ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Write...Edit...Publish flash fiction - TAKING CHANCES - Macbeth fan fiction



 Hi everyone!

Today I'm having a little fun with the WEP challenge. I've been teaching Macbeth for years--and here we go again--I'll be teaching it for the next few months. I wrote this flash at writing group, but it is barely recognisable. I've Macbeth-ed it up.

If you'd like to have a little flash fiction fun, or non-fiction fun, you're welcome to add your name to the list in my sidebar and post a story by Friday.


Taking Chances

Alicia was waiting with her group of besties, blocking the top of the stairway outside homeroom. I had to pass these weird sisters to get to my next class. Not that I was overly afraid--Alicia I could handle--but flanked by Natalie and Phoebe, she looked scary indeed, even without a beard. I would need to be crafty to survive.

‘Something bothering you, Michelle?’ Alicia’s voice wafted down the stairs like a bad smell. ‘I was just saying to the girls that something wicked this way comes. You look like you’re going to puke. Come along. Puke on my boots if you dare.’

I massaged the banister knob with my left hand, feeling the silkiness of the aged wood smooth underneath my skin. I liked this place, even though it was a school. I could glide up the stairs and float right through the lot of them, bitch slapping them while I passed, but my cred would be shot if I took that route. I’d finally found a school where I wanted to belong. Or so I’d thought. That was before I met Alicia. Every school has its ghoul!

‘Come on up, girlfriend. We’re waiting. New girls have to pass the test.’

‘What test?’ Oh, why didn’t I keep my big mouth shut? She couldn’t wait to get her long claws into me.

‘The test to see if you belong.’

Did they all suspect I didn’t belong? I shouldn’t have deliberately stepped on her shiny black Doc Martens when I cut her off at the classroom door. But that was pretty tame considering the way she’d baited me all the way through the Shakespeare class, jealous little cow. Not my fault I knew all the answers to Lady Macbeth’s questions. Well, Ms Opine acted like Lady Macbeth in her sleepwalking stage, floating about the room in her long skirt, stroking her long red tresses, curling her dark red lips in distain at the students’ stumbling answers to her questions about Macbeth’s motivations. To tell you the truth, all she was missing was the candle in her hands. She was one of the most frightening sights I’ve seen in awhile, and I’ve been around a looong time. Bet she’d faint if she knew that I’d met old William personally. Used to chat after the show; helped him clean up the mess. I even suggested a few characters in history he might use for his next play. That’s where he got the idea for Macbeth and King Duncan. Yep. I know every one of the Bard’s plays by heart, in ye Olde English, not the modern stuff they read these days.

‘Get off my boot, you weirdo,’ had been Alicia’s reaction to my little stomp attack. ‘Take that!’ She’d swung her long blond mane (yes, she was very horsey, not unusual in an English public school) and delivered a stunning blow to my solar plexus.

‘Ouch!’ I yelled, surprised at the power in her dainty little fight move. She gave me a strange look. Did she feel my flesh was as hard and bony as her elbow? Is that what gave me away? Still, I couldn’t resist another stomp on her boots, grinding my rubber soles as hard as I could without breaking her foot. If you’ve ever tried to hurt someone by stomping on their Docs, you’d know it takes a lot of girl power. Those babies have pretty good toe protection. I put as much power as I dared behind that stomp/kick/grind move. Alicia’s face turned as white as mine and her jagged breath concerned me for a minute as I wondered if I’d gone too far. The tears in her big baby blues were a bonus. But she was a tough chick for a human, or kind of human. The tears stayed where they hovered on her smoky fake eyelashes. The fire in her blue eyes was enough to set the door alight. Now, she’d brought the reinforcements.

Oh, great! They were gathered against me, to destroy me. I have to think fast or my first day will be my last day here. If I use too much power, I’m out. Too little, and these weird sisters will make my life a misery just like the hags did to Macbeth.

Was it worth taking the ‘test’, or should I refuse to listen to them, get back on my horse and gallop away?

As Alicia and I played at outstaring each other, I thought of another school, another Alicia. Turned out that chick was a vamp just like me. She didn’t want any competition, so she demanded I take the test. I’d refused, but lived to regret it. Well, I don’t have much choice, do I? I’m here forever. If I’d passed the ‘test’ I would have been Head Girl at Willoughby by now. There was once a chance I didn’t take…hmm.

*Avaunt! I raced up the stairs, two at a time, nearly tripping on my ridiculously long serge skirt which weighed a ton. What was it about my face that had the weird sisters stepping back as if they’d seen a ghost? Bet they’d never bullied a girl like me before. Bring it on!

I’m taking a chance today.

Soon I’ll be Head Girl of Dunsinane.

                                             

Thanks for reading my story. No critique necessary. I just wrote this for some YA enjoyment and for WEP. You can tell me if you enjoyed it though!

And don't forget to check out the blogfests in my sidebar. Deniz Bevan has a few more in her current post.

*advance 

WEP AUGUST CHALLENGE
Please click on the names in the sidebar to read more entries
 



58 comments:

  1. Denise this was incredible writing...as is always the case :)

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    1. Thanks for that! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. Yup, I did enjoy it. It was fun.

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  3. That's right, take the test. Don't want to live with regrets. Well written, Denise.

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  4. Very descriptive and quite a battle going on between the two girls.

