Contest 2.0!


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: 10> You have a reserved parking space with your name on it — at traffic court.

9> You spend an inordinate amount of time scraping hair and bone out of your front grille.

(I’m not a bad driver, but it’s always good to know the signs, Freedom! Ha ha!)

Here is contest number two, for which I posted the first ending a few days ago. Voting is still open for Contest 1.0, so remember to give your impute! Here’s ending one:

Red robes lined the small stage, with bursts of yellow sashes for anyone who had done something special. A spotlight was on us, seemingly positioned just so it shined in our eyes.

“… and to our graduating class, congratulations! Welcome to the next leg of the journey that is life. As you very well know …” Mrs. Ionkoo, our vice principal, rambled on and on. Some people called her Oinkoo, because of her unfortunate name, shape, and nose. Really, she was asking for it, she looked like a pig. The resemblance was uncanny.

After her speech-slash-lecture-slash-torture was over, there would be more from other people. None would matter; they were really very irrelevant, just like this whole Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony. The real reason everyone was tearing up (or all-out bawling in some cases, like Snotty Molly next to me), was because when this was over, we would be – wait for it …

High schoolers. And with that comes parties, peer pressure, and power (and “responsibility”).

Oh. Oinkoo sat down. Cue polite applause. Ike Bayletti, our valedictorian, stood up to announce another speaker. Next up: Superintendent-something. Moth? Goth? I didn’t catch the name. It doesn’t really matter, his speech is boring and predictable, just like Oinkoo’s. Oh well; he still gets some polite applause.

Wash. Dry. Repeat.

Speaker. Applause. Repeat.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Stupid repetition – it seems to go on for hours. I wish it would just be over so I can go home and eat some purple raspberry ice cream – my favorite. Of course, there would be an after party somewhere, but there was no way I was going. I probably wasn’t invited anyway.

Another speech over, more polite applause. This schedule was like a malfunctioning robot – Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Can. Not. Stop.

Repeat … repeat … repeat.

After another hour, it was finally time for diplomas, and Mr. Latdon, our principal, took the stage. In a voice that can only be compared to the wheezing of an old computer, he started to call out the names. Even though my last name starts with a ‘D’, it took a solid half hour to get to me.

“Leslie Derem.” Mr. Latdon said into the microphone. Is it possible for someone’s voice to be so monotone? I thought while I walked. Step left, step right. Step left, step right. Step left, step right. Even down to the very last moment, all this school has ever been is repetition. A half-hearted congratulations later, I was a high schooler. Cool?

When Mr. Latdon finally dismissed us, I stuck around. Why not avoid traffic? It’s easier to walk if there’s no traffic.

I strolled around the school grounds, with no purpose besides wasting time. Before long, it was time to get back and start walking before it got really dark, and I started to jog back around the school to the main road.

Just before the street was within sight, a balloon caught my eye. It was tangled in an overgrown bush that the school means to trim but really never does, blaming funding. It was a very good quality balloon, against all odds; mylar was typical at events like these, yet here is a real helium balloon, which has been drawn on and signed by family.

Quite a few years ago, before the incident, I had a get-together with a few cousins. I don’t remember why, as I was very young, but I do recall going to the fair. There were games galore, dessert delights, and ‘radical’ rides. Of course, there were balloons everywhere. Our parents had underestimated our spending capabilities, and we had already run out of money, so we made up our own sport: Balloon Wishing. The first person to see a balloon would get to make a wish, then throw it up into the sky. If it was kept afloat for longer than fourteen-seconds, the wish would come true. I had fallen into the habit over the years of playing whenever I found a balloon like this one, one that was good quality.

The world suddenly seemed silent. Soundless, as if I were in the vacuum of space.

I picked up the balloon, not hearing the bush rustle as I tried to untangle it. After a few moments, it was free.

I lifted up the balloon so it was level with my face, and tried to see it’s story. I’m a firm believer in that everything has a story and a purpose. The names were accompanied by cryptic messages.

