Today’s prompt is to describe finding a tattoo on your body unexpectedly.
I found this prompt inspiring and can see it developing further. I hope you like my short story.
I trudged to the bathroom, peering through half closed eyes avoiding the bright sunlight streaming through the windows. In my drunken state, I had forgotten to close the curtains. My head thudded in time to my footsteps. My body ached – what had we done last night?
Turning the faucet, I braves a glance at myself in the mirror. Black smudges of mascara gave me the look of a panda. What a state!
Pulling back the shower curtain across the tub, I stepped in and let the hot water refresh me, slowly revitalizing my body and mind. With a large amount of shower gel on my hands, I began washing. Ouch! My left shoulder smarted as I rubbed with the flannel.
I looked at my arm to see a multi-colored tattoo. What the hell? When did that happen? Oh my God, how drunk was I?
I inspected the new ink, a sword across a shield embossed with a bear’s head, it jaws open, teeth bared;. As I gazed at the image a memory emerged. The tavern at the lake had been crowded and my friends and I had joined in with the locals as they relayed stories of a local legend. A massive bear larger than life, who took pet animals in the dead of night. One hunter among the group showed us a huge scare across his back, the result of an encounter.
I ran out of time here for the prompt but can see the story continuing.
Now it is your turn. Have fun. Happy writing.
Although these two ‘titles’ are dependent on subject rather than genre, I have merged them into one. As you can see the definitions are very alike.
In a varsity or campus novel, the main action is set in and around the campus of a university. The varsity novel focuses on the students rather than faculty, while the campus novel centers on the faculty. The novels are told from the viewpoint of a faculty member or, of course from a student’s point of view. The novels can be comic or satirical and often counterpoint intellectual pretensions and human weaknesses. These narrative are also called academic novels. The novels exploit the fictional possibilities created by the closed environment of the university, with idiosyncratic characters inhabiting unambiguous hierarchies. They may describe the reaction of a fixed socio-cultural perspective (the academic staff) to new social attitudes (the new student intake).
This genre is largely an Anglophone tradition. Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe (1952) is usually thought to be the first campus novel. However there are others predating that. Examples include Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue and Stephen Fry’s The Liar and Making History.
Although the genre may seem limited because of the location, there are numerous characters to utilize with their backgrounds, personalities and ambitions enabling an author to create dozens of possibilities.
Do you have a varsity novel favorite?
Brideshead Revisited is mine by far, with it’s social expectations and damaging secrets.
The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?
I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.
Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?
“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”
She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.
There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?
“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”
He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.
“Go on then, run.”
Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.
“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”
She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.
He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.
I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.
Slipstream can be defined as a kind of fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. The term was coined by Bruce Sterling, a cyberpunk author: “… this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the twentieth century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility.”
Slipstream fiction is “the fiction of strangeness” in which cognitive dissonance is at the heart of the story inducing a sense of ‘otherness’ in the audience, like a glimpse into a distorting mirror and imparts a sense that reality might not be quite as certain as we think.
Slipstream narratives do not always employ elements of science fiction or fantasy, as they are not crucial to the plot, but provide setting and background. The common unifying factor is a degree of the surreal, the not-entirely-real, or the markedly anti-real.
It is certainly a little known genre to the mainstream reader but does have a loyal following. If you are interested in reading this genre here is a list: http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/Best-Slipstream-Books/525