Monday, June 17, 2019

WEP and Announcements

Write...Edit...Publish is the writing life in miniature. We write with enthusiasm...we edit carefully...and then we publish our work. All writing or photographic contributions used as part of WEP challenges are copyright.

We will follow this process every second month or so, in response to different prompts - voila - our writing will improve.

Caged Bird Theme: The topic of a caged bird has many possible interpretations, both literal and metaphorical. Choose one and write the best flash story you can in 1000 words or less. Or maybe create a photo essay about your favorite canary. Or a non-fiction story about captivity and its psychological impact. Whatever you choose, we want to read it.

Each entry is under 1000 words. Prizes are offered. Go to the WEP website for more information.

My 997-word entry is actually from an old novel version of Captain Wrath I worked on a few years ago. It fits the theme as a fictional story about captivity and psychological impact. 
 For those who have been following along with the other Captain Wrath entries, this is a bit different for two reasons.
1. It's from another character's viewpoint - Carya. This is actually her introduction scene in the novel.
2. It's not written with the journalistic style. I thought of changing it, but I've been swamped this month with family adventures.

And, I must caution readers here. Although it isn't graphic, the content of this story section discusses violence and human trafficking. Do not read onward if those topics are uncomfortable for you.

Carya tried not to even think about all that had happened to her, all the tortures she had endured. Her body healed too well, too quickly. She was the perfect piece of meat for customers who wanted something rough.

Carya could smell Gorog before she could see him. Oil and sweat with an acidic after-smell from his battery pack. He wasn’t going to be around for much longer unless Madam Xodhur replaced his battery core.

“Get up.”

Carya could barely lift her head. If he wanted her to move, he could move her.

His charcoal pants came into her view. His thick, muscular legs and lower torso were all that was left of his original humanity.

He slapped her with his robotic hand.

It stung, but everything else hurt more. She blinked at him, tried to look up. She only got as far as the waistcoat he wore buttoned over his robotic chest. She didn’t know why he tried so hard to look normal.

“You aren’t healing.” He stated the obvious. He leaned over to look her in the eye.

The sight of his face was oddly comforting. This disgusting cyborg scum had never done anything other than slap her and push her around. He was probably the gentlest being she’d had contact with in the time she’d been kept at the Depraved Labyrinth. His red mechanical eye swept over her clinically, while his cloudy gray eye seemed turned inward, never focusing on anything. His face-plate of bronze had a crack on one temple and his jaw was wired shut. He ate intravenously through the tubes in his torso. His voice came from a box hidden under the cravat at his throat.

“Madam Xodhur must be notified that you will be unavailable for three days while you rejuvenate with your tree.” He wrapped her up in a sheet, handling her like a giant rag doll, but still more gently than any of the customers would have.

Carya flopped limply. Her muscles refused to do anything and her mind felt fogged.

As Gorog closed the door to her cell, he said, “It is finally time. I didn’t think you would be so strong.”

This statement sent fear through her, but even that small adrenaline rush didn’t help her. Her muscles twitched involuntarily and she cried out from the pain.

“Sh. You will be with your roots soon. Don’t fight it. Just . . .”
A hard knock on her head sent Carya into darkness.

Carya woke to the hum of a stasis tube. Through the edges of her eyelashes, she could see the inside of glowing stasis tube, and she wore a clean hospital gown that covered her entire body, except her neck and head. Two tubes fed into her right hand and her left hand was buried in her potted tree’s soil. She could feel rootlets from her fingers taking life from the tree. Her body healed with the sap of her root-tree, and she felt strong enough to move now.

The hum of the stasis tube changed pitch, from high to low, and the smell of lilacs filled the chamber – sleeping gas.

The second time Carya woke, the stasis tube had stopped humming. Her finger-rootlets were still attached to her root-tree. Her whole body felt strong, alive like it was spring on her home planet of Edvena. As she reveled in this feeling, wishing she could unfurl and let loose flowers, she heard heavy footsteps outside of the tube, and smelled the familiar combination of oil, sweat, and dying battery acid. Tears came. She couldn’t help it. She released the roots of her tree, and waited for the torture to begin again.

When Gorog opened the stasis tube, she didn’t look at him. She sat up slowly, letting her feet dangle over the edge of the tube.

“We will be there soon. You must be ready. No time for chat.” Gorog thrust clothing at her and stomped away.

Carya tried to sort out his words as she stared at her old pilot’s uniform in her hands. She didn’t understand. With trembling hands, she put on the one-piece uniform, zipping it up the front until it came to her chin. It was baggy on her. She had never been large, never been anything but fit, but her uniform hung on her like a sack. She picked up her root-tree, and walked barefoot across the room. She appeared to be in a long storage container. The walls were a corrugated metal, and the floor was gritty with space dust. Was she truly on a ship, headed away from the Depraved Labyrinth?
If so, why had Gorog taken her? What was his plan? She didn’t understand.

She searched the room for a weapon. It was empty except for her, her root-tree in its sturdy container, and the discarded hospital gown. Gorog had sounded hurried.

Going to the control panel of the stasis tube, she pried off the cover with her fingernails. With that free, she pulled out some of the wires with a yank, and took the small battery that powered the control panel. It wasn’t much, but if she –

The door to the storage container opened, and Gorog stepped heavily inside. He shook his head. “No time for that. Come. Go free. Complete the deal.”

“The deal?”

“Freedom for you, new battery for me. The deal.”

Carya understood now. If Gorog thought he could save his own decaying hide by saving hers, then he would sell her to the highest bidder. She still pocketed her scavenged supplies in her ship’s uniform leg pocket. She held her root-tree in both hands and walked towards him.

