Category Archives: Writing

Future Fridays – Why Tweet?

THE FUTURE OF TWITTER

#futurefriday #blogpost #blogging

Image credit: Monster.com

Twitter has turned to a self-sufficient tool for mad link-share w/ no one actually clicking on them, & no one actually replying your tweets. It’s just an automatic “share” we click after we post on our #blogs in hope someone would care.

Does anyone care? Have you checked how many times your “followers” have “followed” and/or commented on your blog?

Have you “replied” to someone in order to start a small conversation, maybe only to “Good-day” one another? How many times you got a reply?

Some people sharing, re-tweeting and writing small thoughts in perfect isolation under the public uninterested gaze… is that twitter?

What’s in store for Twitter, then? Facebook takes over, with numerous possibilities of the group-life, where “closed” groups could remain isolated by the rest and discuss in threads. Sure enough, Twitter has the feature called “hashtag” which serves as a key word, a thread name of sorts.

When I joined I would look for my closest tweeps and @ them to talk to them. Not a very private thing, but still people used to “reply”, and back, and back. Nowadays, it has got somewhat lonely there. Here is an example: someone logs in to Twitter in the morning and tweets something like: Up w/ a headache. Need #coffee. Badly. Now. Any1 up 4 it? #morning

This person may get a couple of replies by followers, in the vein of: #morning back 2 U. Weather fine here. Wh bt U? #coffee is good.

Or, he/she may not get a single reply. Maybe no followers online. Hardly. Maybe followers online are too busy working. Possible. Or, maybe followers online are busy sharing their links to madly beg for attention and traffic to their own sites and care little for our coffee-drinking headaching tweep. Most probably.

OK, let’s go further and say that you decided to not leave this tweep an orphan and hit “reply”. Chances are you won’t hear from the person again, or if you do, that will be very brief “Thanks, you too”. Is the other tweep perhaps having coffee to relieve his/her headache. Could be. Is he/she busy arranging his/her work station for the day? Possible. Is he/she simply indifferent to his/her “followers”? Most probably.

Then why follow?

 

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Hungry, Flash Fiction

Hungry, written for the Flashy Fiction prompt today

Image courtesy: here

I am already so hungry that it seems to me my hunger has eaten the colour vision from my mind. I close my eyes for a second and when I open them, the whole world around isblack and white. Not that there is anything attractive to be seen in colours. Bare rock, a solitary fir tree emerging from a crack in the rock, some shrubs… And more rocks.

Wherever I turn my eyes, I see rocks. And cracks where something grows. How come only prickly things grow in these cracks? Why not soft fern to pick and make into a mattress? Why firs? The rock is too hard already, no need for more.

The sky is also black and white. Predominantly white, of course, with a cloud or two here and there. Yet, something is weird in this black-and-white picture. I feel as if everything shines with intense brightness and I have to close my eyes for a while. Then I lose my balance and swing slightly from side to side. “That must be me starving”, I think. Hoping to restore both my balance and my colour vision, I make an effort to open my eyes.

I believe I manage. My head grows heavy all of a sudden and it hurts like hell. “Could’ve brought some aspirin, too”, I think, “in addition to food.” Still, I am able to see. Colour has not come back, though. Neither has balance, so I slump down like a bag. There is no pain. I am sure the rock is not smooth at all. Yet, it isn’t hard either. It simply is. So, I begin to crawl towards the edge of the rock, past the fir tree. I want to see what is beyond.

The brightness of the sky maddens me. I think I can see metal blades flash here and there moving in the ruthless sunlight. Nothing moves in the scene. I crawl and I bump against something. I raise my hand in the air at my eyes’ level, push and press something there. Only, I can’t see it. Perhaps hunger has eaten more from my mind, and I can’t remember what, because it has been eaten off. That idea is scary. Looking into the large crack just beneath my nose I see a glittering speck. “What is it?” my mind trembles with lame excitement. The crack is wide enough for my arm, so I fish inside without fear of the unknown darkness below.

My fingers touch something smooth, feels glossy. Will I be able to grab at the thing and fish it back to the surface, or just like in a cheap movie I’ll be struggling to get to it? The crack is spacious and I push deeper, until I feel the glossy thing reach my palm. Then I grasp. And pull up.

