In tented worlds away from those who see
hazards of life yet choose to live it,
eyes drift alone and gaze skyward
with thoughts surfing waves of fantasy,
they are here but never here
forever moving from there to there,
fraught with distance a foot away
from those who choose to live.
Tented Worlds by L. M. Montes
In tented worlds away from those who see
The Box (Part III)
The silhouettes faded as they reached his face, and the small room filled with tiny boxes. Chris reached for one but drew back just as quick, remembering what happened when he tried to take a box the last time. Tucking his hands into his chest, he shrank against a wall and slunk to the floor in a seated position. The tiny boxes continued to fill the room, getting ever so much closer to him. He wanted nothing to do with them.
“G-Get away,” stammered Chris. The boxes multiplied, closer, and closer still. “N-no! G-get away!” He swiped at them sending them flying across the room. He needed to get out of there. Shooting glances in every direction proved futile as no doors existed. “Noooo! Get me out of here, please!” cried Chris. The tiny boxes closed in.
Then he spied it. A tiny light appeared from across the far right of the room. A way out? Scrambling to his feet, he tripped over the boxes landing on his knees. The boxes appeared faster now. He picked himself back up and continued. The closer he came to the light the faster the boxes grew until they became immovable. The light sat within inches of his fingertips and began to fade. His heart sped up. His breathing heavy, suffocating.
Chris stretched every muscle he had. His fingers hung in the balance. Blood rushed to his head and the room darkened. A gray haze floated like fingers across his vision. His head lolled to the side, then “POP”. His body thrust backward, slammed against the back wall, and slunk to the floor.
Chris’s eyes trudged upward, then slunk shut. An eyelid lifted and a bright light entered. Oh good. He reached the light. How, he didn’t know. A pop, body flying, couldn’t breathe. His other eye lifted and again a bright light invaded.
“Chris, Chris can you hear me?”
The voice. Distant. The room. The silhouettes. “uhhhh,” moaned Chris.
“Easy does it now. That’s it.”
Again, Chris lifted his eyelids, resting them at half-mast. His fuzzy vision swam in front of him at first. His eyelids drooped closed, then lifted, then closed, then lifted. His hazy vision cleared. The hospital room was painted a dusty pink with white trim. A wide wooden door with a vertical window above the handle stood ajar. A doctor stood on his right and a nurse stood on his left. The bed was hard and his back ached.
“What?” asked Chris in confusion.
“It seems you passed out. When you did, you hit your head pretty bad,” said the doctor.
“We thought we lost you there for a while,” said the nurse whose name badge read Carrie.
Chris’s body hurt like it had been steam rolled. He blew out a breath and looked out the window to his left. But something caught his attention on the windowsill. A box.
The Box (Part II)
Chris bent and snatched up the box. The burnt, orange 3 x 3-inch little structure with silver trim stared back at him, empty. The burgundy lid stood open, hanging on its hinges. He threw a pursed lipped scrunched eyebrow look in Tom’s direction. “What the hell, dude?”
Tom’s smile of malice spoke volumes as he waved at Chris’s shrinking body being sucked into the box. “That’ll teach you.” His laugh echoed as the box dropped to the floor, and he exited the otherwise empty classroom.
Chris glared back down at the box as Tom’s figure grew larger, and the classroom faded. An empty room void of anything now surrounded him. Yet, a presence closed in around him. He turned in a slow circle. Faded silhouettes with a faintness of gray began to materialize then faded. This mantra continued, strobing faster and faster until a sickness clenched his gut.
“Stop!” yelled Chris.
The silhouettes halted at the sound of Chris’s command. They opened their mouths in unison, revealing white holes with jagged black teeth.
Sweat beaded at Chris’s temples as hot flashes accosted him one after the other. He spun in a circle once again, gaining momentum now but against his will. The silhouettes loomed closer and flung backward in repeated fashion gripping his stomach, and he threw a dry heave once, then twice.
“Stop!” yelled Chris once more.
Again, the silhouettes halted their sickening motion. They stood for a minute staring at Chris, then opened their mouths wider and threw themselves at him.
(To Be Continued)
The Box (Part I)
“What’s in the box?” asked Chris.
“Nothing,” said Tom tucking the box closer to his chest.
Chris reached for the box and knocked it out of Tom’s grip. It tumbled to the floor and broke open.
“It’s empty,” said Chris perplexed.
Chris walked away scratching his head and wondered why the hype over an empty box. Curiosity got the better of him, and he stopped, turned around and said to Tom, “Why did you guard it so much if it was empty? I mean, that was lame dude.”
Tom shrugged one shoulder and said, “Just wanted to spoof ya man. No big deal.”
As he turned back around to continue walking, a green glint in Tom’s eyes stopped him. On second glance it was gone.