He stepped aside for her at the door, and trained his wrist-gun on her. Attached to one of his bionic arms, the weapons had enough firepower to take down a dozen beings at once.

Carya passed him, knowing that if he had wanted to kill her he would have just let her die already.


Tara had a long journey to get this book published!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

Author Bio
Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two novel series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

How to find:
twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks
newsletter: tara tyler news


Coming Soon from Krystal Jane Ruin ...
Title: Garden of Ravens
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Poetry, Dark Contemporary & Folklore
A collection of dark poetry that journeys through folklore, twisted tales, mental breakdowns, and depression. 

We hide in shadows
We wither under layers
Sunlight is for beautiful people
Darkness is for us


Amy Stapleton of Tellables is looking for a few freelance writers to create Tellables content for the Tricky Genie skill. She has asked me to try to find a few authors. If you are interested, e-mail me and I'll send you a file with specific requirements for the work and you can decide if you want to pursue it. My e-mail is tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com and you can find out more about Amy by reading her guest post from last Monday at IWSG or by checking out her LinkedIn page. I met Amy in person while she attended a conference in Seattle, and I think she's a great person to work with through edits for stories in this new realm of voice-first storytelling and story-gaming.

What do you think of Carya's chance for freedom? 
Are you picking up any new books?
And would you be interested in writing Voice First content?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats to Tara and Krystal.

I still need to see if Voice First is something that might work for DLP.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - that's a really powerful story! I think she'll make it. At least, I hope she does. I just starting reading Tara's books last night. Loving it already!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved your story. It really was gripping. Congrats to Tara and Krystal.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - excellent story ... well done - it riveted me. Good luck to Tara and Krystal ... cheers to all - Hilary

krystal jane said...

I loved the description of her abilities! I want to know what happens next. ^_^

Thanks for the shout out!

Tara Tyler said...

Love the name Carya! and the scene was intense-great job!
thanks so much for highlighting my release today!

congrats to Krystal! and the Telltables sounds interesting--you can send me info =)

thanks for your supportive comments, guys! and Tyrean, thanks for highlighting me today! yay!

Tara Tyler Talks

Patricia Lynne said...

Congratulations to Tara and Krystal. One of these days I need to try WEP. I know a few people who do it, but I have yet to try.

Elephant's Child said...

Incredibly intense. My heart was in my mouth often - and my fingers are still crossed tightly for both Carya and Gorog.
Good luck to both Tara and Krystal.

Denise Covey said...

Tyrean congrats to Tara and Krystal.
Great tension in your episode. It would be good to have a title with the episode no in it. I wonder now what is going to happen to Carya and Gorog. Next time? Thanks for sharing with WEP.

Sally said...

I was feeling for Carya and all she's been through. Now there is hope for her and Gorog to escape and become free.

Jemi Fraser said...

This was great!
Carya is a fascinating creature - and I hope she is heading toward a much better life!

Olga Godim said...

Good story. I hope he brought her to the real freedom, and it is not all a trick.

L.G. Keltner said...

This is another wonderful story! Carya is a beautiful name and a fascinating character. I truly hope things get better for her soon. Thanks for sharing!

Nilanjana Bose said...

An engaging, intriguing excerpt. A great take on the prompt. Enjoyed reading and got invested in Carya's character, glad she is free. Also really liked the world building details. I must mention here that I have loved the Captain Wrath excerpts you've shared before. Thanks for posting this flash.

Pat Garcia said...

This is excellent Sci-Fi work. I immediately thought of Star Trek Voyager, the Borg, and Seven of Nine who I liked very much. I haven't read any of your books but now I am very much tempted to read one to find out how I like it.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Christopher Scott Author said...

A gripping tale of a person's determination to survive her harrowing trail of forced trafficking.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I managed to post, check comments, but not comment back - sorry everyone.
Here goes.

Diane - yes, it's a different venue.

Ellen - Thanks! Glad you enjoy Tara's writing!

Natalie - Thank you!

Hilary - Thanks!

Krystal - maybe in July I'll write what happens next. Thanks!

Tara - thank you! I'll send on the Tellable information soon.

Patricia - it's a great challenge and the group is very encouraging!

Elephant's Child - thank you!

Denise - good idea for the episode number! Thank you!

Sally - we can hope! Thanks for reading!

Jemi- Thanks!

Olga - we can hope! :)

LG - thanks for reading!

Nilanjana - Thank you!

Pat - thank you! I have to say I actually haven't written any novel length SF that's gotten off the ground so ... you may/may not like my fantasy novels.

Christopher - Thank you!

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you so much for playing on my Words For Wednesday post. If you were looking for my caged bird entry you will find it HERE

Spacer Guy said...

Gorog is Carya's cyborg jailer so I figure if she can get close and rip out some of his tubes maybe he'll have a shutdown. Otherwise Carya can forget about freedom. Show dont tell is evident when you describe her size as she dresses. She must have lost weight while healing in the "stasis" tube. Fascinating read, thanks.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I suppose there are some situations where healing doesn't help much, though the alternative to healing is pretty ugly too.

J Lenni Dorner said...

I like how the story weaves natural magic with future science. That's excellent speculative fiction! A shame to think that a horror such as human trafficking would still exist in a society that scientifically advanced. No amount of brains can cause compassion and equality, I suppose. Pity. It's an excellent story though. Thought-provoking. And it makes me wonder what's next.

I don't really write for children, so I don't think the "voice first" thing is for me. I did see a funny meme earlier begging authors not to name a character "Alexa" because people using audiobooks are finding out that the device gets hilariously confused.