I write short stories. I own surprisingly few pairs of shorts. I sometimes short circuit.
"Alana" sounds like "A lotta" = A lotta shorts.

Take the title however you like.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A leaf in the wind blew


A leaf in the wind blew
Dashing left and right.
Searching,
Tossing,
Pushed,
Pulled:
Lost.

It passed a pile of raked-up leaves
All cuddled and huddled, warm and in love.
It passed a lone leaf on a sleeping tree
Holding to its branch desperately.
“I am like that leaf there.
It’s a shame we’ll never be a pair.”

Our leaf in the wind blew
Dashing left and right.
The wind died down.
Our leaf was flushed out of sight;
Down a drain,
Drenched in rain,
Torn asunder.

The last lone leaf of the branch
Let go,
Fluttering to the ground, it asked,
“Well, what do I do now?”


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tumbl With Me

Random posts and many reblogs

laniibegood.tumblr.com

Photos I take when weird/interesting/funny/beautiful things happen. Mostly pictures of the sky for some reason but also of plastic tigers, dead flies and my bosom. (Oh, NOW you're interested, huh? Weren't gonna look until I said 'bosom', were ya?)

laniibesnappin.tumblr.com


Follow Me! Heart Me!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Great Distractions

I haven't been writing poetry or shorts lately because I've been working very hard on a short film, based on Oranges!

I created this website:

www.wix.com/orangesfilm/oranges

And a blog over at wordpress.


I hope to post some new shorts soon. Maybe some flash fiction just to keep the juices flowing.

:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We Were Happy Then

When the morning was a call to action
When the loss of sun for steel was satisfaction
When the push pulled in one upward direction
You were happy then.

When the night was made of stars and lights
When the rhythm animated wrong to right
When the drink sent you wandering into flight
You were happy then.

When that touch was an electric shock
When that look sent all the world to rock
When that thought could all slick evil block
You were happy then.

Happy will you be again
Happy you will be again
Happy shall you be, my friend,
As happy as we were back then.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Happy Poem

Happiness
was
on
me
and I recalled
the infrequency of writing out of joy.

How is it that happiness is such a weaker force than
anger
pain
regret
and
sorrow?


No matter now -
Fingertips to keys,
I prepared to pen this happy poem.
Here is what came out:













Later, I will try again, perhaps, to capture this elusive bird.
For now, I'll lay down deeply into Happiness, content with feelings instead of words.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Secret Tattoo

I made you.

You made me.

I am always what we are.

Forever.

Forgiveness doesn’t change that.

Your name is ours now.

A secret tattoo
In an inconspicuous place
With only the hint of a face.


Partner/Twin/Companion

Partner/Twin/Companion



Every twin I’ve ever known

(how few!)

has been
lost.

Lost to life’s inconsistency.
Lost to life’s inability to follow me;
Leaving me lost and left being drug behind.

The twin I have is like one prescribed:
So suited to my idiosyncrasies but like

a Pill.

a Remedy.

a Precaution.

a Safeguard.

Necessary. Positive. Wonderful.
But necessary.


Don’t let us kid ourselves, here:
They were never really twins.

So very close, some.
But in those fundamental ways,
Those most essential of ways

{….}

they were like strangers:
Their actions confusing, distancing.
Their reasoning perplexing at best,
Disconcerting at the worst. To the worst. To the end.
An end that has come only logistically, not internally.

Yet.



And perhaps you’re not so easy to get on with yourself!






Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crystal Sat Staring - Reposted

Songbird

Crystal sat staring at a blank page of paper in a well-wrung notebook. She plinked Middle C on her electric piano and then slammed her head down on the keys, disharmony ricocheting violently around her studio apartment. She'd had writer's block for days on end. And it was all his fault.

Crystal's next-door-neighbor was a musician, too. Welcome to New York, right? Only he was a rock singer and she was a Classically-trained Indie-Soul Singer/Songwriter, as she liked to put on her posters. She'd booked another career un-altering show at once groovy bar, The Bitter End. If people were getting scouted at this place with its strange hand-painted walls depicting S&M women and, in completely unrelated scenes, animals roaming in backyards, then Crystal was not in on it. She, of course, thought she was good and she even secured herself a gig in a showcase at CBGB but then they closed. In fact, they closed without telling her. Crystal stood outside the boarded door, keyboard in bag - hanging from her shoulder, just staring for 10 minutes. Unbelievable, her luck.

When this guy, the rock singer, showed up he changed everything. Crystal went from having peaceful afternoons for composing on her keyboard and synthesizer to stuffing cotton balls in her ears, even at noon. Weren't rockers supposed to sleep their debauchery-induced hangover off until well into the evening? Well, today, Crystal had had enough of it.

She marched the three steps to her door, turned the two dead bolts and the flimsy doorknob lock and flung herself into the hallway. In a matter of seconds she was knocking at 19A, breathless with adrenaline. A dangerously thin model wearing a tiny white T-shirt and tight leather leggings opened the door. She blew a puff of smoke into Crystal's face and tapped the butt of her cigarette onto the toe of Crystal's pink fuzzy slipper sock.