“What?” asked Tom.
Chris nudged his head from side to side and said, “Nothing. It’s nothing.” Again, he turned to leave and again something caught his attention only this time it was from the box staring up at him from the floor.
To Be Continued
Time’s Wind (Part IV)
The wind stopped. Time stopped. Everything stopped, except Ashley. A pink mist rose from the dewy grass. She continued peering inside the tent unable to divert her gaze. Her husband’s eyes glazed with a startled smack, frozen in time. The naked woman, also frozen, lay in his arms. A sultry lust hung in her eyes. Then her body shifted, and shook until it became translucent.
Ashley glanced at Josh who was frozen on one knee. His camera aimed, pointing at her husband and the woman on the sleeping bag with him. The pink mist grew thicker. Josh’s body shifted now as well and shook until it too became translucent. His body along with the woman’s stopped shaking but remained translucent.
Ashley’s heart raced. Her brows pinched together. She wanted to turn and run but held fast. Glued to her spot. Words sat like paste in her mouth. A warmth radiated from her left hand. Looking at it now, the pink gemstone that hung on her key ring glowed. It was then she saw it. The mist came from the gemstone, and it wasn’t floating and wafting in haphazard style. No. There was direction to it. It moved in an arc over her husband and the woman, down to his hand……. The ring on his finger, it held the other pink gemstone. The mist flowed to it then out of it and back to the pink gemstone in her hand and on it went.
The woman and Josh shook again then stopped. A wind blew through the tent and their figures blew away like sand and faded way into nothing. The mist too disappeared as did her husband. The empty tent before her grew warm in the afternoon sun, a drop of sweat slid down her right temple. All was silent now except for the intense breathing she couldn’t place. Oh, it was her. Clasping a hand to her chest, she inhaled. Empty it was empty. No. What? She spun to exit the tent and ran full force into her husband.
“What the hell? How? Where?” said Ashley.
“Baby? You look like death. What’s wrong?” asked her husband Tim.
“Where? Where were you just now?”
“What do you mean? I just came from the river. I was fishing.” Tim cocked his head and frowned. “What’s going on? Why are you here?”
“Where’s the woman? And Josh?”
“What woman? And Josh is at home. He wasn’t able to come with me.”
“That’s impossible. I was just at Josh’s and his wife told me he was here with you; that you and he were planning this trip for a long time.”
“Why were over at their house?” asked Tim scratching his head. “You knew all the details of the trip. None of this makes sense.”
Ashley felt the warmth in her hand and looked down at the pink gemstone; its glow fading. She placed her hand on her husband’s chest and patted it a few times. “Yup, you’re real.”
“Tim, I think we need to sit and talk.” They went down to the river, sat down on the bank, took their shoes off and dunked their feet in the cool water. She told him all about what just happened. When she finished, he gave her a gentle kiss on the lips.
“Ashley, I think we need to get rid of these pink gemstones.”
She didn’t need to be told twice. She fully agreed with him. It remained clear everything she saw and experienced had to do with those. So she took her’s off of her key ring and Tim took his ring off his finger. Together they threw them into the river.
“Come on,” said Tim. “Let’s go home.”
LATER AT THE RIVER
“Oh Bill, what’s that in the water?”
Bill turned in the direction Marcy indicated. A pink glow shot up out of the water. He ran into the river to see what it was.
Time’s Wind (Part III)
Ashley sped long the two lane highway. It was an hour to the Sartis River, but she didn’t care. She had to get there. Speeding ten miles over the limit, her heart pounded. She had to get there. A thought struck at that moment. Josh, her husband’s best friend. She could use his help once she got there. Why her husband didn’t take him along she didn’t know. Usually the two of them are inseparable, but this time he insisted on going alone. The pink shiny stone continued to bounce the light around the car’s dashboard as the sun beamed down on it. She wondered if this lone trip had something to do with the stone. She decided to stop at Josh’s anyway.
She pulled in the driveway. Leandra, Josh’s wife, straightened and looked up, as Ashley stepped out of the car. She walked over to her and Leandra met her half way.
“Hi, Ashley. Everything ok? You look pale.”
“No, I think something has happened to Tim.”
“Oh he’ll be ok. Josh is with him.”
“Wait a minute. Josh is with him? How is that? He told me, no, he insisted he go on this fishing trip by himself.”
“No, yesterday when he stopped to pick up Josh he acted as though this trip between the two of them had been planned for a while.”
He lied to her. That had never happened before. Or had it? She spun on her heal and stomped back to her car, got in, turned the ignition, threw it into gear and hightailed it out of there and back onto the highway. Under an hour later she arrived at Tim’s fishing spot. Not wanting him to know she was there, she parked the car off to the side of a small clearing.