It is a colourful piece of foil, the empty wrap of a tasty, nourishing waffle. I can still see chocolate dots on the silver inside. My empty stomach howls in despair. Would a wolf eat that? I am musing. Perhaps it will.

Wait a minute! I stop and look at the foil wrap again. Now-wait-a-mi-nute! It is colourful. So, I have my colour vision alright. I look around. Everything is still black and white. Then some motion attracts my eyes. Just beyond the rock edge, where I bumped into the invisible something, I saw something move. I thrust myself in that direction. That is not exactly a fast move, because I have no power left in me. But, somehow, I reach the invisible wall and press my face against it.

Now I begin to see more clearly. I can see a large hall on the other side, merging with the bare rocks and the brightness of the black-and-white sky. In that hall, there are people – I can see them a lot better now, walking in twos, or in threes, children hopping from show-case to show-case. I see other glass cases like the one I’m in, with other objects inside. A small face presses against the glass wall, just opposite mine. We look at each other not breathing. I don’t know whose shock is greater.

I hit my fist against the window case and say with a fierce grimace and bare teeth: “Bring the food, or I’ll come out and eat you, child!”

 

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

To Whom This Bottle of Jack Reaches, Flashy

Flashy Fiction on the Tuesday photo prompt by Walt

*** 

To Whom It Reaches (Even If Not Concerned At All)

Hi, there! Wondering how many more bottles of Jacks I have to dry to keep this mailer thing going… And nobody coming to the rescue, either. Ah, sorry if my speech is broken, it’s all the Tennessee stuff I been gulping lately. Speech, did I say? Meaning spellin, I was. Wait til I get sober.

***

OK, ignore the above. I mean the mistakes. Otherwise the message is correct. I’m stranded here, no one’s coming to take me away. This is my 24th message and they are all nearly identical. First I lay on the beach all day, but then I got hungry. Not very clever of me, as I didn’t have any power to swim to the ship. Then night came and I was still wondering what to do. Hunger kept sleep away. Next day I felt indifferent, so I managed to get to the boat. All I got was a casket of smoked meat and several caskets of Jack Daniels’ bottles, full of the original stuff, as far as I can judge. Oh, I also found the ship’s log. Our captain was not very diligent, it seems. I read all and couldn’t recognize a thing. And I am supposed to have been onboard there, you know. Maybe this log holds the records of his parallel world sailing, I don’t know. I believe all that whisky was for him alone. Well, it’s mine now. Or, rather, it WAS mine, as this is the last bottle I’m using to mail this. Still got lots of paper, though. Not using it much. No need for paper here… Nope. None whatsoever.

So, somebody, anybody, just please, do bother yourself/ves and come over here to ship me away. This piece of goods is ready for free shipping. Come before it gets stale and unfit for use or whatever.

Yeah, “whatever”! That’s the word that’s been plaguing me all around.

Honestly yours,

Maroon, or Moron (I don’t really remember now – ocean water washed some of it away)

 

© Mariya Koleva, 2012

Diamonds below the Agulhas Negras

Diamonds Below the Agulhas Negras, published in Snake-Oil Cure, 29th October 2012. Click HERE

Itatiaia from Agulhas Negras

Link to image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smithsonian/6839255540/in/photostream/

***

“Not much more now,” he said. “You’ve got to believe me.”

She looked up to see his figure standing erect against the frantic blue of the sky. “How can you be sure?” or “You’ve been saying that for hours.” she wanted to yell, or at least whine. No voice, though. Just a throatful of husks she could not swallow, a mouthful of gritting teeth and her eyes filled with tears. Tears like diamonds. Tears getting quickly dry.

“Brian, please,” she managed to whisper. He didn’t hear, but stopped to wait for her. She was thankful and mad at the same time. Her powerlessness made her furious, though it was nobody’s fault that they had lost their way repeatedly that day. At the same time she felt grateful for the brief pause. Seeing him there, she knew she was not capable of another step. She wanted to reach him and then stop again, but her feet wouldn’t move. Amanda just sat and then lay down in exhaustion. Brian hopped down back to her and squatted. He was so fresh and full of energy, that she hated him even more.