"Yea?"

"Yea, is right, honey. I'm here to see the guy making all the racket."

She raised an eyebrow and scoffed.

"Wow. Ok."

The skinny brunette turned into the apartment. Her bed-head was even worse in the back and Crystal couldn't tell if it was from a jar or an actual bed. Or couch.

"Michael - someone in baggy Wal-mart sweatpants is here to see you."

She gave Crystal the once over and slunk back into the apartment. Michael appeared around the door looking fairly typical and quite as Crystal had expected: leather jacket indoors, longish wavy dark hair, stubble, bright blue eyes. He was the boy your mother, well maybe not your mother but your mother's mother, would have warned you about. Crystal had prepared herself for this and so recovered quickly. Had she not she may have swooned right into his handsome arms. That or covered her still unwashed face and ran back to her apartment.

"What can I do ya for, sweetheart?"

"Yes, hi. I'm Crystal. I live next door. And, you see..." Michael's face scrolled into a brilliant ear-to-ear grin.

"You live next door!? That's great. Come on in, neighbor." He put his arm around Crystal and ushered her into his apartment.

"You must be the siren I used to hear all the time when I first moved in, singing all those, uh, indie-soul kind of songs. You some kind of singer slash songwriter, right?"

Determined not to be thrown into some lush haze of serendipity by Michael's word choice, Crystal fired back.

"Well, that would have been before you started playing full blast every single day in the middle of my composing time!"

She slid out from under his arm and stood firm.

"And I've just...I've just come here to say that I would really appreciate it if you could have some common courtesy for the rest of the people in this building who are trying to create something, you know? I mean, you could at least just play for a bit then give it a rest for an hour or so. We could come up with some kind of schedule, whatever. Just...you're not the only one here, you know?"

When Michael burst out laughing, Crystal realized she was hearing more than just him. She looked around to discover three other skinny rocker types and another skinny model slinking over the couch and the floor like sweaters lying out to dry, smoking and laughing and rolling their eyes.

"Honey, sweetheart. I dig. It's cool, really. You're very cute."

Michael swirled around, plopped down on a stool and picked up his electric guitar. He motioned to an upright under the window next to him.

"Why don't you do your 'creating' in here? We can jam together and share the space." His friends laughed some more.

"You can't be serious."

"True. But I've been known to try."

Crystal sat at the piano bench because her knees wouldn't hold her another moment. Her adrenaline had been quite drained by Michael's charm and her embarrassment at the other 'hipsters' in the apartment.

"Great!" Michael said. "I'll start and you join in."

Before Crystal could protest Michael started into a rock song. Crystal knew it well as she'd been getting a steady diet of it for the past week. He'd been playing it to death trying to finish it. And since Crystal couldn't concentrate on her own playing she'd started finishing it for him. She'd actually come up with a kicking piano part and suddenly her hands were forming their arch and floating toward the keys.

Crystal tried to keep them steady as she placed her fingertips on the ivories, centering herself with Middle C as her keystone. She tried desperately to imagine that the other band members and impossibly beautiful groupies weren't sitting behind her with bored or snobby looks wrinkling their eyebrows. She was only about four bars in when she succeeded. Crystal always liked to imagine herself at a white grand piano at the amphitheater in Central Park when she knew she was playing well. And she was playing well. The lyrics to the song, usually growled and groaned by Michael, came out of Crystal's mouth breathily soft at first and then louder, each note ebbing and lilting and skipping up and down riffs with her signature British-soul-singer-inspired sound. Crystal closed her eyes and imagined the crowd singing along, lit lighters swaying in the air.

Suddenly a bass, another electric and drums appeared behind her on the stage. A gruff voice began to sing along, blending his own sound with hers to absolute perfection. She hit the final note of the song and slowly opened her eyes to see that she was back in Michael's apartment but he and his band mates were all at their instruments, their faces full of glory.
The brunettes clapped at the men while stealing odd glances at Crystal which were starting to look a little like jealousy.

"Crystal! You did it! You're amazing!" Michael said.

"Thank you! What did I do?" Crystal replied.

"You finished my song." Michael became very serious. He slid his guitar to his back and knelt on one knee beside her. Taking her hand, he looked her in the eyes with uncomfortable sincerity.
"Crystal, will you join my band?"

Before she could swim back to the surface of Michael's eyes, one of his friends piped up.

"Hold on, hold on." His name was Lewis and he was British.

"That was fairly decent but we need to have a chat about this. One impromptu song don't make you one of the New New Yorks."

"Who's the leader of this band, me or you, Lewis?" Michael retorted, still on one knee, still holding Crystal’s hand.

"You are…but we've all agreed to make these kinds of decisions together!" The rest of the band agreed with Lewis.

Michael stood, bringing Crystal up with him.

"Crystal, love, would you let us sort this out? I'll be in touch."

