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The Mental Ward...

Come back Saturday for the next post from The Mental Ward!!!!

You can see previous posts here:  #1: Emery Gets a Job#2: Beastly Sounds#3: Children#4: Emery Cries#5: Locked In#6: A Call for Help#7: Emery Meets Beastly#8: Emery Starts a Story#9: Let's Put Them In The Box#10: Emery Tries Again#11: The Intercom#12: A Look of Murder
P.S. For those of you who came today for the next episode of The Mental Ward, I offer my deepest apologies.  I have achieved astounding things in my schoolwork this week, but my creativity time suffered.  I hope you don't mind too much.  The next episode will be up in three days, and I expect to resume my normal frequency after that.  See you Saturday!

The Mental Ward - A Look of Murder (12)

Emery couldn't ignore that call.  Not when Beastly needed her so.  She raced down the hallway toward the sounds.
     Around the corner and through a doorway, Emery stumbled on the scene.  Two women huddled on the floor, eyes wide.  One of them was screaming, and the other seemed paralyzed with fear.  Beastly was on top of a man, apparently holding him down with superhuman strength.  In her hand, she held a knife, and an evil grin was on her face.
     Emery froze in the doorway, wishing she were not here to see this.  Beastly had the look of murder about her. Emery felt like she could throw up.
      Beastly licked her lips and faltered.  Her eyes grew wide, and she screamed Emery's name again.
     But the sound altered at the end into a yowl and the dark look covered her face again.  She pressed her knife lightly against the man's chest.  Then she shifted her weight, raising the knife high as if about to plunge it.
     Emery tried to close her eyes but they were…

Intensity

For the next week, I will be studying for a big exam.  As much as I want to work on SPINDLE and AAM and TCK, they will have to wait.

This is part of real life and having to juggle writing with other career plans.  And it's something that probably all of us have to do.

So, mwah, sleep well, my beauties...until next week.




P.S. I am still going to write the next installment of The Mental Ward for you guys.  That much, I think, I can fit in.  :)
P.S.2.  The title refers to the feeling of studying for the exam.  You college people know what I'm talking about.
Adios!

Snippet: Broken

The Mental Ward - The Intercom

Static crackled.  Emery held her breath.      Then a sharp voice demanded through the speaker, "Who's there!"      Tears sprang to Emery's eyes.  Tears of relief.  "Emery!  It's Emery!"  She choked back a sob.  "Please get me out of here."

     "Emery Who?" the voice wanted to know.      "Emery Clayton.  I work here."  Emery's voice squeaked as she tried to control her emotions.  But the thought of competent people now working on her rescue was overwhelming and beautiful.      "Good ----! There are survivors!" another voice exclaimed.      "How do we know Beastly isn't voice-shifting again?  I say we blow the whole building now.  Get rid of the monster once and for all!"  The first voice was angry and impatient.      Emery gasped.  "Oh, please, no!  You have to believe me!  I have a mother, and...and...my sisters' names are Evelyn, Estella, and Edwina...and my brothers' names a…

Krecese and Padadaleko

An emissary was traveling across the world, carrying a message.  He came to a city called Krecese.  Entering the city, he found many people -- some of which strove to live moral lives and some of which lived very wicked lives.
     "Oh, people of Krecese!" cried the emissary.  "There is no difference in the laws.  Those who have cheated their neighbors only pennies are lawbreakers as much as those who have cheated entire fortunes.  Those who have hated a brother are as guilty as those who have murdered.  Great and small, you are all in need of redemption from God."
      The people of Krecese listened to his words.  They fell to their knees and asked God's forgiveness.  They sought His help.  And they received the redemption He offered, through His Son, Jesus.
     Some of the more wicked ones of Krecese were afraid to come to God -- afraid that their lives were too dark.  But their neighbors reached out to them with open arms.
     "We were all dark …

The Mental Ward - Emery Tries Again (10)

"How many did you..." Emery looked at Pansy's motionless figure and could not quite form the words.      Beastly didn't return her gaze.  "I don't know."  She stalked out of the room.      Emery followed, and Beastly pointed down the hallway.  "You look that way.  If you find anybody alive, bring them to the Box.  I'll look this way."      Emery waited until Beastly disappeared down the next hall.  Then she turned her eyes toward the office.  This was her chance.       She moved softly and quickly, half-running on her toes.  Her breath came faster at the thought of being free.      The office was dim again, lit only from the hall lights, but Emery didn't need much light for what she wanted.  The intercom button seemed to glow in the dark.      The three steps, she was across the office floor, and the button waited under her trembling fingers.  For a moment, Emery closed her eyes.  Now that she was here, it seemed almost impossibl…

Snippet: Right-hand Man

Emil stepped forward, resting a supportive hand on the king’s shoulder.  “I have sent for my father’s men.  When you ride out at dawn, I will be by your side.”                                                                                                                          ~AAM

Sleeping Beauty Show-and-Tell

Ta-da!  Today is the show-and-tell!  I have been so excited for this all week.  Finally, we get a glimpse of some of the fabulous stories in the works for the contest.  Be sure to head over to Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog to see all the story ideas!


