An Excerpt from Thorn in Red

Mattalina,
Brownies, Brews and Blades make a great theme. The blades look perfect, and I’ll endure Jena’s tea torture if you make brownies. Meet you there after checking on the Dukat case. We’ll get everything done before Jena gets home.
Love, Mom
P.S. Found this dress hoodie online. It’s as much “chicness” as Thorn-Clad can stand.

Mom and Aunt Jena started Thorn-Clad Coaching and Security three years ago, after Mom left the Marine Corps and Aunt Jena decided that life coaching the wealthy was driving her insane with disgust.
I joined the team when I turned sixteen. A week later, my Kiss with a Fist t-shirt began the Thorn-Clad uniform war: Mom wanted professionalism, Aunt Jena demanded non-military chicness.
I took off my school sweater and slipped into the red dress hoodie. The foyer mirror approved.
With the brownie ingredients and the blades in a tote bag, I headed up the street towards Aunt Jena’s apartment.
In front of the building, I reached for my keys and found empty pockets. “Damn.”
“Want in, kiddo?”
The super’s voice made me jump. “Forgot my keys, and Aunt Jena isn’t home.”
“She’s back,” he said, unlocking the door.
“Thanks.” I avoided his gaze and headed straight for the elevator.

I was raising my fist to knock, when Aunt Jena’s door swung open.
My aunt turned around and walked away from the door without speaking.
“Auntie, what’s wrong?”
She stood with her back to me, wrapped in a thick red quilt.
“Auntie?”
I was going to follow her in, but stopped when she began to turn around slowly.
“Your face!” I bit my fist to choke a scream, and stared.  
The skin of Aunt Jena’s face was stretched tight over sharp bones, leaving her eyes weirdly slanted. Her forehead shined like melting plastic, and her lips resembled plumped, discolored sausages.

Sharing bits of fiction (or reality) without background is tricky business… It can be an exciting writing exercise, too. The latter was my reason for joining the Word Master Challenge. Misha Gericke invites fellow writers to choose a “favorite famous book. Write a scene from it. In a totally different genre. Bonus points if the reader can guess the original book... More points if you can do the scene without it strictly being from the book itself, but we get the same sense from it.”
I took an old story, tweaked the characters, setting, genre… and brought the whole thing into modern times (I hope). If I failed miserably, I expect you to tell me where I went wrong. I mean it, my Wicked Luvs. What’s missing? How can the scene be improved, while keeping the word count under 300 words? What do you hate? What do you love? Would you like to read a full length story/novel about these women? Am I as devastatingly hot as I’ve always believed? *grin*

43 comments:

  1. Little Red Riding Hood?......other than that, you totally titled my family life lol...My maiden name is Brown(we were all called BROWNIE at school)...we ALWAYS have the kettle on ready for visitor in need of a BREW...and my sons and BIL are all Sheff UTD supporters aka the BLADES :D XXX

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    1. Now I can tell people "You don't wanna mess with me, I'm friends with a Brownie who has a couple of Blades lol

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  2. Little red riding hood? of course, she couldn't have been without even in another genre! :)
    Scary ending... yea, it sounds like a camp side story... boo! i think there is also a talent to write short stories :) which you have!

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    1. I always thought that Little Red Riding Hood's tale was quite scary, and sexual (in a horrible way).

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    2. One of the most scary stories for kids... though they say it was never meant for kids. It is ok. I already bought a cute edition of this story nice illustrations which I found in Indian book shop... and I am going to read it to my children..when I have them :)

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    3. I took a class on fairy tales a long time ago--I loved it. So many things made sense afterwards. I finally stopped feeling like I was seeing monsters in places where there weren't supposed to be any.

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    4. A special class? wow! :) I'd like to attend it too.
      fairy tales is a great treasure of any nation, we shall study them and read them to our kids. Can you share some fairy tales (or may be you already did) of your native country? :)

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    5. You must be reading my thoughts, the other day, as I read your post on "A Ukrainian Witch in Nikolay Gogol's Short Horror Story 'Viy' - Pannochka" I told myself that I should probably start sharing some Dominican fairy tales and fables--maybe people will realize why my writing is so dark lol

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  3. Have to agree w/the other two... definite modern/edgy Little Red Riding Hood... i love a short story that leaves me hanging as well as gets my heart pumping!.

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    1. Yay! for pumping hearts! Must write the rest to keep your heart going ;-D

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  4. Plastic surgery gone wrong? Or something far more sinister? Rather a jarring last two sentences.

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    1. We must continue writing (and then reading) and see. Oh, the last two sentences were the first thing in my mind when I started the story.

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    2. (as an aside, the easiest, quickest way for me to solve a maze puzzle is to work it backwards...start at the end & move to the start. can't seem to solve them any other way!)