He escorted her to the door, shined her a smile, and left her in the hallway to reel.

What just happened? Crystal wondered as she entered her apartment and leaned against the triple-locked door. She decided promptly to put the whole incident out of her mind, take a shower and go sit on the fountain in Lincoln Centre with her notebook.



Three weeks went by and Crystal heard nothing from Michael’s apartment. At first she was grateful for the silence to write in but then she began to wonder. She couldn’t put their encounter out of her head. And he had said he’d be in touch. Of course, he could be a liar.

It was a Tuesday, the day of a pre-Music Awards party that Crystal was helping cater in a swanky lounge on the Lower East Side. She tidied up her apartment and on her way out ran into her landlord, Angelo. They exchanged pleasant hellos – Crystal was always on time with the rent, always picked up random garbage in the halls, always gave him a small present on Christmas.

She almost left the building when something compelled her to turn around and ask Angelo how things were working out with Michael.

“Oh, you know. They are gone. They got some big music deal. They’re big shots now or something. Fine with me. They were too loud.”

“Yea, they were.” Crystal whispered. A music deal? Wow. I guess he won’t be getting in touch.

Crystal stepped outside and turned down the street towards the subway. She lived closer to the lounge than to the catering company so she figured she’d meet them there.



When Crystal emerged from the subway and onto the street she wasn’t surprised to see the line at Felt wrapping around the block, even at 8:30pm. Big black body guards, almost as wide as they were tall, stood at the door, lifting the literal red velvet rope to those who were either on the list or wearing skirts the right length and heels the right height.
Crystal looked down at her black pants, black wedge-heeled Mary Janes and black tank top. She was very glad she had a uniform to wear, otherwise she would have felt quite self-conscious marching to the front of the line wearing something out of her own closet.

A van marked “Queen Street Catering” was just pulling away and several of Crystal’s co-caterers and set-up crew were collecting their trays and bags to go inside. She fell in line, pinching the upper arm of her work-friend, Shanna.

“Hey. I’m freakin’ out!” Shanna said, beaming.

“Why? What’s the big deal?”

“Justin Timberlake! Cameron Diaz! Taye Diggs! Who knows who else is going to be here!” Shanna slipped a neatly manicured finger into her front pocket and pulled out a few business cards – actor business cards with her photo on them.

“Shanna, you know you can’t pass those out while we’re working!”

“Crystal, you know I can set them down with a glass or a plate of chicken satay. C’mon! I am hustlin’ tonight! Maybe the next time I’m here someone will be bringing me a drink.”

“Let’s go, ladies.” Rick, the assistant manager and lead on this event called out to them to enter Felt. The rope had been lifted and they soon slipped in through the narrow hallway, down a flight of stairs, into a private lounge and through a door into the small kitchen.

Fifteen minutes later they were back upstairs with small trays.

“It’s not very crowded,” Crystal commented.

“This is the pre-pre party. There would be way too many people to cater the full one.” Shanna sighed. “They’ll be wearing amazing clothes, dancing and sweating all over each other. It’s going to be phenomenal. You’re staying, right?”

“Staying? I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“What? Oh, I knew I should have called you when I went shopping. You are the worst for parties. I bought this crazy hot dress – I won’t be able to afford food for like two weeks but it will be worth it. I brought you something, too. I knew you wouldn’t have anything. Just an LBD but you’ll look hot in it.”

Someone waved Shanna over for a refill and they parted ways. Crystal stopped off at the bar to pick up a drink order. Squeezing between two leather-jacketed men, Crystal slipped her arm between them, muttering, “Excuse me” when the one on her right grabbed her wrist.

“Well, if it isn’t my friendly, neighborhood Songbird.”

It was Michael.

“Oh, uh, Michael. Hi.” Crystal stammered.

“I didn’t know you worked here.” Michael held onto her wrist and gave her a heart-breakingly coy smile.

“I…don’t. I work for a catering company. What…what are you doing here?”

“I’m on the list, love.” Michael winked.

Crystal needed to switch modes. She was in severe danger of being swept off her feet.

“Yea? So, does your uncle’s friend’s cousin do Cameron Diaz’s hot stone massages or something?”

Michael laughed and caressed Crystal’s wrist, moving up to her hand, interlocking their fingers.

“Let’s just say, this is a professional obligation. And now that I know you’re here, it is a joy as well.” He seemed to want to say more but instead looked down at her hand, stroking it softly.

A bartender snapped his fingers in Crystal’s face and pointed to the three martinis sitting there waiting to be delivered.

“I have to work.” Crystal spat out, wrenching her hand away to grab the drinks and nearly spilling them before sliding into the crowd.

Shanna pulled up next to Crystal’s ear and yelled over the music.

“Who was that at the bar? My God!”

“My next door neighbor. Remember? I told you how he’s always rocking out in the middle of my song-writing time.”

“That’s the guy? You’re complaining about that guy? Crystal. Seriously. Change your damn song-writing time and find a way to invite yourself over there, like, every day.”

