two:string.He asked her out with, of all things, a piece of string.
Or rather, five pieces of string, deposited on her desk over a week. She didnt find out until long after how theyd gotten onto her desk in the first place.
She thought the first one, a heart made of a two-inch snip of thread, had been a rare thoughtful gift from her brother. When questioned, hed asked her politely if she was crazy.
Not her brother, then.
It was followed the next day by a simple picture of a sun, draped in vibrant orange thread across one of her papers. In the mail that afternoon was a panorama of a mountain range, silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset. A tree appeared on Tuesday, artfully done for string art. Leaning against her door when she went outside was a package, which contained a black and white photo of a forest.
She woke up the next day to find eleven translations of love written in string on the bare glass of her desk, which was too much. She went downstairs and startled h
fairgroundsfairgrounds5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We make our farewells at the fairground, and the ferriswheel spin of our days and nights grinds to a cold and silent halt. But, you promise, we will have one last ride. One last day to ourselves. One last day to remember.
And in the crushing golden haze of summer's dying days, we leave our regrets with the sullen ticket sellers, the sullen customers, the sullen children squirming in the heat. We laugh past them like the summer breeze and pretend to be happier than they could ever be.
We enter the raw cacophony of it together. Our brightly pasted smiles belong instantly, wholly, to the savage relentless pursuit of amusement that ebbs around us. We are drawn inescapably into it, absorbed by the press of hot hungry bodies. In the crowd your hands find me as they always have, but a couple slides snakelike between us and you slip from my side. The people swallow you, accept you as only another booth in their endless milling quest for fulfillment, and in the glow of their shining faces, I lo
EPIC: they are almost murderedThere really was nothing like imminent death to encourage teamwork, Robin thought, hand in hand with her current worst enemy. Dashing haphazardly through bushes, over roots, past one hapless-looking (but, she noted with relief, normal-sized) squirrel, they crashed indiscriminately through the brush until she had the presence of mind to ask, "Where are we going?"EPIC: they are almost murdered4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I don't care. Anywhere," he said, panting. "As long as it's away from that monster."
It didn't sound like much of a plan to Robin. "Can we look fora thicket, or somethingsomeplace useful" she tried to say, but then he halted so suddenly that his grip on her hand wrenched at her shoulder and she stumbled painfully before she caught herself.
"Um, ow? Some warning in the future?" she said, snatching her hand out of his and rubbing her shoulder.
He was looking hard at something she couldn't see. "Trust me, I don't think that's the worst you'd suffer if we keep going this way," he said, backing away.
one:saved.she always felt as if he were the oneone:saved.6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who had saved her,
pulling her by the very tips of her fingers
as if she had been hanging over the edge
of an abyss, dark as a secret,
and one sl
would have been fatal;
as if he had arrived in the nick of time,
armed with ropes and helicopters
and his own strong hands.
and when she felt those hands
take hers for the first time,
the abyss dropped away
and she was on ground again,
solid like the bones of his body.
she looked up and saw the sunlight as it streamed through his hair
and she was happy.
and so when at last he decided
he did not want to save her anymore,
even as he walked away from the cliff where she was standing,
balanced on the very edge.
he was the one who had saved her,
and now he was teaching her
that sometimes you must save yourself.
the topography of faces.when you are angry with me your face caves into furious hollows. there is one in the corner of your left eye, dark and defined, sharply. it reminds me of crevasses, on snowy peaks wreathed in clouds made of smoke and dreams, where men slip on treacherous ground and fall, to die and shatter. it reminds me of the bottom of the ocean.the topography of faces.6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
under your lip there is another; you press your lips together and a tiny shadow forms underneath, gently rounded, as if weathered by the sea. it is there i am reaching for when i put my hands out to you, i would like to put my fingers on your mouth and whisper to you,
i would like to put the harsh creases in your forehead under my hands. i would like to run my fingers over you, feel the dark angry lines dissolve, soften, slowly, until you are perfect again. i would like to smooth away the hollows, like pockmarks or scars on your skin, until they melt back into the topography of your face and you are whole.
Dear deviantWRITERS...Dear deviantWRITERS, allow me to offer you some advice. While I realize that you may not want that advice at all, I will cheerfully ignore that, because I really think dA's literature community could use a bit of setting straight.Dear deviantWRITERS...5 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
The reason writers like you and me are on deviantART at all is because we want people to read our work. No one would argue with that. So the way you do things should help get people to read your writing, not flee screaming.
That being said, the preview image that dA gives each literature deviation is your best friend. It gives you about 110 characters of text to impress anyone who might be randomly browsing through lit deviations--to catch their eye and make them want to read more. So! Here's a few tips.
Before that, though: I am not saying that every reader on dA agrees with the suggestions I present here. These are things that I think are important, and that I recommend. This is conceited, maybe, but I believe that good readers would agree wit
generosityHello, love.generosity5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
(Voice like velveteyes so bright
By what name goes this faery knight?)