“I promise this will be the last hill we climb. I had nearly reached the peak when you called me. After that peak the path walks only downwards. It does.” Brian looked her in the eyes. She said nothing. Her strength sufficed for panting only, she couldn’t even look around or make grimaces.

“OK, take a rest.” Brian said.

Amanda didn’t move. She didn’t care about him, or herself, or this place, or what he had to say. She wanted to stay like this forever. Or, at least until she felt better. It was very hot. The whole day had been steamy even at such height. The open spaces didn’t help much. The sun was merciless blessing them with its light. Brian reached out, pulled her white kerchief from around her neck and started fanning it above her. Oh, Amanda loved that. She felt she could breathe better and more easily. She felt more air came to her. Her eyes closed, she dreamt of Coke – black, fizzy Coke, not too cold, but not warm either, just the right temperature. Yes, a Coke would get her to her feet. A Coke could be available at the shelter they were headed, she thought.

Amanda stood up, took her kerchief from Brian and started towards the peak. She was not sure if the peak they were headed to was the Agulhas Negras, but it was some high place, for sure. Besides, it was seen to the right from the plane of Itatiaia. They must be on the Itatiaia plane below the peak, so according to the map those heights over there had to be the Agulhas Negras. Oh, how much she hoped that! And how little reason was there in her frantic reasoning. Once up there, they could take a look around the area and get some better orientation. A couple of steps up, she stopped again. Her boots were killing her. They were so hard, endlessly pressing on her toes. The sole felt like wood. Or worse. If anything could be worse. No, she couldn’t do it. Even with the image of the craved Coke in her mind, and before her closing eyes, Amanda was too tired and weak to continue. She put her hands on her knees and leaned to the front to rest a bit. Looking at Brian who was not aware of that, Amanda saw the crawling signs of concern on his face. She froze. If Brian was concerned, she really must be a mess.

It was nearly 4pm. It would get dark soon. Here, there was not twilight. Darkness falls as fast and as thick as you can imagine. Amanda felt she needed to brace up her powers and get going. Yet, she couldn’t. She said, “Brian, why don’t you go to the peak by yourself? From there you will see what’s on the other side and make something out. Perhaps you will conjure something up.” Brian looked at her, sighed and nodded, “OK. I’ll leave my backpack up there and then come back and carry yours. I guess the sleeping bag is too heavy on you.” Amanda felt embarrassed as she knew Brian carried a sleeping bag, too, in addition to a tent with all its poles and tackles. She had no strength to feel sympathy or regret things, though. She relished the rest she was allowed, lay down again and closed her eyes. This time she knew it will be for longer. After all, they could always set up their tent and spend the night out. The breeze was that of paradise caressing her sweaty face.

When Amanda opened her eyes again, there was silence and nothing moved. It was blissful. She could prop herself up on her elbows and looked around nonchalantly to see where Brian was. At first she couldn’t make his figure out against the grey rock of the slope. Then she noticed the brown backpack slowly crawling up. “Shall I shout out to him?” she thought, but decided she wouldn’t. “I’m still too week.” was her reasoning. “He is alright, why should I bother him with shouts?” She closed her eyes again. Her whole inner self relaxed and she fell asleep.

All of a sudden, she thought she could hear Brian. She opened her eyes and still in the mist of dozing, she searched for his figure against the rocky slope. It took her some time to notice him. It seemed he was in trouble. He made a jerking movement and then moved somewhere to a lower level. She heard a shriek and could see him no more. 

***

Mary Agnes thought, “Now, this is a marvelous view. Denis, please, hop on to the equipment sack and bring me my camera. I simply must shoot this place.” Denis hurried to a large sack that was on the ground where the rest of the crew were resting and started rummaging inside. In a while, he yelled, “Mam, I don’t find it. Are you sure it’s here?” Mary Agnes frowned a bit, and walked to the sack herself. Denis was still making a mess of the contents.

“Please, Denis, stop doing that. That way we can never find our stuff.” Denis looked up with a sincere face, “Sorry, mam.” She smiled broadly, “Did you check the side pockets of the sack, too?”