“I don’t think so.”

“What’s wrong with him? Is he an asshole or something?”

“No. Not really. He’s a bit cocky. ”

“He’s a man! What do you want?”

“I don’t know. I just spent so long being angry at him, now that I’ve met him I don’t know which way’s up.”

“Oh, he knows which way is up, trust me. You know what? Give him my card. I’ll take him.”

Crystal laughed.

“Knock yourself out.”

“Thank you, I will! Introduce me.”

They turned back towards the bar to find Michael and the biggest hip-hop producer currently on the planet standing at the DJ booth. The music skidded to a halt and the DJ took the mic.

“PARTY PEOPLE – are you getting down at the hottest party in New York tonight, or what?”

The crowd cheered.

“Well, we just getting it poppin here at Felt Lounge. Things are gonna get hot enough to melt up in this piece. But first, “ the DJ paused to let the partiers finish cheering and toasting. “But first, let me hand the mic over to my man for a very important announcement.”

The heavy-set producer took the mic.

“What’s good, ya’ll? You know your boy. Who you don’t know is this young boy right here, Michael York, straight outta Brooklyn – born and raised. He’s got the hottest band I’ve heard in a minute, straight up. They’re called the New New Yorks, and their album is dropping TOMORROW. It’s gonna blow yo’ minds, for real, ya’ll. No doubt. We ‘bout to play the single right here so I want ya’ll to give it up and keep giving him dat New York love all night long! Drop it!”

Michael gave a nonchalant wave, dripping with the right amount of humility and confidence. The track started to spin and Crystal recognized it immediately. The song she’d helped finish – with her lyrics being sung by some new British artist who sounded exactly like her.

For a moment the room appeared to swirl and empty, leaving only her and Michael. Her heart pounded with anger and confusion and hurt. And yet she felt stupid on top of it all. She’d made no attempt to ensure she got credit for the lyrics in any way. She never thought in a million years that he’d actually use her stuff, let alone get a woman to sing on the track, replicating that…magical moment they’d shared. Why didn’t he tell her? Why hadn’t he asked permission? Why hadn’t he asked her to sing it herself!?

Crystal stood there as if cursed and turned to stone for the entire 3 minutes and 24 seconds of the song. When it was over, everyone clapped and people began to swarm around Michael, patting him on the back and shaking his hand. But he seemed distracted. He was scanning the crowd and finally locked eyes on Crystal. She stared back at him, unable to think or do anything else. He smiled and pointed at her as if to say, “Stay where you are” and made a beeline for her.

Crystal suddenly came out of her shock and looked frantically around the room for a place to hide. The way to the stairs down to the kitchen was absolutely clogged with people. The pre-pre-party had ended with the song and now more people were being let in by the second. The place was being flooded and then the people-sea parted to reveal Michael, who stepped up toe to toe with Crystal.

He put a hand on her shoulder and pulled her in close so that he could talk in her ear over the music. His breath was warm and now and then his lips would touch her ear. Crystal tried desperately to deal.

“I had no idea you were going to be here tonight. I was planning on talking to you about this whole thing. There’s no excuse, honestly, Crystal, but I needed those lyrics more than anything. I can’t thank you enough.”

“But,” Crystal stammered, trying hard to care that she was taken advantage of when all she wanted to do was be excited and love struck. “But those were my lyrics.”

“I know, Crys, I know. And you’ve got full credit, I swear. And here’s the best part.”
Michael pulled away from her to flash her another coy smile and a wink. “My manager wants to set up a meeting. If things work out, you’ll be writing and singing your own stuff instead of just rescuing my sorry ass.”

Will I ever catch my breath? Crystal thought?

“What? That’s…I…how…um…thanks!”

Michael laughed and embraced Crystal with a squeeze.

“Stick with me, kid. We’ll go places.”

Just then, Shanna walked up and tapped Crystal on the shoulder.

“Oh, hi. Michael, this is my friend Shanna.”

As Shanna raised her hand to shake Michael’s, Crystal saw her business card sticking out between her fingers. She nabbed it and put it on the tray of a passing fellow caterer. She shook her head, ‘no’, at Shanna who shrugged and walked away, leaving Michael and Crystal to grin at each other.

“Those are my lyrics.”

“Yes. Yes, they are, Songbird.”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Poetry

This poem came to me as I was sitting outside in the sun, enjoying the day. Which is odd because it's not a happy poem at all. But it's what came out and you can't deny that.
It is definitely a snapshot of how I've felt many times over the past, oh, 4 or 5 years. But it is not the norm so don't go calling some crisis counseling hotline on me!
As I've said before, poetry is very cathartic for me so my poems are more often than not the result of working through some difficult or complicated emotions. I can't remember, in fact, the last time I wrote a 'happy' poem. Maybe I should try that some time!

I imagine reading this off a little crumpled piece of paper, standing over the grave where I'm about to put my 'old life'....I am, of course, wearing a fabulous black dress and hat with a veil.