The Mental Ward - Let's Put Them In the Box (9)

Emery could feel her heart pounding in her ears.  Had her story worked?  Would Beastly let her live?      Minutes ticked by.  Beastly's eyes flickered aimlessly around the room and tiny expressions darted across her face.  It was as if her mind replayed Emery's story over and over.  And each time, it ended with that tiny smile.  Beastly was lost in a world with grass and trees and cats and rabbits.      At long last, Beastly sighed and focused her eyes in the room.  She stared at Pansy's motionless form and hunched her shoulders as if shrugging out of an unwanted cloak.  "We should put them in the Box."  Her tone was matter-of-fact, and she pushed herself to her feet.      Emery drew back, waiting to see what the child meant.  But Beastly moved quickly and determinedly like a man who knew what he wanted to do.  Her short hair fell across her face as she bent over and grabbed Pansy's portly shoulders.  Grunts escaped from her throat as she began to drag …

Rooglewood Contest: Your Update

Hi! This is a question for those of you who are entering the Rooglewood contest. How far along are you?
Have you thought of a story idea yet?
Have you started writing?
Have you finished a draft?
     ...started editing?
     ...settled on a title?
     ...submitted your entrance form?
     ...finished polishing your story?
     ...submitted your story to Rooglewood?


P.S. Don't forget Anne 's show and tell!  The deadline for show-and-tell submissions is today, and then the Show-and-Tell itself will be on her blog on Wednesday.

P.S.2. I have 18 followers now and I am soooo excited!  Thank you for joining me!

P.S.3. If you are joining the Show-and-Tell, feel free to say so in the comments so the rest of us can look for you on Anne's blog. :D

Wings

If the fog hadn't cleared in time, Lucy might have stepped over the edge.  The path dropped away beneath her feet, leaving her on the edge of a precipice.
     "Why do you stop, Lucy?" Peter asked, sounding both curious and annoyed.
     "Well, hullo!" Edmund stepped to her side, suddenly seeing what she did.  "We're on a cliff, Peter."
     Peter and Susan joined their younger siblings on the edge.  The clouds below them parted somewhat and they could see the sheer cliff -- smooth and straight -- and the bottom several thousand feet below them.
     "It makes me dizzy." Lucy said, reaching for Edmund's hand.
     "Well, there's no way across here.  We'll have to go back and look for another way." Susan sighed.
     "We can't."  Edmund stared into the depths in front of him.
     "Edmund's right.  Aslan told us that we could not turn back from this path for any reason."  Peter shook …

The Mental Ward - Emery Starts a Story (8)

Emery closed her eyes and swallowed hard.  She could still feel Beastly's glass against her skin, and her mind raced to think of a story.  Why did her imagination evaporate when under pressure?      "Once upon a time..." The words came out in a gasping sort of way.      The glass lifted from her throat, and Beastly's weight moved off of Emery.  Emery cracked her eyes open to see the girl settling down on the floor, with her back propped against the wall.      "Once upon a time, there was a city cat named Precious.  She was very fat and very fluffy.  All her life, she had lived indoors in the city, but she considered herself a mighty hunter.  Did she not catch the pink, feathery string when Mr. Human tossed it around?  Did she not chase the yarn when it fell from Mrs. Human's lap?  Did she not devour bowlfuls of kitty food?"  Emery took a chance and eased herself to a sitting positing, tucking her legs under her.      Beastly had dropped the glass …

The Defense of Holly Stone Plantation

"I hope you don't mind us taking advantage of y'all's fine hospitality."  Amelia Howards murmured, as she ducked through my front door.  She brushed her hands over her skirt -- it looked as tired and worn as she did.      "Not a bit -- we're glad to have you."  I waved her into the house and cast a wary eye toward the north road.  Then my gaze dropped to Amelia's children.  The two little girls looked frightened, but the boy stuck his tongue out at me.  I pursed my lips; the boy's manners had deteriorated since his father left to join the Confederate soldiers.        "Amelia! Darlin'!  Come on in and make yourself at home!"  Etta Rose rushed from my sitting room and greeted the newcomers.  It should have irritated me to see her welcoming people in as if this was her home, but today was not a day for squabbles.  Etta Rose took Amelia and her children to settle them in.      I left my door open and walked across the porch t…

