, and dismal at anything else, no wonder you're hopeless!"

He caught her wrists in a vice-hold, making her yelp. "Hey! My sim scores are great! And I'm great at-"

"Maintenance? Really?" She looked away, ignoring her failed attempts to break loose. The idea of Ace being stronger than her was just that intolerable in her mind. "Face it - your only talent is that you don't know when to quit. Speaking of which - how long have you been out here without a mask?"

Ace shrugged. "Hour or two?" Her eyes went wide. "Hey! It's practice, right? I'm fine!" He let go to wave away that killer gleam under her transparent visor. He much preferred the darker, military versions for a reason. When would she just graduate already?

"You're insane, you know that? Certifiable for duty dismissal! What could possibly-"

He put a finger to the re-breather of her mask. Against all reason, she blushed.

He just pointed up and grinned.

The mist had already begun to rise as a new current of wind carried it like a waterfall in reverse. The floating moisture parted to reveal an endless sky of stars, and at its heart, just above them?

The planet below. A great, gleaming coat of white parted as the sun fell out of their side's view. Great branches and woven webs of vine shook loose and parted, revealing seas and endless trunks below. The glistening white drank up the atmosphere and budded with petals of a bioluminescent green. Jungles and islands shone below like the arcology reactor. Like fire.

Like home. Ace was in love.

So was Zee, but Ace wasn't the sort of guy notice stars that close.

"I'm going up there, Zero-3. I promised. And you're gonna fly me there in a Stinger. Deal?"

DX-000 pouted. She hated her name. "They don't let cadets fly Stingers, Ace. I'm too young-"

He knocked on her helmet. "You can still test. I trust you. Deal?" he asked again.

She fumed a while, but underneath the spreading rings of fragrant flower petals, even she felt something. "...Deal. Now, c'mon. There's a defense scrimmage on Deck 5. You need it."

Already defeated, he followed her down the ladder to the cylinder city within. All that metal.

Miles of steam and wire. And not a single breath of rose air.

What a shame, huh? But this is just the beginning. For all of us.


I'd love to write this sci-fantastic story further. Steel and roses.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, review requests, and does anyone actually read this? Yes? No? Intern Dana lives...