Denis bit his lips, “No.” He opened one and there it was. Mary Agnes took the camera and went back to the cliff edge. “I’ll miss the good light.” She prepared the camera very carefully in order to get the best possible shot and then took the picture. She was wondering whether to take a couple more, just in case this one didn’t develop that well. Her film supplies were very scanty, as were all the supplies in this expedition, yet she tried to do the best possible job with them. She decided to take just one more shot and walked a couple of feet to the right, where she had a better view of the slope itself. She was getting ready to take the picture, when Denis said right next to her, “Look, there is somebody down there.” Mary Agnes strained her eyes a bit and looked in the direction he pointed to. She saw a figure that was sprawled some distance down the slope. Denis yelled, “Hello, down there! How are you?” As there was no answer, Denis called towards the others of their group. “Hey, Jim, Bob, come over here. There is somebody down the hill. They look unwell.” 

***

When Amanda opened her eyes again, she was in a small dark room. She was in a bed, and could smell the somewhat stale and moist whiff of the sheets as she jerked them to the side. She was relieved to see that she was in one piece and there was no feeling of pain. Amanda sat up in the bed and found it very easy. She felt strong enough to take that backpack again, put on those hard and pressing shoes and head to the peak. To whatever peak. She only needed to locate Brian.

Mary Agnes entered the room to see Amanda looking for her clothes. Amanda shone with mirth. Mary Agnes’ face was dark with the tidings she brought.

“Hello, dear. Sit down, please.” When Amanda was seated in the bed, Mary Agnes continued, “My name is Mary Agnes Chase and I’m an assistant botanist for the US Department of Agriculture. We are here doing some field work…”

***

They had found Brian lying a couple of hundred meters from the path. It appeared he had taken a bad step and fell from the path. When they found him, his leg was broken and he was dead. In his right hand Denis found a small object which Brian was holding very tight. Probably that was why he couldn’t reach out to hold to something on his way down, everybody thought. They gave it to Amanda together with all Denis’ belongings. The small object was wrapped in a piece of paper. She opened the paper. In it was a beautiful diamond ring. An engagement ring Brian was no doubt planning to give her that same night. A shiny token of their love he held to with his last breath. Tears like diamonds rolled down her cheeks.

 

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Written for the Snake Oil Cure magazine

 

Sunshine Sunday – Fan-flash on Blake’s 7

Today was supposed to be a sunny Sunday. After all, it’s nearing the end of May, so that’s only natural. Yet, it’s raining and the sky is bleak. So, instead of a Sunshine Sunday post, I made up a Fun-shine Fan-flash post. My friend Claudette Young, of the April Challengers opened a fun fan prompt a couple of days ago, to which I responded. I have long wanted to write some fan fiction. You know the kind – you watch a movie or read a book and you can’t help thinking there is something or someone missing there. So, you sit down and write it.

My Fun-shine Fan-flash Sunday is based on Blake’s 7, my favourite show on TV when I was a kid.

***

“Listen, Roj, I can’t stand it”, said Monica. “Sort things out with Avon. Find a way, make it up. I don’t know.” The tension in her voice escalated.

Blake only bit his lips. The deep creases on his forehead looked almost black.

“Monique,” he attempted tenderness, but his voice was not used to that. “I AM trying.”

“No, you aren’t! You two are in war. And we all see it. And it will tear us apart.” She hesitated for a second and then mumbled, “And not only that.”

Blake blinked for a moment, wondering what to say. He was amazed at her tearful brown eyes.

“Why are you crying?” he croaked.

“It’s nothing.” she retorted. “Too tired, that’s all.”

He could see it now. Too absorbed in his revolutionary cause, he hadn’t realized that his little sister was on board with his crew of escaped convicts. Constantly on the run and hiding, Blake had blocked all human emotions as dangerous and missed to see how Monica changed when Avon entered the room. “Oh, my God!” he thought. Aloud he said:

“I’ll make it up to him. I promise.” He put his cheek to her lips.

***

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Posted at Claudsy’s blog!

If you’d like to get the feeling, here is the opening video 🙂

Satin Saturdays, BANG-BANG!

Shooting Saturday

Sitting there in the sun, she felt her mind was void. At last! Spring has come, and the chestnuts along the boulevard had bloomed white and tippy like candles. Tiny white and yellow daisy-likes spotted the green wetness of the grass. The weather was still cool with spring freshness and tender with sunlight.