My Old Life:
In Memoriam


We made a lot of mistakes, you and I.
I taught you how to hide;
You taught me how to lie.
Now that this goodbye has come,
I don't know how to cry.

But weren't there good times?
Didn't you teach me how to fly?
The last thing I want is to romanticize you.
(Or is it the first thing I want to do?)
The breakdown is beginning -
What is right? What are dreams? What's more, it seems,
I have no course for completing reciprocity.

But you and I are bound to die and I
Think I would gladly sigh and give it up to go with you below.
Better than living in the lie of this faded echo.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Poetry

It's been a while since I've written any poetry. Even longer since I've worked any and edited it like a true artist.

I used to call poetry 'my soul's release' and I'm remembering again how much I not only love it, but need it for catharsis and in order to process emotions and events.

Most of my poetry is very structured. I like to count the syllables, make and follow a pattern. I find I do that most often when I'm dealing with emotions that aren't quantifiable, that refuse to settle into something linear. This is my way of finding order in the chaos - as cliche as that may be.
Other times I'll go free verse but I find it more challenging, interesting and rewarding to follow a form. If you can master the sestina, you're really doing something!

With all that said and so much left unsaid, here are a few poems. Enjoy!



This first poem I wrote after a spate of very real dreams in which friends who have passed away or friends I have lost contact with appeared to me.

All the Friends That I Have Lost

All the friends that I have lost, I’ve found inside my head,
Living in little sunny suburbs, on quiet streets.
When I think that out here in the world they’re dead,
I look inside and find them all asleep.

In the morning, in their town, they have bacon and eggs.
I’m not sure what they do after they rise and eat.
At night they go out and find their legs -
They wander into the random worlds of my dreams.

With different faces, they appear, challenging my memory.
Often when they touch me it feels real, I find.
They warn me. Hug me. Kiss me. Know me and remind me,
Who we were when the world was full of rhymes.

Sometimes their visits are frighteningly clear;
Other times they’re filled with fog.
Sometimes when I wake I feel they are so near;
Other times I feel the loss and I tremble deep with sobs.

If I could but bring you back to life, my loves,
And leave the streets of my mind with vacancies,
I would bring you back to life, my loves.
And leave all this pain to distant memories.

This next one is about...freedom. I sing it much like the "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" song - with a happy, lilting melody set to odd, troubling words. "You bury your head" should be sung the same as "I guess she'll die". Feel free to sing it how you like!
Song for a Caged Bird

Bird! Bird!
Why don’t you sing?
They coo at your feathers and bring you nice things.
They think you are lovely and envy your wings.
And then instead,
You bury your head.

Bird! Bird!
Why don’t you fly?
The door is ajar and the wind is just right.
If you'd just take a leap you could soon be in flight.
But then instead,
You bury your head.

What do you think
When the Master’s in bed?
Do you plan your escape?
Or dream instead?
Instead.

Instead.

Bird? Bird?
Why do you die?
Salvation is close and redemption is nigh,
Again and instead, and instead, and instead,
You bury your head.

You’re dead instead.
Instead.

Instead.

This one's pretty self-explanatory.
Great on Paper-Doll

You look great on paper - tantamount to bliss!
With
lines
and
graphs
and
charts
of all your grand accomplishments!
Your qualifications, when stacked on top of genius-size I.Q.,
Show potential that stretches out for miles; talent and humor, too!

But when I cut you out, my doll, and try to stand you up,
You slip and flip and float across the floor.
I lean out and make my hands into a little cup -
I am too late and you disappear under the door.

Now I’m on my stomach, looking through the crack.
I can barely see you lying flat and out of reach.
My arm is stuck and pinched and my skin has been pulled back.
Although if I unbend this hanger, I can almost touch your feet.

I begin to feel a tremor, tears fall out my eyes.
I hesitate to ask but finally squeak out a, “Why?
Why don’t you stand up –stack up- out here in the world?
Why don’t you help me help you really come uncurled?”

You give me no answer. I pull my arm free.
My tears drop off my face and into the floor seams.
Days go by as I sit here outside the door,
Wondering if I was the one who could have done something more.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sasha & Chuck : Part Five

[Read Episodes ONE, TWO, THREE & FOUR ]