Snippet: Untrackable

She smiled up in his face, almost incredulous at his question.  “Lands, child!  You don’t find Derwalds.  They find you.”                                                                                                                    ~AAM

The Mental Ward -- Emery Meets Beastly (7)

Beastly had lost the innocent look of a child.  She crouched like a wild animal on the desk above Emery.  In her hand she held a bloody shard of glass, poised over Emery's chest.       Emery threw her hands up to shield herself.  Her hands were trembling.       A different look passed through Beastly's eyes -- confused, maybe.  She shifted the glass in her hand, and her eyes went dark and crazy again.  For a moment, Emery was sure she was about to feel glass plunged into her heart.  But then that confused look appeared again and Beastly's hand faltered.      "You're the...you're the one who sang."  It was half-statement, half-question.  The voice had a tough quality to it -- like you might expect from a child who has grown up on the street -- but it was a girl's voice.         "I did."          For a moment, Beastly's eyes went wild again, full of the most horrible fury.  But the expression passed, and Beastly dropped to a sitting…

The Perfect Circle

One of my favorite stories about artists is about one whom I believe lived in medieval times.  I'm sorry -- I have forgotten his name -- but I have not forgotten what he did.

     The story goes that the king heard of the Artist and wished to see if the Artist was as talented as people claimed.  If so, then the king would appoint him as the royal painter, a position of honor and wealth.
     The king sent a committee to the Artist, but the Artist (being a talented artist) was very busy.  When the committee asked for a sample of his art to carry back to the king, the Artist dipped his paintbrush in some paint and, with one swoop, drew a circle on some canvas.  Then he gave the canvas to the committee and sent them on their way.
     When the committee returned with such a simple painting, the king was angry.  How dare the Artist insult him with childish shapes?  But, when the king calmed down, he began to examine the circle.  The longer he studied it, the more amazed he becam…

The Mental Ward - A Call for Help (6)

Emery leaned her back against the elevator.  Trapped on a floor with a loose lunatic.  What did that even mean?       The girl, lying semi-conscious on the floor of her room, had not seemed so scary.  But Emery had heard the frightful sounds made when Beastly was awake.  And logic told her that there was a reason the girl was locked in her own high security room.       If some asylum patients beat their own heads against walls, who was to say that other asylum patients didn't enjoy beating other people's heads against walls?      "Think, Emery, think."  There must be a way out of here.  A way to let somebody know she was trapped.       ...But, of course!  The office!  There must be a phone or something in there.       Relief swelled her heart, and she moved at once.  Tiptoeing as quickly at possible around the corner and down the hall to the office, Emery whispered another prayer.  "Please, God, let me make it."  At least, she had hope now.      The h…

Show and Tell submissions

I sent all three of my story hooks to Anne this week -- the last of the three I sent only a few minutes ago.
     If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read her post here.  Basically, she is hosting a show-and-tell for any of us who want to participate.  If you are writing a story for the Rooglewood Sleeping Beauty contest, you follow the directions in her post and send the information to her by September 14th.

      The Show-and-Tell will be on Anne's blog on September 16th.  I can hardly wait.  Like one commenter (on Anne's blog) said, this is a chance to see more intriguing stories than just the five winners.

      Have you sent your story hook to Anne yet?  Was the hook hard to write or easy?  Did it feel weird to hit the "send" button?

Snippet: Heels Dug In

The Mental Ward - Locked In (5)

When Emery awoke, she found herself stretched out on the floor next to the green couch.  How she ended up there, she could not quite remember.  She sat up and then her cheeks flushed hot and red with embarrassment.      She had been waiting up to talk to Pansy, hadn't she? And she must have fallen asleep.  What would Pansy think of her now?  Emery cringed to think of it.         Emery scrambled to her feet, smoothing out her hem.  Her apron was horribly wrinkled, and there wasn't anything she could do about it.  Feeling like a miserable disgrace, Emery lifted her chin and tried to march up the hall with what she hoped was a professional attitude.      The hall was quiet.  Too quiet.       The doors to the children's rooms were locked and barred.  How bad had things gotten last night?  What made them leave the children locked in their rooms?        Emery passed all the rooms where she was likely to find someone.  The office was empty.  The cleaning closets were quiet.  At…