Thursday, April 19, 2012

300 Words or Less: Variegated Rapture

300 Thursday again, where I'm posting bits of original work -- teasers from the novel I'm working on, some of my favorite poetry or prose I've done in the last few years, maybe some flash fiction or short essays, etc. -- all within 300 words or less.

So for my noveling I'm at research-stage and I'm looking into shapeshifters. This idea has always fascinated me. What about you? Do you love it? Squinch your nose at it? Could really care less?

My current project isn't about shapeshifting as a fully formed thought, but rather an undertone. I don't know if that makes sense? For now, this is kind of how I'm using it (though this short-short isn't at all part of my novel. SoSo is one of my characters, but that's about it):

Variegated Rapture

link to original here
Reminiscing, Fiona thinks, It’s not so much that I'm a shapeshifter, because nothing really changes. It's more like I'm added-on-to. Upgraded, maybe, or accessorized. 

Fi knows her share of shapeshifters, proud people claiming their birthright with the ease and grace of walking. Their mothers teach them shifting before walking, even, which is perhaps why that basic human skill seems so second-nature by the time they get around to learning it.

“What’re you thinking about, my little angel?” Liam rolls to his side, propping his head on his hand and smiling a sleepy grin. 

Fiona looks up and sighs, “You’re supposed to be asleep.”

“But I’m not.”

She slides back into silence. He waits.

Without any mother to speak of, or at least none that claimed her, Fiona was left to learn everything from her half-sisters. Though SoSo is doting, she’s busy. The others are interested when it serves them. At best, Fi could say she’s received a variegated education, having to piece things together herself.

At worst, she could say she is screwed. Perhaps that’s why things still seemed so out of order. Unclear.

“I’m thinking about my mum,” Fi finally answers.

Liam has been slowly drawing his finger along the lines of her high cheekbones, her lips, her long neck. His touch is light, teasing, as he continues his unhurried exploration down.

“What about her?”

“I don’t know,” Fi purrs, relaxing and stretching into his hand.

Rumbling deep, he pulls her length onto him, whispering, “Do your thing.”

Fiona hesitates, though, pushing slightly away. She isn’t supposed to; it’s considered a waste. But she loves how he plays, how he laughs. 

She’s caught. 

Eff it, she thinks, her form blurring. She scoops him up and wraps them both in her wings. Angelic love is perfect. Rapturous. But now she’s truly in trouble.

Hmmm. What do you think about the present-tense? I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with it. I feel like I'm taking notes, or something, but thought I'd try it out.

Created in part for the GBE 2: Blog On week #48 challenge

Moment of Magic today:

Because it seems to serendipitously fit?



  1. I like the present tense, it makes me feel like a fly on the wall.

    I am so intrigued, I want to know more about Fi. What happened to result in her not being claimed?!?!?

    Keep it coming ;-)

    1. Aye, there is that angle to looking at it. Thanks for the positive feedback. I hadn't thought of it that way.

      As for Fi and Liam *sigh for them* I'm not really going to do anything else with them. Not for a long, long time anyway. They're really just a way for me to explore the feel of putting the whole angel-thing into words, if that makes sense? I was doing it differently before, with my first draft, but now that I'm researching shapeshifters it's got the wheels in my brain turning.

      You'll see bits of this in my book when it eventually comes out, no doubt. We'll see.

  2. You did the present tense well. I've always been afraid to try it. I loved the 'added-on-to and upgraded', a nice way to express her feelings about how she sees herself.
    (I love the name SoSo.)
    Sounds like a very intriguing story.

    1. Ah thanks, Jewels, for the good feedback. All good things...makes me hum happily in my head :)

  3. Typically, if I pick up a book written in present tense, I throw it back down again. However, I have to admit that I didn't even notice this was present tense until you asked. It was a short sample, tho, so I might get irritated if it went on longer. Why irritated? Somehow present tense makes it more difficult for me to suspend disbelief. I do like your writing style and find myself wanting to know more about the world you're creating.

    1. You hit it on the nose. Exactly. It is more difficult to suspend belief. I'd never figured it out quite, but you're right.

      Thanks for the props on my writing style, and for wanting to know more. Love to hear it -- makes me want to write even faster (or at least more often, which is what I need right now, so thanks) :)

  4. I think present tense definitely works in certain pieces (particularly shorter ones such as this) and you definitely make it work here. I loved your remark about feeling like you were taking notes--I've never really thought of it that way, but I can totally see your point.

  5. Thanks Masked Mom. I agree -- present tense works okay in shorter pieces, but honestly I'm not sure I could even pull it off for anything longer. My story-teller brain doesn't work in present tense for some reason. I had a hard enough time editing just this little bitty.


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