Rad, dude! That person got a paper cut! lol, Johnny

Do you know where I can find canned unicorn meat? Best summer evr!!!! Luv, Mary

What if cat really spelled DOG??? Haha,ur da best! <3, Penny

Most of the balloon was covered in these. They seemed to be inside jokes, but who knew? All of them were in colorful marker, with no distinguishable pattern. There was one, though, that was clearly different. It was written in plain black, for one, and unlike the rest, was neatly written in cursive.

Stay strong, Leslie. I love you. Never forget. -Grandma Heather

I almost collapsed right then and there. Johnny, Mary, Penny … those were my cousins. From those holiday get-togethers and the funeral. And Grandma Heather – could she be  my Grandma Heather?

* * * * * *

What do you think? Comment and subscribe!

Sincerely, Lemons

Contest, 1.3


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: 10> You have a reserved parking space with your name on it — at traffic court.

For the next ten TOTDs, there will be the top ten signs you’re a bad driver. Each day I’ll post the previous ones and then the newest one at the bottom. How does that sound? After this, should I continue to do TOTD series, or do you like having a random question? Leave your comments below!

Take a look at the past three day’s posts to see the previous ‘entries’. Here is entry number three:

A cascade of shells and machine gun fire ricocheted around my feet. Wind pounded in my ears. All I could smell was fear. All I could taste was dust. It seemed like the unstable four walls that held my life together were about to collapse. How did I end up here? That’s when my sole sanctuary came into view, the only thing I could trust, my lone refuge- the embassy.

As my feet pounded against the sand, my destination moments away, dread filled my mind. They had already started to evacuate the embassy, no doubt, but there was little hope for those that weren’t on the fleet of helicopters that was kept there for emergencies. There was no way another helicopter or plane could get through to this place once that too-small squadron had left. And by the looks of it, there was only one helicopter left inside the embassy.

No. No, no, no, no, no! I thought. This can’t be happening.

The final helicopter started to leave.

Finding strength, I sprinted to the gates. I had to get onto that helicopter. There was no way I was getting left behind.

Flailing my arms, I tried to attract attention. There wasn’t any possibility of me getting on board unless it slowed down.

“Wait! Please, wait!” I screamed. I knew it was useless. With the gunfire constant, the shrill of the rotor blades getting ready to fly, nothing short of a jet taking off would be audible.

It flew off. I was utterly and completely alone, and there was nothing I could do about it. I slowed down and felt cold metal pierce my heart.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is the final entry in Keep The Lemons first contest! Place your votes below, leave a comment on why you chose the ending you did, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Sincerely, Lemons

Contest Time!


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: After eating, do amphibians need to wait an hour before getting OUT of the water?

Contest time! Contest time! Contest time!

I had to write different endings for the piece I posted yesterday, and I’m going to post all of them. Then feel free to vote, and whichever ending wins will … get a prize? Ha, I’m not sure. Here’s the second ending:

 

A cascade of shells and machine gun fire ricocheted around my feet. Wind pounded in my ears. All I could smell was fear. All I could taste was dust. It seemed like the unstable four walls that held my life together were about to collapse. How did I end up here? That’s when my sole sanctuary came into view, the only thing I could trust, my lone refuge- the embassy.

As my feet pounded against the sand, my destination moments away, dread filled my mind. They had already started to evacuate the embassy, no doubt, but there was little hope for those that weren’t on the fleet of helicopters that was kept there for emergencies. There was no way another helicopter or plane could get through to this place once that too-small squadron had left. And by the looks of it, there was only one helicopter left inside the embassy.

No. No, no, no, no, no! I thought. This can’t be happening.

The final helicopter started to leave.

Finding strength, I sprinted to the gates. I had to get onto that helicopter. There was no way I was getting left behind.

Flailing my arms, I tried to attract attention. There wasn’t any possibility of me getting on board unless it slowed down.

No matter what I did, that helicopter wouldn’t see me. I knew it now; it just wasn’t possible. I had to move on, and I thought fast. Just ahead, there was a pile of boulders that had no purpose except for beauty. I dove behind them, trying to get my head on straight. Thankfully, someone was looking out for me, and a dead revolutionary had had the same idea as me.

His gun was fully loaded, and I was going to give that last helicopter as much time as I could.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * ** * * * * * * ** * * * * * * ** * * * * * * ** * * * * * * ** * * * * * * *

So? What do you think? It’s not time to vote yet, because we still have one more ending left that will be posted tomorrow. Leave a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe to Keep The Lemons!