Chuck leaned against the hallway wall outside Sasha’s apartment. Her cries twisted his heart but Lumin’s strange appearance gnawed at his brain. He had to figure out why he’d been there and what he’d said. And Sasha wasn’t in the least interested in being comforted.
A few minutes later, Chuck was landing softly outside his underground lair. Inside, Beasley had pulled up all known information about Lumin up on Chuck’s computer screens. There was nothing linking him to Sasha nor anything that seemed like a reason for him to see her.
“You know what you have to do now, Chuck.” Beasley stated.
“No, Bease, I don’t, actually.”
“You have to talk to Lumin.”
Sasha willed herself up off the floor of her apartment. She stumbled to her bathroom and found the tissues. As she dabbed her eyes and tried to get a handle on the events of the past few minutes, she saw a shadow in the mirror.
Sparking up a ball of electricity between her hands, Sasha turned to find Liana, shape-shifting from treacherous smoke to human form.
“Ah, ah, ahhh” Liana ticked her left forefinger back and forth at Sasha. Before she knew it, Liana was pressing a glowing green button on a small black device with her right thumb. An invisible shock wave sent Sasha reeling backwards, losing her electric ball, and her balance. She gripped the counter to keep from sinking to the floor.
“What…was that?” She managed to say.
“Oh, this? You like it? I had it made special just for you. It’s a handy-dandy pocket EMP device that shoots laser-like accuracy. This way I can take you out and still keep all the lights on. Isn’t fabulous?” Liana scrunched her nose and grinned. Then she zapped Sasha again, nearly rendering her unconscious.
“You know what else, Sasha? They tell me that if I zap you with this enough times, I may render you permanently inert.” Liana’s evil cackle echoed off the bathroom tiles as she morphed back to smoke, lifted Sasha and carried her out into the night.


Chuck paced outside the gates of Luz Manor. Not all superheroes knew each other’s secret identities but if you wanted a leg up on your opponent, you did your research. And Chuck was certain that this was Lumin’s place. Now, whether or not he wanted to actually walk in and, in a pleasant voice of course, say, “So, whatcha doin’ at Sasha’s place tonight, bro?” was another thing altogether.
Beasley came in over comm.
“Chuck – are you in?”
“No, Beasley. I am very much out.”
“Ok. But you’re going in, right? I mean, soon?”
“Yea, yea. I’m working on it. You just man the camera. I’ll buzz if I need something.”
Chuck squared off against the gate, puffed up his chest and reached for the intercom. What am I doing? He thought. He backed up, bent his knees for power and jumped up into the air. He hovered for a bit, trying to get a feel for the layout of this huge mansion Lumin called home. Or SeƱor Marco Luz, as he was called during the day. He saw a lighted window go dark and the adjacent window go bright. Someone was there and it was as good a start as any.
Chuck flew towards the house and – BAM! – he slammed against something, slid down it and landed on his back in front of the gate.
“Sorry to bother you, Chuck, but I forgot to mention: Lumin has a sort of "Star Wars"type force field bubble surrounding his property, just beyond the gate. So don’t try to fly in.” said Beasley.
“Yea, thanks.” Chuck muttered. Intercom it is then, he thought. Let’s see if this bastard is brave enough to let me in.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Miss Trubble's Trouble

Normally I don't like to barge in here as Lanii and preface things. I prefer to put the title of the story in the title of the post, copy and paste from Word and give you a story.

However - this needs a little prefacing. I'm working on a film noir, private eye spoof for a class I teach and I thought it might be fun and interesting to post some of it here. If you have any thoughts - feel free to let me know in the comments! Thanks!

(The formatting doesn't stay and I don't have time to reformat. Sorry about that!)


ACT I
Scene 1
CHASE HUNTER'S OFFICE.
CHASE
(narrating)
In my line a'work, you got two kinds'a days: slow ones and fast ones. Today was as slow as a traffic jam on the 401 going into Toronto the night of a Celine Dion concert. Yea, she's got a nice voice but the only sound that's music to my ears is the sound a wad of cash makes as I flip through it with my thumb.
After all, I'm not a record producer. I'm a Private Eye.

The name's Hunter. Chase Hunter. I work alone. Except when I work with with Eddie, my partner. Then we work together. Which is all the time.

We hadn't had a job in weeks. With the economy sagging worse than Eddie's pants (Eddie hikes up his pants) even the crooks were cutting back. Once muggers started pulling IOU slips out of their victims' pockets, muggings went way down. Gangsters were turning themselves in just so they could have a roof over their heads and something to eat. There was hardly even a crooked cop to bust. It was nearly Utopian. And completely depressing.
LINDA enters.
LINDA
Hey, Chase. Got a lady out here to see ya.
CHASE
Well, let her look in through the window if that's what she wants.
LINDA
(small laugh)
No, I think you're going to want to see her as well.
CHASE
Ok...tell her to stand in front of the window and turn very slowly. Clockwise.
EDDIE
Counter clock wise.
CHASE
Now what difference...
LINDA
(cutting him off)
Chase - she has a case!
CHASE
A case? A case of what? Soda pop? The blues?
EDDIE
The Mondays? The hiccups? Benjamin Button?
CHASE
Good question, Eddie! (to Linda) Is it a curious case?
LINDA
It's a CASE! A situation! A mystery to be solved? By detectives? (gestures to them)
EDDIE
(offering help as CHASE looks confused)
I think she means this lady has a job for us, boss.
CHASE
Oh! A job! Ok, that makes more sense 'cause I was like, "A case?" Wha?...Next time just say that, Linda. Sheesh! I'm not a walking slang dictionary! (clears throat) Ok, send her in.
(narrating)
Just then, I knew my day had turned from slow to at least moderately paced. This dame was gonna be trouble for sure. Dames usually are.
Enter Carlotta Trubble in a red dress, red hat, red shoes, fur coat and a gold clutch. And white gloves.
CARLOTTA
Hello, Mr. Hunter. I'm Trubble.
CHASE
You mean you're in trouble.
CARLOTTA
Well, yes. But, no.
EDDIE
Oh, you mean that there's trouble comin'.
CARLOTTA
No. The trouble's already here.
EDDIE
(running about trying to hide)
It is!? Where! Hide, boss, hide!
CARLOTTA
No, no, no! I AM TRUBBLE. My name is Carlotta Trubble. T-r-u-b-b-l-e. Trubble.
EDDIE & CHASE
Ohhhhh!
CHASE
That's a very unfortunate last name, I must say. That's the kinda name that could get you into trouble, Miss Trubble.
CARLOTTA
Oh, I know. No matter where I go, Trubble always follows me.
CHASE
Yes, I suppose it does. Now, what can we do for you, Miss Trubble?
CARLOTTA
(sitting down)
Well, boys: I'm in trouble.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sasha & Chuck: Part Four