She can't think of anything but inane rhymespoems from someone else's childhood.
Such a cold greeting, precious. Won't you at least say hello?
It really is cold, she hadn't noticedthere's the white-hot glare of snow and ice all around them. Or perhaps the ice is only in his eyes; she can't tell anymore. Nonetheless she shivers.
He's unperturbed as usual, devastatingly composedoblivious, she supposes, to the biting cold. The wind whips up the worn edges of his white cloak, gives him wings for just a moment. An owl, perhaps, but a moth-eaten one.
She almost pities him, but of course that's not right. She's the one kneeling before him in the snowdid she fall? she can't remember. It's not fair, she thinks, but the words are frozen to her tongue.
(a lovely lady rode him fair beside
upon a horse more white than snow
yet she much whiter, but the same did hide
lie to me.Ilie to me.6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
am the way a child knows without being told that her father will never return home. (I am the reason why the fatal moment strikes hershe is too young to understand what the hurt means but old enough to feel it.)
am the way a husband's heart stops when his wife takes her last breath. (I am the reason why their hearts beat in tandem, why his arrests along with hers.)
am the way you felt when your brother died, in a cold hospital bed too many miles away from you. (I am the reason why your heart broke when you realized that your bones and marrow and prayer did not save him.)
am nothing like death. Death wants nothing to do with you, is concerned only with his own work, is only a silent whirlwind, uncaring. Death walks in the dark and leads your loves away, and does not once look back.
but I look back.
I am the one who lingers after death comes to call, who stays to whisper and to mourn. I am the one who understands you. I have tasted your sorrow, I have known your ways; I am
tangere: to touchtangere: to touch6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Dance with me, he says, and offers his hand.
But I dont know this song, she says, looking doubtfully at him from her chair.
I do. And anyways the gentleman is supposed to lead. She laughs.
All right then. But are you sure?
You should be ashamed of yourself, he says severely. Dont you have any faith?
In you? No. But she takes his hand even as she speaks and lets him help her up. He grins like a boy.
Ah, quite the daredevil, to do such a terrifying thing as dancing, and with a man you dont even trust.
I was always a fool, she tells him, with a smile that crinkles the corners of her eyes.
fairytales"Mira, if you don't open this door this instant, I'm going to break through your window."fairytales4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Peter, I'm reading."
"Tell me something I don't know. I'm serious. Open the door. We're going out. As in outside. As in into the real world."
"I can't. I'm just getting"
"To the good part. I know. And I don't really care right now. For the last time, open the door."
"No, Peter! I'm sick of you telling me what to do."
"You're being unfair, and we both know it. There's only one thing I ever tell you to do and you ignore me anyways, so it's irrelevant."
"I reserve the right to make my own judgments. I'm an adult."
"No, you're not. You're like some starry-eyed kindergartener. Stuck inin a fairytale world!"
"Then my fairytale world suits me just fine."
"Mira. Please. The rest of the world is moving on without you. Grow up."
"You know what's unfair, Peter Killinger? You telling me to 'grow up' all the time when you only treat me like a little kid!"
"Don't slam things around. What are
Your MoveAll Im saying, she frowned, uncrossing and recrossing her legs under the table, is that he shouldve been a man about it. I dont see why he couldnt say it to my face. You just dont do that sort of thing over the phone. Not after eight months! Rook to C8.Your Move6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
He nodded, readjusting his glasses as shed found that he was apt to do when shed made a move he didnt expect. That does seem really cheap, he admitted, peering down at the board like an old man. Did he give you a reason at all? Rook to C1.
She let out a huffy breath and tossed one of her long braids over her shoulder, immediately drawing it back to run her hands over while she thought. Yes. Her hand fluttered over her rook for a moment before she drew it back, eyes darting around the board as she guessed at the succession of moves that would follow that choice. He said she trailed off, tightening her lips and gra
yours and mineyours and mine5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
At first she hadn't minded how empty the house felt when he was gone. While she stayed up, waiting for him, she would imagine the colors they'd use to paint the blank walls, the pictures they would put on the bare shelves. We will make this a home, she had thought, smiling to herself, and when he came in at last she would put her arms around him and smile for him too.
As the months wore on, the walls were painted one by one, and the frames were gradually filled, and she began to believe that they would be alright. But still he worked late, and still she waited for him, staring at the rows of pictures while her coffee grew cold in her hands. She began to notice the silence, and to be uncomfortable in it. It was harder to smile when he opened the door.
And painfully the first few months in their new house stretched into the first few years, and he left work later and later until she started eating dinner without him, washing her plate with only the television for compan
EPIC: in which they are short a bed"Oh, for heaven's!"EPIC: in which they are short a bed3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Robin, straining with her shoulder to the massive wooden door, managed finally to shove it closed and wedge the rusted latch into place before turning to see what had prompted Matthew's exasperated outburst.