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    1. Ah, these girls know how to go at it!

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  5. Yikes. Conflict, conflict, conflict! Nice.

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    1. Well, they say a story is nothing without conflict, so this one has it in spades Crystal.

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  6. That was fun! Avaunt indeed :)

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    1. Thanks Jemi. Thanks for sharing. Avaunt!

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  7. Yes I did enjoy it, Denise! A 'mean girls' story will always find an audience, as there seem to be a clot of these types in many high schools. Why always in threes? Three must be related to the three old hags/witches/oracles who foretold the destiny over the bubbling cauldron of yore.

    Bet you teach MacBeth very well, Denise. Have you ever read 'King Hereafte'r by Dorothy Dunnett? It's about MacBeth and his coming to power.

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    1. You got that right. I don't know how girls survive high school these days. It gets worse all the time. Three must be an interesting number meaning evil in some contexts. I love teaching Shakespeare--this year Othello, Macbeth, Romeo + Juliet, Merchant of Venice, and soon, A Midsummer NIght's Dream...year after year. Tough!!

      No, but I must read 'King Hereafte'r'. Sounds my style.

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  8. Yes, I enjoyed that story a lot. I love the way you use adjectives – they are perfect. In school we did not study the British classics that much, we had so many French ones to study – like Moliere, Corneille and Racine.

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    1. Thanks Vagabonde. Ah, well, Australia was a British colony after all, so our curriculum is flooded with British classics in novels and plays. I read some French authors in translation...Colette is my favourite.

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  9. What a fun read! I've never tried fan fiction before but from reading this it looks like a hoot! I think I'll give it a try. :)
    Raquel Byrnes

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    1. Fan fiction is heaps of fun. This is my second Macbeth story. It didn't start out as Macbeth, but it grew into it as I edited it. Try it! And thanks for visiting. :)

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  10. Love the atmosphere and Michelle's spunk. You did a great job with this, Denise.

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    1. Thanks Joy. You can see how much I enjoyed putting this together.

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  11. Mean girls always come in three's. Not fair. Which is probably why they do it! Great fan fiction. Thanks for stopping by, reading my entry, and chatting!

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    1. Great to chat, Roland. Glad you like my ff. I hope you're feeling better.

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  12. Thursday 21st August 2014
    Dear Denise,
    Thank you for reading my entry. A lot of malicious fun here.
    Best wishes,
    Anna

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    1. Malicious is the word Anna. Thank you for stopping by.

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  13. Go girl, stomp on those toes!!! This was a fun read and I could picture the scene really well. Great story! I'm betting on Michelle...

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  14. Hi Denise
    So funny. I thought you turned into Roland for awhile. Well written. What a hoot.
    Nancy

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    1. Yep, that's why Roland appreciated it, maybe. Thanks Nancy.

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  15. Hi Denise .. that was great to read - and I felt really drawn in .. now I'd like to read more! more please ..... !! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Ha ha Hilary. I really wouldn't know where to go from here. :)

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  16. A great read, really felt the pressure the odd girl was under, although it seems that she could hold her own.

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  17. Hmm. Entered my comment but it seemed to vanish. So here it is again. Great mean girls story. Is it "besties" or "beasties"? Love the Macbeth angle and as always well written.

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    1. Could be either...I actually thought about that...but I settled on 'besties' the modern term as it's a mix of modern and olde...

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  18. Lots of fun, Denise! Well done!

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  19. Really enjoyed reading this, Denise. Your POV is always spot on. Love the Macbeth angle too.The narrative flows from beginning to the end. YA novels may have a new fan because of you:)

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  20. Glad I got out of high school when I did, before youtube and that crap cropped up a ton, not sure how anyone survives now a days and those girls always do come in threes

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  21. That was truly a fun read Denise. The mean girls done to a turn, perfect. High school jealousies and pettiness are intense, and technology nowadays makes it all even more complicated. Btw, Macbeth is a fav :)

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    1. How are you Nila? Hope your move went well. Macbeth is my fave Shakespearean play.

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  22. Fun read! Loved meeting your version of 'Mean Girls!'

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  23. Great story - this is a bit unlike most of your stuff that I've read. :) I love the idea that this chicka has actually hung out with William S. :D

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    1. Thanks Trisha. I do this sort of escapism occasionally. It's fun and it was what came to mind with this prompt. Maybe her face could feature in the next prompt.

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  24. That was quite a charge Michelle made. I would have liked to have seen her face. It had whatever it needed to back off the bullies. Great job.

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    1. Me too, Clem. I'll have to ponder this one.

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  25. Macbeth'ed up! That's a brilliant concept. I am a huge fan of all things Macbeth - it's my very favourite play! You might like this post of mine from earlier this year: http://todiscoverice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/macbeth.html

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    1. Bazza, glad ive found another Macbeth fan. I will check your link.

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  26. You did great with the theme...loved it!

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  27. Great job! Proof that mean girls exist whether a story is supernatural or normal.

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    1. Mean girls will always be with us, that's for sure.

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  28. Truly fun! Perfection as always! I'm working to get back to the fun, who knows maybe the next challenge.

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  29. Nice, I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story & theme worked so well ~ I have to sharpen my pen and see if I can join the fun ~ Have a lovely week Denise ~

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    1. It would be nice to have you again Grace.

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