[Read Episodes ONE, TWO & THREE]
**********************************************

Chuck hit the “end” button on his watch and raised up on his haunches. He peered over the rooftop ledge of the building adjacent to Sasha’s penthouse. He was not pleased about her decision to go home alone. So he followed her. Everything did appear secure, otherwise when she had called, he would have blown his cover to keep her from going inside.
That was until Chuck saw something strange. At first he thought that it was just a light coming on in another apartment. But then he saw that it was moving. Suddenly, Chuck knew exactly what, or rather who, that ball of light was. Lumin. And he was after Sasha!
Chuck scanned the apartment for Sasha. There she was, coming out from the bathroom. She was talking to Lumin! Just standing there, talking to him. Why wasn’t she going for help or fighting him?
He must be brainwashing her, Chuck thought. He stood to his feet and jumped up into flight in milliseconds. Hovering outside Sasha’s bedroom, Chuck weighed the options. Either way, he knew two things: one - Lumin can only be physically apprehended when he’s in human form and consequently, two - he’d have to take Lumin by surprise. Chuck flew back a few feet and flew head on through the glass, wrapping his arms around Lumin and wrestling him to the ground.
Sasha zapped Chuck with a bolt of electricity, enough to knock him off his feet. As he sat stunned, Lumin returned to his ball shape, whispered something to Sasha and vanished out of the broken window.
“Chuck! What are you doing?”
“What am I doing? I’m saving you from Lumin! What are you doing trying to stop me?”

“I did stop you, Chuck. You always think you’re more powerful than me. Aw and look what you did to my window!”
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” Chuck rubbed his head as the shock wore off. With a sweep of his hand, he picked up all the scattered pieces of the window and reassembled them without even the hint of a crack.
Sasha gave Chuck an icy stare but ignored his statement. She walked methodically to her kitchen. Her mind was arrested by all the things Lumin had told her and she needed to process. She filled a tea kettle and put it on the stove to boil. Chuck was only a step behind her.
“Sasha, what is going on? What was Lumin doing here? What did he say to you?” Chuck was losing his patience. He was starting to hope that she truly was brainwashed as he suspected. Otherwise she was just being rude. And annoying.
Sasha turned to Chuck with the lost look of someone who’d been betrayed by their closest friend.
“He said,” she stammered. “He said that…Chuck, Lumin is…he’s my father.”
“What?!”
“He’s my father. I’ve known it for a long time but I just…I could never find the right moment to tell you.”
“So…wait a minute…whose side….”
Sasha cut him off, a determined finger aimed dead between his eyes.
“I am with the Forces. I always will be. I’m with you, Chuck.”
“Then why the hell did you stop me?”
“Oh, everything is about you.”
Sasha turned back to the stove, pointed her finger at the kettle and zapped it until it sung. Even she wasn’t sure whether she was annoyed at the time it takes to boil water or if she’d thought better of shocking Chuck again and directed her emotions elsewhere.
“Great. So you’re just go into Woman Mode: loaded questions, snide remarks, misdirection, making it all my fault and then saying I’m making it all your fault. I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.”
A wind kicked through the apartment and the lights flickered on and off.
“You think you know me, Chuck? You think you’re so perceptive about me and my moods? If you were, you would have known that what you just said to me was the worst thing you could have said.”
Chuck sighed.
“I’m sorry, Sasha. You’re right. It’s not an eye for an eye here. We’re in this together.”
“Oh, no we’re not. You’re in this for you. The only reason you care about protecting me is so you can have me for yourself. Never mind the fact that I have clearly said, time and again, that we’re done. You don’t care about what I want or what makes me happy. You just want to be happy. You. You. You. You.”
With every ‘you’ that quietly and angrily left her tightened throat, Sasha took another step towards Chuck. She raised her hands like claws as all the lights in her apartment went out and she began to glow white hot blue.
“Sasha, don’t. I thought you said you were with me!”
“I did. But when I said it, I meant it. And the best thing for you right now is for you to get out of my apartment before I kill you. And so help me, if you don’t use the door, I will kill you for breaking my window again.”
Chuck was smart enough to know he’d lost this round. Keeping his eyes glued on her, he back out to the door, opened it and left.
The electricity whooshed back into the lights and sockets of Sasha’s apartment. A dim white afterglow hung about her as she crumpled to the floor in sobs.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sasha & Chuck: Part Three

