Family! (Fictional)

familytree“I’m your brother,” his voice dripped with venom even as his eyes pleaded for understanding, sympathy, and forgiveness once again, “you can’t turn your back on me, Laura.” His shoulders strained with the rage that was boiling under the surface.

“Okay, we share genetics. What does that have to do with me laying down on the ground every time you need a mat?” I watch his reaction closely. My brother wasn’t use to little sissy standing up to him. All my childhood he walked on me to get what he wanted. I might as well have not existed unless my existence benefited him. The people we called parents were of no help. For whatever reason they had chosen. In stories and movies mommies and daddies didn’t chose between their children, there weren’t supposed to be favorites.

I leaned in life that if it’s in a story or a movie it’s probably because it never really happens and someone knew that people wished it were true. Guess what… parents do make a choice and do have favorites. I wasn’t the favorite.

He stepped forward, oozing threat, his nose inches from mine. I stared him down, not acknowledging his challenge, not accepting it but not giving in to him, either. I kept my arms loose at my side, fingers relaxed.

“You cannot walk away. I am family.” He no longer pleaded with his eyes. His look now said, “give me what I want or you’ll be sorry.”

“I can and I am.”

His stance weakened and he stepped back. “Family doesn’t…”

“Why do you think you can call yourself my family?” I interrupted. His mouth hung open a moment then his teeth snapped closed. “You think because we shared biological parents, because we’re genetically linked, that it makes us family? Really?”

I waited a moment for a response but I think for the first time I had shocked him into silence.

“Tommy, family is something much deeper than simple genetics. Family is all the things that you will never, ever be to me. Family is loyalty, trust, commitment, integrity, love, protection and… and…” I inhaled deeply. He’d never get it. “Families are not born. Families are made. You had the chance to be family but you are not. I refuse to be your mat any longer. I refuse to be hurt by you, over and over again and tell myself it’s okay because your “family”. You may be a part of my biological tree but it ends there. Don’t come around ever again.”

I turned away from him knowing that to give him my back might give him my life, but I knew he needed to see that I was strong. I walked across the street and as my friends stepped out of the shadows, they moved around me, hugging me close and I knew I was with my family now. He wouldn’t have hurt me this time because my family was there to help me stand if I needed them. This family didn’t share a drop of my blood but their roots ran deeper than any family tree did.

Families are made, even the ones that are first born out of blood.

(Fictional- Writing Prompt: What is family?)


Prompt 17: Character Interview

Stuck? Having a difficult time feeling inspired to write? This prompt is all about one of my favorite things to do when I just don’t know what else to do.

Character Interview

Think of a place you’d like to sit and chat with someone if you had the opportunity to do that. Maybe it’s your home office, a library, the park, a beach or a coffee house. Let it be something you’re familiar with and don’t really need to think to hard about the setting.

Now, pour your character a cup of coffee and start talking. Write out the dialogue as if you are really chatting.

Have fun getting to know your inner character. You might be surrpised at what your character tells you… and asks you.

Prompt 16: Rip Van Winkle

As a little girl the story of Rip Van Winkle fascinated me. I was not a child fond of reading a book. I loved to create stories but my patience was too hyperactive to tolerate focusing on a book.

I could sit long enough for the right story teller. The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Rip Van Winkle and Stone Soup are three stories I recall being told by someone who was an amazing story teller.

Prompt 16: Rip Van Winkle. Write a scene based off of Rip Van Winkles story. May you could toss the lazy drunk man into modern society. Maybe he was asleep 100 years, not 20. Have fun with it and make it your own.

Here is a link if you’d like to read the tale: Rip Van Winkle

Prompt 15: The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle:

Get into the mind of a Gargoyle. You sit there day in and day out, protecting your building and watching the humans moving below. What do you think of their activities.

The following is a song from Dead Winter Dead by Savatage


In the town of Sarajevo, there’s an old medieval square
There’s a church aside one corner most believe was always there

It was built a thousand years before any now were born
And its glory was its belfry with its stones all gray…and worn

Now there’s a gargoyle on that belfry and he’s been up there for years
And he has watched and he has pondered: “What is laughter, what are tears?”

And he’s never found his answers as he sees the years go by
But he watches and he wonders with his stone unblinking eyes

Prompt 14: Heat Wave

(I’m not exactly sure what happened to this prompt. I wrote this up from my cell phone and I was sure it published but then today I notice the prompt has vanished. Me and this wordpress app seem to not be understanding one another.

Well, I can’t remember exactly how I worded my prompt yesterday, but I’ll do my best to replace it. If you happened to read prompt 14 before it disappeared, I’m sorry that this isn’t exactly the same.)

Heat Wave

A heat wave was  slamming most than half of the states. One small town in the South has been hitting temperatures that rival Death Valley. This town decides to handle the heat wave in an unusual way.

Have fun writing!

Prompt 13: Genie’s Lamp

You come across an interesting object at an estate sale. It resembles a “genie lamp.” You turn it over in your hands, try to pull off the lid–no, you can’t budge it–and laugh to yourself as you look around to see if anyone notices you. There are a lot of people at the sale. You contemplate setting it down but you imagine sitting in your home and the tales you could tell.

You take the lamp to find out how much it costs. It’s not the prettiest looking thing and you haggle it down to $2.75.

Pleased, you take it home. You decide the perfect place to display it and as you move to sit it down you feel the lamp shake.

Curious, and chidding yourself for being silly, you rub your hand along the side of the lamp.

POOF! An actual genie appears!

Now what do you do with a genie?

Prompt 11: The Walk

Whatever kind of writer you are, we all need to take some time to let the world around us suck us in. Unlike what some of the world imagines about writers, we do however have busy lives just like anyone else.

Today, go for a walk. If you can maybe take a video camera with you or a camera. Your walk can be anywhere you’d like to examine: an outdoor walk in the neighborhood, the night life of downtown, a grocery store, a mall, the YMCA, or maybe even a library.

Pay detailed attention to everything. People, sounds, smells, the atmosphere. If you have a video camera make verbal notes. (Just remember the law please and ask permission before shooting  video on private property.)

If you don’t have a video camera, use a regular camera, our a plain notebook and pencil/pen will do.

Write out your scene using the details from your walk today.