She opened her door and slid out, clicking the door shut. Step by step, her tennis shoes crunched down on the forest floor. Her husband’s tent stood fifty yards awy through the small clearing where her car sat and down the small drive. She could see parts of its blue exterior through the trees. On her tip toes now, she placed each step with care. Twenty-five feet away now. Not hearing any voices, she though they might be on the boat on the river. Then a woman’s voice caught her off guard.
“Come on, baby. You know I loe it when you do that,” said the woman.
“Shhh, slow and steady sweet heart,” said Tim.
The woman giggled.
“Alright, just a little more guys. Yeah, that’s it,” said Josh.
Ashley raced around the corner of the tent to the open flap and peered inside. What she saw horrified her. Tim and another woman lay atop a sleeping bag naked in each others arms and Josh was filming. The three jerked their attention her way, eyes wide.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Time’s Wind (Part II)
She heard her name. She wasn’t imagining things, yet there was nobody in sight. The wind pushed her hair back and leaves swept by, but she remained the only person standing next to her house. A weeping willow tree stood off to her left about fifty feet behind her. Its limbs swept the ground as the wind continued to blow. The grass, now with two weeks worth of growth, also waved their tips in response.
The wind died with a sudden finality as though being directed by a conductor. Something was off and she knew it. Still no voice called out her name like before. She sucked in a deep breath and blew it out. “Hello?” asked Ashley. Nothing. Dead silence. After waiting for another minute or so, she said, “Ok, I’m done. I’m going in the house to take a nap because I must be tired. Yes, that’s it. I’m tired.” She wrapped her arms around herself and walked toward the front of the house.
She heard someone that time. No doubt about it. Spinning on her heal she yelled, “What! I know you’re there. Where are you and who are you? Tim?”
“Ashley, hard….to…..help with……me…..talk…..you.” The image of her husband Tim flickered in and out as did his words.
He was in trouble just she figured. He had gone on a fishing trip by himself to get away. It was a man thing he had said. He wanted to be one with nature. She had her reservations about the whole thing, but he had insisted. She moved forward toward the image of her husband who was still flickering.
“Tim, what’s going on? How are you able to communicate with me like this?”
She ran into the house, grabbed her purse and keys, and left for her husband’s favorite fishing spot; the Sartis River. As she turned the key in the ignition, the pink translucent stone she and her husband found on their mountain hike swung from her key ring. They had found two of them along the bank of a creek running parallel to the hiking trail they were on. She kept one and had it mounted so she could put it on her key ring. He kept the other, although, what he did with it she didn’t know. They both enjoyed searching for fossil stones, so they had stopped to look for some and instead found these. It sparkled in the sun as it swung now from the ignition.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Time’s Wind (Part I)
The wind whistled through the holes in the neck of the clock spreading a long, low, hollow monotone. Ashley leaned forward with both palms on the railing of the porch wondering if Tim would ever get home. Two days and nothing. No call, no text, nothing. It wasn’t like him to be this late. He was in trouble; she knew it in her soul. A noise from around the corner of the house caught her breath. “Tim?”
Tim rounded the corner at that moment, “Hey babe.” A smile played across his cheeks. Then he disappeared with a blink.
His wife stood, mouth opened, wondering what just happened. She pursed her lips together and swallowed hard. Still not able to take her eyes off of the spot where her husband stood only moments ago, she forced out a breath. Then she said, “Tim?”
Again, a noise from around the same corner of the house stole her attention. Her head snapped in that direction. Again, her husband walked around the corner and said, “Hey babe.” A smile played across his cheeks. Again, he disappeared with a blink.
This cycle played out one more time before she was able to jump down from the porch and check out the spot where her husband was. When she got there, a bell jingled followed by a brief piercing whistle. Before her eyes, colors started fading in and taking shape. Then they faded out, then in, then stopped.
She jumped and swung around hoping to see her husband.
(To Be Continued)
Choosing a Genre
Whether you are writing a book or reading one, you’re choosing a genre.
- Genre: The dictionary definition of genre is as follows “A class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like:” It involves, “a kind, category, or sort, esp. of literary or artistic work.”
Nonfiction, fiction, and poetry are the three main literary genres, but there are many subgenres within each of these three. I’m going to pick on fiction and list some of these subgenres below.
- science fiction
Let’s say you want to write a short story, but you don’t know which kind you want to write. Well, what interests you the most? If you are an avid reader of fantasy fiction, then chances are you’re familiar with that subgenre. In that case choosing fantasy would be best. But what if you wanted to challenge yourself and write in a subgenre you are not familiar with? Then choose one outside your comfort zone. If you do that, make sure you do your homework and read a few books or short stories in that unfamiliar subgenre and do some reading up on it. Trust me, they all have their particular rules one must adhere to when writing in them.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing a genre. It really is up to you and what your goals are.