"They only gave us one bed," he explained with a helpless gesture. "Again."
Robin shut her eyes briefly and tried to breathe slowly. "Why," she said, "do they always assume we're together?"
Matthew scowled and kicked a bedpost. "Given how often we try to kill each other, you'd think they'd get the hint. Alright, fine, I'll sleep on the floor."
Robin let out a most unattractive snort that she tried, belatedly, to pass off as a cough. Matthew, not taken in, thumped her on the back with unnecessary gusto, making her actually cough. "You're just going to wake up in the morning whining about how cold you were and how sore your back is and how you couldn't possibly walk for another whole day after huddling miserably on the floorboards all night," she said, with
EPIC: in which it all beginsRobin woke to a cough of static, followed by the familiar screeching of her alarm clock. She slammed a hand on the snooze button and fell back onto the pillow, eyes screwed shut. Like elusive fish, the last dreaming glimpses of the glow of sun on metal and leaves vanished into an ordinary sort of utter distaste for Monday mornings.EPIC: in which it all begins3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Levering herself from the bed, Robin dragged herself to her closet and pulled on jeans and a shirt, doing up the buttons with clumsy hands. She snagged her school backpack, huffing slightly at the weight, and then plodded down the stairs thinking ponderously about hot oatmeal and fresh coffee.
She was shaking coffee grounds into a filter and stifling a yawn when an almighty jolt shuddered through the floor, causing her to leap a good few inches upward in panic and fling the contents of the filter all over the kitchen. Earthquake, she thought instantly, and managed a single step towards the relative safety of the doorway before a distinctly unpleasant
happy february 16th.happy february 16th.6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is less a
more a thud,
the thick heavy
sound of things
(like your heart?)
falling: the sound of
realizing, "this is it."
because, at last, you
and why yours always
does aerobatics when you
are too close, and whose
heartbeat you want with
all your frail (beautiful)
human heart to beat
india inkfor some reason shes dipped a paintbrush in ink, taking a thick oxhair brush and soaking it with a cheap replacement for india. you see, she says as she drags the brush across an enormous piece of banner paper, this is art.india ink6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
no its not!, you want to scream at her, because something in you is rebelling against this scarring of a clean white sheet, at this waste of ink and time. your fingers ache to rescue her brush.
the curve of her lip when she smiles at you is another name for irony: you know she isnt happy with you and the smile is a lie. she keeps smiling, though, maintaining the mask as she makes a dark slash across a white corner. your hands jerk, unconsciously.
art isnt only pictures, she tells you, beaming at you pleasantly. to you it looks like the leer of a barbarian. the falling ink makes round black dots on the edges of the paper, inappropriately perfect. art is expression of emotion. any expression.
polychloroprene and heliumHe tied the balloons to the tracks because he couldnt find a maiden who wouldnt scream, and the two times hed tried hed ended up a hairsbreadth from getting arrested. He didnt understand why nobody believed that he only wanted to see if a train could cut someone in half, one neat line across the ribcage and another across both feet.polychloroprene and helium6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Policemen, he thought, trailing three bright balloons from the strings in his hand, were strange creatures. Always with big mirrored sunglasses, because their narrow eyes didnt make them look enough like great flesh-colored bugs. He could bet that as children they had never read the type of book where people were tied to train tracks.
He looked up at the balloons and grinned. Such good colors hed chosen. He knew the policemen, creased men with hard chins, would never be able to pick such beautiful colors. Blue, of course, and yellow. Sky and pain. Pain was yellow, he told himself happily. A bright color, explosive.
mind over mattermind over matter5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
"you have no power over me."
oh, what a lie.
because he is barely touching her--no, he never touches her, only his fingers a breath away from her skin, only his lips warm by her ear, only the strange wild scent of him around her--
he never touches her, but already, as always, she is threatening to shake apart. she can feel the tremors starting, deep, bone-deep from the places in herself that she was born afraid of, from the dark recesses where once she swore she would never go.
not with him.
but no matter the promises she made to herself, no matter the bravery she once possessed, she was wrong. she has always been wrong. because she's possessed, now, possessed by his radiance, by the warmth of his body behind hers, by the hot sweet whispers of magic that he breathes with every word.
she's run so long, so far. and still every night he finds her, walks out of the storm bright with magic and power and she can't resist him, she never could. fear him--she does. love him--she must. do
immobilityfive senses.immobility6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is a tang of dead things in the air
thick like wet cement,
pressing on your papyrus skin,
and you can barely hear her through
the roaring in your ears,
like a sea at storm.
it is eating you, alive
from the inside out
the sound is an assault, tearing
at the walls of your lungs
and you cannot breathe.
her face is fading, smoke-like
into the shadows,
taunting you to run faster,
catch her before she is gone
and your eyes have lost their memory of her
and she is forgotten.
but your legs, turned traitor
are cemented to the unforgiving floor
and she is leaving now
because you would not listen,
and you scream wait, i couldnt hear you.
she does not turn around,
not for you,
and there is a taste of iron and blood
in your mouth for no reason.
you watch her disappear,
and then there is nothing more to say.