Sincerely, Lemons

Exhilarating!


THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Wow. This is really exhilarating – writing and posting every day again. It’s almost therapeutic. Thanks for sticking by me! Here’s todays writing:

A cascade of shells and machine gun fire ricocheted around my feet. Wind pounded in my ears. All I could smell was fear. All I could taste was dust. It seemed like the unstable four walls that held my life together were about to collapse. How did I end up here? That’s when my sole sanctuary came into view, the only thing I could trust, my lone refuge – the embassy.

As my feet pounded against the sand, my destination moments away, dread filled my mind. They had already started to evacuate the embassy, no doubt, but there was little hope for those that weren’t on the fleet of helicopters that was kept there for emergencies. There was no way another helicopter or plane could get through to this place once that too-small squadron had left. And by the looks of it, there was only one helicopter left inside the embassy.

No. No, no, no, no, no! I thought. This can’t be happening.

The final helicopter started to leave.

Finding strength, I sprinted to the gates. I had to get onto that helicopter. There was no way I was getting left behind.

Flailing my arms, I tried to attract attention. There wasn’t any possibility of me getting on board unless it slowed down.

The chances of me going into space tomorrow were greater than the chance of that helicopter waiting for me. Nevertheless, I had never been one to go down without a fight, and I ran faster than I ever had before. I still couldn’t stop the inevitable, though, and a few seconds before I reached the gates the helicopter left.

Maybe they left the gates open. It was my only chance now, and I kept on running.

They had. Maybe they had meant to lock them but had had no time. Either way, I was inside. I went up, taking advantage of the stairs. Too late, as always, I reached the roof.

Looking into the horizon, praying for a hail mary, I nearly fainted from shock – another helicopter had just arrived!

I started crying. I couldn’t help it. I was safe! A miracle was happening before my eyes!

Within moments, the helicopter was hovering over the roof. They weren’t landing? What?

Just before I lost all hope, the side opened up. A fitted gun rose, and started to defend the helicopter. What must have been Marines dropped down on ropes and surrounded me. One fitted a harness onto my waist, while the rest started forming a human shield around me. Within milliseconds, we were airborne and the helicopter was flying away.

As I was buckled into a seat, I realized the problem with my rescue.

“How come you guys didn’t check for other survivors?”

He kept on assembling the complicated seatbelt, and answered. “We were sent for you alone.”

All this for me?

******************

What do you think? Leave a comment and don’t forget to subscribe!

Sincerely, Lemons

I’m Back!


THOUGHT OF THE … WEEK:

I’m back! I’m back! I’m back! I’m baaaack! Good news and bad news that need to be given, and since I (unfortunately) don’t have mind-reading powers, I am going to give you bad news first.

That was probably the worst flu I ever had. I’ll spare the details, because if you throw up onto your computer you’ll probably break it, but … ugh. In a word, this entire week has been ugh.

GOOD NEWS- I wrote a lot. I was sick in bed one day, but I had a dream that night that ended up fitting into the first story that I posted on here, Element Warfare. That scene, even though it isn’t even halfway finished, is now at over a thousand words. (PS: It’s a scene that fits in about halfway into the book. Should I still post it?) I was able to back up all of my novels, which is something I normally forget. And when I took a break from writing, I was on the internet (dam you, Facebook! Dam you!). I found agentquery.com, and it is absolutely amazing. I love it love it love it. Not only are there agents and an amazing search feature, but it’s free and …

Oh well, this isn’t an ad. Really, though, check it out.

Anyways, I had to keep up on my homework, and one of those was a prompt. Here is the finished product:

Red robes lined the small stage, with bursts of yellow sashes for anyone who had done something special. A spotlight was on us, seemingly positioned just so it shined in our eyes.

“… and to our graduating class, congratulations! Welcome to the next leg of the journey that is life. As you very well know …” Mrs. Ionkoo, our vice principal, rambled on and on. Some people called her Oinkoo, because of her unfortunate name, shape, and nose. Really, she was asking for it, she looked like a pig. The resemblance was uncanny.