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    3. Stories are just word puzzles in the writers' minds. Some outline the pieces, others plot strategies before the begin, others look at every puzzle and go from there. Yum, yum, yum ;-)

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  5. Oh my dear Magaly! As always, you writing leaves me wanting more. How I'd live to read the rest of this story. Looks like the makings of a "Surprise Party"! Who is this hideous imposter? Whence comes the hero? isn't Red just the perfect color for a fashion war.

    Star Billing for my Athame !! And, speaking of inspiration, can you just imagine Red Riding Hood's blade? All decked out with little silver Wolves, Wolf teeth, the Huntsman's bow and arrow, tiny baskets, and lots of red baubles and ribbons? I absolutely see it!

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    1. The Thorn women came as a surprise to me. It started with Angeles Thorn (the mom) in a story I wrote about a year ago. Then I met her sister (Jena) in a dream, and your blade awoke Mattalina. I can't wait to see where they'll go.

      And your idea for a Red Riding Hood blade sounds delicious!

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  6. I'll never look at brownies the same way ;)

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    1. I never look at them, just nom, nom, nom!

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    2. That's my policy on brownies too...

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    3. Great minds think alike... with their tummies ;-D

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  7. Ok, I have to ask: what's a dress hoodie? A dress with a hood? A hoodie with a picture of a dress on it? Other than my confusion on that point (which could very well just be me), I really like it. I can't wait to hear wtf happened to Jena! Bad botox? Poorly-trained doppelganger? I must know! And yes, you are just as devastatingly hot as you've always believed. ;)

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    1. I might have to challenge myself, and invite the Thorn women to join the next blog party. I wonder how that would work... *must think about it!*

      A Dress Hoodie is, indeed, a dress with a hood ;-)

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    2. OMGoodness! I MUST have one! *Awesome*

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  8. Interesting. Very interesting.

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    1. You don't say *raises quizzical eyebrow that wants to look like Jim Butcher's awesome eyebrow raise, but fails*

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  9. Yes, you are totally hot, like always ;o) "Red Dress Hoodie", Little Red Riding Hood? ;o)

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    1. And don't forget about my modesty; that's legendary, too ;-D

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  10. You are ever so hot! I want to read more, more, more... I didn't guess red riding hood, but this piece definitely works for me!

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    1. I just gave myself a few kisses to celebrate my hotness ;-D

      Well, you'll get your wish. I will write a bit more about the Thorns on Jul 13th.

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  11. Fabulous 300 word entry!!! I would take out the word 'rough' to describe the super's voice. You don't need it. Everything else is so tight it reads like a 'gimme more' serial.

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    1. You know what? I played with the word "rough" for so long--typing it, deleting it--that you don't need to tell me twice. Gone!

      And you will get more, soon *wink, wink*

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  12. Oh I'd definitely read more of this. I'm totally intrigued by the three women. This is awesome, well written, has a smooth flow. The word "rough" didn't detract from the story for me.

    Well done.

    .........dhole

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    1. Like I replied to Francie, I was going back and forth with the "rough." I don't think it makes the scene less yummy, but I feel it adds anything to it either. So I got rid of it. You know? One of my Wicked Darlings emailed me to ask about what finally made me delete the word. I will respond to her in my next post ;-)

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  13. Oh yeah this is REALLY awesome. Best of all, you could actually turn this into a full retelling. ;-)

    Will be back again to decide who won.

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    1. I'm afraid that if I don't write what happens next, I'll have a Wicked Darling mob (and I'll die of severe curiosity, too), so I'll go ahead and give it go ;-D Also, I think it is time for another web-serial.

      Thanks a bunch for hosting! It was a great prompt, and I'm so happy it inspired my friend Kestril to start her own blog.

      Read you around...

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    2. Oh wow that's amazing! ^_^

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  14. I love it! Being in a rather strange and frisky mood tonight, I was thinking something else when I read "rough" "screams"...*shivering thinking Deppy thoughts*. I can't wait to read the whole thing, you know, once it's written. I agree that the tale of LRRH has always had sexual undertones for me. I'm a strange bird, though, so even before the movie came out, I had the hots for the Wolf. He was framed for eating grandma, or maybe she was truly awful and had it coming. Now I want brownies. Dammit

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    1. Knowing me, you should know that the title was not accident--the friskiness is going around ;-D

      So many fairy tales are about sex and other topics that have nothing to do with children. Disney (and many storytellers) made the tales available for the wee ones, but as you can see, the grown ups are reclaiming their toys.

      Have some brownies!

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    2. Raising my imaginary brownie in a salute to "reclaiming our adult toys"!

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    3. And I'm grinning, thinking about brownies and adult toys :-D

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  15. Awesome start! I love the Brownies, Brews and Blades theme for a party. That would be a blast, and "chicness" blended with the Marines is priceless. I'm off to continue...

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    1. I thought you would appreciate Marine and chicness in the same sentence ;-D

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