EPIC: damsels, dragons, daring deedsEPIC: damsels, dragons, daring deeds4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
EPIC: a tale of damsels, dragons, and daring deeds
Plucky orphans. Noble kings. Dragons. Dwarves. Damsels and (in the interest of equal opportunity*) knights in distress. Warlocks in general. Magic, white and black and all the color in between. Prophecies. Unlikely triumphs. Saving everybody.
This is pulp fantasy. This is Epic.
In a fantasy world eerily similar to every one they've ever read about, plucky
orphansheroes Robin and Matthew are catapulted straight into the heart of intrigue. Their adventure pits them against trite obstacles and stock characters until they're forced into the usual confrontation with the typically villainous antagonist bent on taking over the world. Armed only with their wits (and their suddenly acquired, implausibly advanced fighting skills), they must embark on the standard perilous quest to find the standard powerful secret that may be the key to
several confessions.i.several confessions.5 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
I admit that sometimes I want you.
I admit that sometimes I watch you from the corner of my eye, watch you to make sure you are watching me as I smile at someone else. I laugh effortlessly, stretch, sweep back my hair, and hope that to you it looks real.
On days like this, every movement I make is calculated, designed to taunt you. On days like this I am weak, worthless, easily conqueredone touch, one glance would ruin me. And then I look at you again and want to be conquered.
I admit that you make me breathe faster. My lungs respond to your nearness with panic because to me you are a threat. You are a predator, you are dangerous, you are a reason for adrenaline. Human bodies perform better when they are afraid and I am afraid (of what you do to me) of you.
I admit that I believe we are a possibility, because you are beautiful and I am beautiful and together we would be explosive. Once I heard someone say that we should be together, and secretly my b
lie to me: first drafti'm the way a child knows without being told that her father is not coming home. (i'm the reason why she can feel the fatal moment, like a blow. she's too young to understand what the pain means, but not too young to feel it.)lie to me: first draft4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
i'm the way a husbands heart stops when his wife breathes her last ragged breath. (i'm the reason why their hearts beat in tandem, and why his arrests along with hers.)
i'm the way you felt when your brother died in a cold hospital bed, too many miles away from you. (i'm the way your heart broke when you realized that your bones and marrow and heartbreak did not save him. i'm the reason why the pain you felt after they punched tiny holes in your fragile back to try to save him does not begin to compare to this.)
this, this is the difference between death and me: death wants nothing to do with you. death is concerned only with his own dark businesswith stealing your children, mothers, sisters away without so much as a backwards glance.
What I wishI wish I had someone to holdWhat I wish6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
To warm me up on cold starless nights
To kiss delicately on the lips
Oh just to feel what's right
I wish I could nuzzle into her neck
and feel the strange emotions of love
However not for awhile
my angel of above
not for awhile
something as little"Do you sometimes think about humans and hurt," she says. She's rummaging in a crate on the cold floor of her garage, and her face is hidden. You shift to let the afternoon light shine on the golden wave of her hair.something as little3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Because I do," she goes on, before you can admit that you have no answer. Small objects fall from the crate and cascade to the floor with a clatter. "I do."
Her words hang heavy between you, alone and uncomfortable in the summer air, and your tongue stumbles in the strangeness of the moment and spits out, "Why?"
She bundles the long strands of her hair into a fist and straightens, her hands otherwise empty. "Humans are so frail," she says, leaving your question unanswered, drifting with her I do. "They're made of all this muscle and bone and stubbornness, and still you can cut them to the heart with something as little as words." Her eyes fix on yours.
"What do you mean," you say, struggling to keep up with her. "Why words."
She smiles and the force of it is
the passage of timein that moment you fancied that you could hear her heart, each beat enough to shake the ground beneath you both. you imagined that the bass-hum of music was the slow labor of her muscles, rhythm and rhyme. you wondered if it would go on beating foreverif she were somehow keeping the time of the universe. slow. slow. slow.the passage of time4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
half-light threw the topography of her bones into relief, and for long moments you watched the pulse at her throat. slow. slow. slow. it made no leaps, no bounds, nothing but the measured march. slow. slow. slow.
you thought about touching her, wanted to discover if you could make that heartbeat race. your fingers reached into the space between. slow. slow. slow.
she shifted, and sighed, and slept on, and the shadows tumbled into the hollows and stayed. the thread of her pulse murmured, and was lost.
the bass rumbled and the grass around you answered, whispering in the breeze. you let your hand fall. slow. slow. slow.