After her speech-slash-lecture-slash-torture was over, there would be more from other people. None would matter; they were really very irrelevant, just like this whole Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony. The real reason everyone was tearing up (or all-out bawling in some cases, like Snotty Molly next to me), was because when this was over, we would be – wait for it …

High schoolers. And with that comes parties, peer pressure, and power (and “responsibility”).

Oh. Oinkoo sat down. Cue polite applause. Ike Bayletti, our valedictorian, stood up to announce another speaker. Next up: Superintendent-something. Moth? Goth? I didn’t catch the name. It doesn’t really matter, though his speech is boring and predictable, just like Oinkoo’s. Oh well; he still gets some polite applause.

Wash. Dry. Repeat.

Speaker. Applause. Repeat.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Stupid repetition – it seems to go on for hours. I wish it would just be over so I can go home and eat some purple raspberry ice cream – my favorite. Of course, there would be an after party, but there was no way I was going. I probably wasn’t invited anyway.

Another speech over, more polite applause. This schedule was like a malfunctioning robot – Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Can. Not. Stop.

Repeat … repeat … repeat.

After another hour, it was finally time for diplomas, and Mr. Latdon, our principal, took the stage. In a voice that can only be compared to the wheezing of an old computer, he started to call out the names. Even though my last name starts with a ‘D’, it took a solid half hour to get to me.

“Derem.” Mr. Latdon said into the microphone. Is it possible for someone’s voice to be so monotone? I thought while I walked. Step left, step right. Step left, step right. Step left, step right. Even down to the very last moment, all this school has ever been is repetition. A half-hearted congratulations later, I was a high schooler. Cool?

When Mr. Latdon finally dismissed us, I stuck around. Why not avoid traffic? It’s easier to walk if there’s no traffic.

I strolled around the school grounds, with no purpose besides wasting time. Before long, it was time to get back and start walking before it got really dark, and I started to jog back around the school to the main road.

Just before the road was within sight, a balloon caught my eye. It was tangled in an overgrown bush that the school means to clean but really never does, blaming funding. It was a very good quality balloon, against all odds; mylar was typical at events like these, yet here is a real helium balloon, which has been drawn on and signed by family.

Quite a few years ago, before the incident, I had a get-together with a few cousins. I don’t remember why, as I was very young, but I do recall going to the fair. There were games galore, dessert delights, and ‘radical’ rides. Of course, there were balloons everywhere. Our parents had underestimated our spending capabilities, and we had already run out of money, so we made up our own sport: Balloon Wishing. The first person to see a balloon would get to make a wish, then throw it up into the sky. If it was kept afloat for longer than fourteen-seconds, the wish would come true. I had fallen into the habit over the years of playing whenever I found a balloon like this one, one that was good quality.

The world suddenly seemed silent. Soundless, as if I were in the vacuum of space.

I picked up the balloon, not hearing the bush rustle as I tried to untangle it. After a few moments, it was free.

I lifted up the balloon so it was level with my face, and tried to decide what to wish for. I wanted so much, I needed so much …

… but Balloon Wishing wasn’t the way to do it. I tied the balloon back onto the bush.

Let someone else have a wish.

*****************************

What do you think? Don’t be gentle: I have to hand this in, after all, and now that I lost so much time to the flu I need to kick my writing into high-writing-gear.

Thank you so much for reading, and of course remember to subscribe so you never miss a post!

Sincerely, Lemons

I’m A Little Sick, Short and Stout …


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?

I’ve been very, very sick these past two days, which is why I didn’t post. I wasn’t able to write, either. As soon as I can, I’ll be writing and posting more stories! Thanks for bearing with me!

Sincerely, Lemons

You’re Never Going to Guess


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Really, you’re never going to guess what happens next. Enjoy!

 

As a few German Shepard’s – or that’s what they looked like, at least – lifted us onto a hovering metal plate, I tried not to panic. When the what’s-going-to-happen-is-going-to-happen-whether-I-want-it-to-or-not mentality didn’t work, I tried moving onto a different tactic. Since Ava was in the middle of our circle, she was least likely to be hurt. That had to be worth something, right?

Wrong.