She looked at the large thermometer on top of the adjacent building. She had to wait till the clock gave way to the temperature. 23. Closing her eyes, she remembered the nights she had stared at the same bleak building top and seen the devastating -9 glowing nefarious red.

She had always wanted to spend time like this. So, whenever she managed, that was bliss.

“Oh, good life, ha?” screeched an unpleasant voice near her. “How are you doing, baby? Hardly working or working hard? Which one is it this time?”

She looked up at the newcomer and forced a wry smile.

“You know I don’t like you when you smile like that.”

She dared say nothing. This conversation used to have its unfolding. “Like what?”, she would ask. “Like you are mocking me.” he would say with a fierce grin. He hit her several times as an ending of this very conversation. One of the times she spent a week in hospital and a month not able to work properly. Of course, he made her. Only, it hurt too much. That was how this conversation was never led again.

“Are you visually-impaired or what?” he said maliciously.

“Why?” her voice trembled at the vision of the coming tornado.

“Can’t you see the gentleman over there?” he pushed her hard in the gentleman’s direction.

“You said I could be off today. It’s Saturday.” she mumbled unconfidently.

“I said, did I?” he screeched again. “Well, you’d better focus on what I do, than on what I say. For I say a lot of things, you know.”

She didn’t move.

 “Com’on”, he urged her.

Sitting there in the sun, she felt her mind go blank. “BANG!” the shot echoed across the sleepy afternoon neighbourhood.

She could go back to her satin dreams again.

 

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Beautiful Zombie flash

Beauty Queen

“By God, it’s so hot.” Sheila thought and tried to stretch her arms, yawning. Before she knew anything, she noticed the utter darkness. “Am I in a cellar?” she murmured. She couldn’t see her arms did not stretch. With a grunt, Sheila tried to stand up. Failed. The darkness was as thick as always. She wanted to rub the numbness off her feet. Failing again, Sheila suddenly realized she didn’t feel numb. She didn’t feel. “If only there was light,” she was getting annoyed. Was she even moving her limbs? Were there even limbs for her to move? What was that ineffective place?

Only last night, it seemed to her, Sheila was the new Beauty Queen. She remembered she drank champagne off the glass of that masked boy – mask way too scary, yet he was a charmer.

“So, how do zombie beauties live?” Sheila blinked in confusion and irritation.

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Submitted to Writerlious blog to a prompt: Beautiful Zombies.

Twisted Tuesday, short fiction

#TwistedTuesday

“A twisted mind will get you nowhere nice” he repeated to himself while splashing the freezing water over his face. That was something his father used to tell him when he was little. He cupped his hands and stared at the water for a while. He looked on as it started to trickle off, oozing between his fingers, the pool inside getting shallower and shallower. He tried to press his fingers tight to one another, in an effort to keep the water from trickling out, and it seemed to slow down a bit, but then oozed out anyway.

Looking up from the basin, Luke saw his badly-cut face in the mirror and pressed his eyes shut. That hurt, too. He didn’t know which hurt more – the black and blue image in the mirror, the black swells on his eyes, or the memory of how he had received them.

“No more vodka,” he thought furiously. It was all vodka’s fault. He even didn’t know why he ended up drinking that stuff. He hated vodka since the last time he got drunk on it. He knew that threat would not intimidate the bottle he could still see to the left of the dirty fridge. He knew he was trying to intimidate himself. And he knew it was no good.

His face hurt. He filled his cupped hands with freezing water again and splashed it on. His father’s words rang through his mind again. Why wouldn’t the old man be quiet for a while? How come it was his father’s words he could hear, and not those of his elder brother?

Every time his elder brother heard those words he would counter them: “A twisted mind will get you anything you want.”

With a soft grunt he moved away from the washbasin and towards the window.

A champagne stopper flew off with a weird pop. Who would be drinking champagne at this time of the day? His face felt huge. Something caught his glance. On the front of his muddied and torn T-shirt was a rose in bloom.

“A twisted heart will get you nowhere nice,” he thought with his last flash of consciousness. The floor was cold and hard, and damp with filth.

 

© 2012 Mariya Koleva