Tag Archive | Dark As Roses

A Somewhat Double Life – Dark As Roses 3

dar3imagesTo start this short story from the beginning, click here.

I take the box of this week’s letters and hold it close to me so that Kevin can’t hug me. With a quick wave I leave the office and head for my car across the parking lot. I throw the box in the trunk and close it tight. I get in the car and speed off to meet my two best friends for lunch. I like them because they’re never bursting with color, but dim like me.

When I arrive at the cafeteria on the ground level of our dorm building, Jade and Andrea are already waiting. “Hey, we were about to go inside without you,” Andrea says.

I catch up with them. “Sorry. Crowley let us out late again. Always seems to do that on Mondays. Then I had to run to the paper office to hand in my movie review.” They nod knowingly as we fill our plates with food.

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Psychedelic Strobe Lights – Dark As Roses 2

Finally, he gets to it and I slump down in my seat, trying to look disaffected. I concentrate on a chalky spot on the board until he’s done with his overview. Slowly, I look around the room and I see a lot of tan, which means boredom. Crowley has a horrible monotone. No one is hardly paying attention at all. Often because I can tell how everyone in a crowd is feeling, I forget that they can’t tell my emotions. Even if they could—after all in a class of five hundred students, it’s entirely possible that someone else has the weird, focused form of synesthesia—I give off a very dim light. Usually a little grey indifference is all I see when I look in the mirror.

Finally we’re dismissed and I’m relieved. I get up slowly and take my time placing my books and notebook in my bag and putting on my jacket. I like to have a little peace without the colors every now and then. I watch the mainly pink haze slowly filter out of the room. That’s when I can guess that they have more classes. Pink is the color for laziness and tiredness, sometimes resignation. I see a lot of pink on campus. In fact, it’s the only other color I see on myself in the mirror. That one can even be bright at times, despite my dim nature. I wish I could make a career of being lazy; it’s the only thing I know I could be really good at.

After lingering for a moment to revel in the relief of no colors, I gather my things and head out to tend to my job, being Dear Abby for the newly formed campus entertainment newspaper. Actually, it’s Dear Lynn they call me here. In high school I was Dear Amanda. Kevin O’Brien, chief editor for the Campus Star, wanted me to use my real name. “But Iris is such a unique name, it goes well with fortune telling and wisdom,” he said. I thanked him for the compliment but insisted on anonymity. I do it for the money and the money alone. I don’t want anyone knocking at my door. It’s bad enough I see their troubles just walking down the street.

I drive to the newspaper office to pick up this week’s load of letters. Kevin smiles when he sees me come in. I know that boy thinks he’s in love with me. Sometimes people can really inflate their own yellow. I never see that happen with any other color, but they inflate their yellow when they think they’re in love and sometimes they try to hide the tinge of green, the lust, by covering it with the yellow of love. I’m not sure why, because yellow love is one of the most dangerous things there is. Kevin has it coming out of his hair and ears as if the sun itself were burning inside his skull rather than neurons—with proper wiring, I’m sure—as he says today, “Iris, you’re the reason we can pay the rent.” He thinks he’s in love with me but I hope he’s wrong. The colors get all messed up when they’re in love, like psychedelic strobe lights.

~~~

I haven’t done any more current fiction in awhile, so today I’m posting the continuation of my short story “Dark As Roses.” The beginning is here. This is a story about a girl who sees colored auras around people and is somewhat at odds with her psychic ability. At the end of the first section, Iris was sitting in a college psych class afraid that when her professor mentioned her condition (or what she thinks her condition might be), she might do something to accidentally give herself away.

Don’t forget, you can always check out the Samples section, including Older Works and Published.

~Emilia J

Next Excerpt: A Somewhat Double Life – DaR 3

The Colors – Dark As Roses 1

I look around the classroom and try not to see anyone. I should pay attention to the psychology book on my desk—after all, the midterm is on Friday and it’s now Monday—but the words blur and swim on the page. At the board, Dr. Crowley goes on, reviewing the abnormal cases. Pretty soon he’ll bring up synesthesia and I’ll melt into a puddle of mush on the floor and die. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll stare at the wall. I can’t look at my classmates, I’ll only see the colors. Won’t even be able to see the faces for all the haze brought on by midterm worry. I’m going mad, I know.

Dark Rose

I’ve always seen the colors around the people, even as a very small child. Most of the shrinks my mom dragged me to back then chalked it up to synesthesia, said there was some odd wiring in my brain that confused my senses and that’s why I saw colors. They always did remark though, that it’s a very focused case. Usually people with synesthesia hear sound when they see motion or associate colors with certain letters and numbers, whereas I only saw the colors on the people. My classmates used to tease me about being the crazy girl in town, after I made the grave mistake of talking about it. Frustrated teachers tried to educate them about my affliction, as they called it, about the wiring gone wrong in my brain. That only made them laugh until they were sick with giggles. They called me “Metalbrain.”

Now it’s my second year away at college and no one knows about my problem. I don’t want Dr. Crowley talking about my affliction in the class. I might concentrate too hard on the professor, or the floor, or this wall I’m staring at. I might nervously twirl my hair or fidget and then everyone will know my secret.

~~~

Today I decided to go with some fiction. “Dark As Roses” is a short story I wrote about a girl who struggles with psychic ability she’s not sure she wants to possess. These are the first few paragraphs.

You can check out other Friday Samples here. And don’t forget you can always check out Published and Older Works for more samples.

~Emilia J

Next Excerpt: Psychedelic Strobe Lights – Dark As Roses 2

Floored by Rejections (in a Good Writerly Way)

pnwarejectionsindex

Here’s another old post from my old blog. Still importing, and lots more posts from the vault still to come.

I take it as a distinctly good sign that the rejections I receive as a writer are getting more and more flattering. It’s just got to be good.

A few months ago I entered three things into the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) contest. I didn’t place in any of the three categories, but did receive two critiques on each piece, which offered some suggestions and things to think about, as well as some positive feedback.

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Another Rejection Letter

rejectionletterimagesAbout a month ago, I sent out a short story of mine called “Dark As Roses” to Realms of Fantasy. The story isn’t all that fantastical. It’s mainly about regular people and events, but the main character has the ability to see colors around people depending on their moods, and the core of the story is her struggle to either run from her ability and the complications that come with it, or to embrace it and find a way to live with it. I guess the term for that kind of story is “magical realism,” or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Well, today I had it returned with a form rejection slip paper-clipped to the manuscript. It’s frustrating, but it’s so common in a way, to myself and to all writers at some point, that I don’t even feel that disappointed. Or, at least not yet. Sometimes it’s like I have a time-delay reaction to things.

One thing that gives me reassurance is yesterday I read an interview with Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, probably my favorite book EVER, and she wrote about getting rejected for years, and how when she got accepted somewhere, she had a party and papered the walls with her old rejection letters. So, it happens to all of us.

As they say the only thing to do is to keep trying, so I think I’ll go back to working on rewriting my book manuscript.

~Emilia J

Currently listening:
“Angels of the Silences” – Counting Crows