After a few minutes of hovering on the metal plate, we started to see other plates with other people on them. Entering the ship, I saw a few neighbors who, by the looks of them, had been inside our local grocery store at the time of the explosions. I saw some kids from my school who are usually at the ice cream shop on the weekends. Among them were my two best friends, Melissa and Kathryn, but they were wrong, somehow. Their arms were bent at odd angles, and their faces were contorted with pain. When they saw me, however, their eyes brightened. At least they were alive-

Guys, Jade’s here! Was that Kat?

Is that good or bad? I think it’s kind of bad… Lissa?

Oh. She doesn’t know, does she?

Am I hearing your thoughts?

Yup. She has no clue. Jade, this ship is tricked up! You can hear anyone’s thoughts in here … we would have been able to hear the invaders-

Lissa, don’t you think they look like pets? I mean-

-but it’s all barks and meows and squawks. Oh. Pets makes sense. Does everyone agree? Do we call them pets?

Thoughtful yeses rose from the crowd of minds. This was so odd being able to hear everything’s thoughts-

Oh crap. If we can hear the Pet’s various forms of communication, then…

Everyone stop thinking! If we can hear their squawks and meows and barks, then they can hear our thoughts and plans and-

Various curse words rose from the crowd, and observations replaced planning.

Whoa! Lookie here, the walls are gray!

Who knew floors could be scary?!

What about the ceiling? You don’t want to forget to look at the ceiling!

That’s one thing about my town – they can be very boring when they need to be.

Meows droned out our pointless thoughts, and then came the high voice of- was that a translator? They had translators? As the fat orange tabby we saw earlier came into view, along with a skinny Egyptian Mau, my fears were confirmed. After a few more meows, the Mau spoke.

“I’m a, yes, translator. From now on, consider me her mouthpiece,” she said, cocking her head towards the tabby. After only listening to thoughts, real words were a shock. Standing up straighter, she began to talk for the tabby. “I am Queen Stunian, and things are going to change around here. First, we are going to stop all this ‘separate countries’ nonsense. The new country is going to be called Perld, and every one of you are now our pets. For centuries, you have abused us and used us for your own entertainment.” Spitting on the floor, the tabby continued to meow her message. “What’s the Human, or should I say Hoo, phrase for it? Get ready for a taste of your own medicine – we are done with your games. We are here to play some of our own.”

“After today, you’ll all be transferred to the ‘Jacks of All Trades’ Campuses, where you’ll be adopted by other Pets that either came with us or have been agents of ours – they will choose your course of study, depending on what they would like you to be. Take a Guard Hoo, for example. You will then follow the ‘Guardian’ course of study. If your newfound owner would like you to become a Battle Hoo, you would take the ‘Attack and Defend’ course, and so on. Until you are adopted, you will have a quota of classes to fill each session. There are severe punishments for not only rule breakers, but for those who don’t fulfill their quotas as well.”

“I have other cities to attend to, so I should say ‘Good Luck’. But that would mean I cared. Goodbye, Hoo’s.” Finishing her speech, both cats walked away.

We’re deeply, deeply screwed.

* * *

The same German Shepards from earlier came again, and after tapping the plates with their hind legs, the plates followed them deeper into the labyrinth of hallways that made up the ship.

These pets must have been really busy up until now, because you could see paint marks on the walls and scuff marks on the floor; the ceiling drooped and blueprints of various buildings littered the area. I even recognized some of them – there was the Taj Mahal, the White House, Birmingham Palace…

The pets weren’t taking over just America. They were taking over everything.

Even as my panic and hatred escalated, I marveled at the simple vastness of the place. The hallways could fit ten men shoulder-to-shoulder easy, and the ceiling was so high that you could stack two elephants with room to spare. There wasn’t just birds and cats and dogs here, that was for sure. But what else could there be? Who else could there be, for that matter?

Ava was being strangely silent throughout this whole ordeal. How could that be? Her nickname was Jabberjay for a reason, after all.

Ava, I thought in her direction. What’s wrong?

Look down, she thought back.

The urgency in her thought made me almost not want to see what had her so upset. After a short internal battle, curiosity won out, and I directed my eyes downward.

No.

What was Kasey doing here?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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Sincerely, Lemons