[Read Episodes ONE & TWO]

Sasha hovered above her penthouse apartment, breathing heavily. Facing an enemy, some unknown fool in tights, that was one thing. But facing your sworn enemy who is also, sort of, the other woman is just another thing altogether and Sasha wasn’t quite sure she was up for it.
She swooped around on her whirlwind and landed silently on the balcony. She kept it spinning, just in case, as she tapped a code into the keypad which cleared the windows of the film that kept them one-way. Her apartment appeared empty and everything in its place. But Chuck’s words echoed in her ears, “Don’t go inside until you know it’s safe.”
Sasha tapped in another code and the lights burst on inside. Still looked clear. Sasha dissipated her ride into the atmosphere and turned the face of her watch two clicks counterclockwise, a full turn clockwise, a quarter turn counterclockwise and then a half turn back.
See, the world was split into Eight Zones – including each of the world’s continents and their surrounding bodies of water and/or ice. These were Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, South Africa, and Oceania [Australia and surrounding islands].
Each Zone had a Stupendous Seven - a squad of superheroes who looked over the inhabitants of the Zone, keeping criminals in line and saving the innocent from the occasional Super Villain. 
Although not a part of this story, it is worth noting that The Fire Zone - the Middle East and North Africa - had become so overrun with poverty, disease and evil humans – dictators, warlords, guerrilla commanders and terrorists – that it had become largely impenetrable and its case was being discussed in the Super Courts. The rulings were to set a wide-sweeping standard of how involved Heroes should be and when they should leave humanity up to its own devices.
But back to Sasha’s watch. It was vital that each member of the Zone have direct communication with each other at all times: the watches. There was a code for everyone, dialed using the face of the watch. Speakers and a microphone were built into the watches, invisible to the eye. The watches also had a unique protection feature: they knew, using DNA and fingerprinting, exactly who they belonged to so that if they were dialed when not in direct contact with the wrist of its wearer and by foreign fingers they would not work.
The watch lit neon green to signal that she’d made contact.
“You ok?” Chuck answered.
“Yea, everything looks fine. I’ve got the lights on – it all looks normal. I’m going inside.”
“I wish you had let me come with you. Or you could have stayed here. You know you always have a room.”
Sasha sighed. She wished she had stayed there. She didn’t want to be alone tonight. But she had to keep the boundaries up or she knew she’d end up dating Chuck again. And the last time that happened…
“I know. Thank you. But I’m here now. It’s all clear. Let’s just get some sleep and I’ll give you a call in the morning.” She managed.
“Alright. Good night. Arm your system and double check the doors.” Chuck said, obviously unhappy with her decision.
“I will. You, too.”
Sasha kept her invisibility coat on as she punched in her final code and slipped into the apartment. She locked the door behind her and fogged up the windows again. After a sweep of the apartment and feeling more relaxed, Sasha hung up her coat and got ready for bed.
As she exited her en suite bathroom, one of her bedside chairs swirled around to face her and in it sat, what appeared to be, a ball of light. Suddenly, as if alive, it swiftly took the form of a man. It was more the luminous outline of a man.
Sasha had never seen him before but instantly she knew who he was. She’d grown up on stories of him. He was the reason she’d join the Forces, determined to use her powers to fight evil.
“Dad?”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sasha & Chuck: Con't



 


Beasley sat slumped over in a corner, not moving. Sasha and Chuck ran to him, Chuck sliding to his knees and thrusting two fingers under Beasley's jaw.

"He's alive."

Sasha reached down and pulled a piece of paper out of his hand. She read it aloud.

"Aren't secret hideaways supposed to be...secret?"

***

Beasley sat, although sat may have been too active a word for someone who had just fainted, in one of the over-sized plush chair in the library. Sasha blew a smarting cold wind into his face to awaken him.

He was groggy at first but he rebounded like a cat.

"Sir! Chuck! Sir Chuck!"

"They haven't knighted me yet, Beasley. Just slow down and tell us what happened."

Beasley rubbed his left temple.

"Well, I was down...downstairs...I had just put all your accessories away and your suit and was waiting for the elevator - I wanted to pop up for a moment and see if the refreshments needed to be refilled. Just as the door opened... 
 

Just as the door opened I thought I heard a noise so I turned to look behind me. There was no one there but when I stepped in the elevator I saw a figure through the mirror, standing behind me. Next thing I knew, Sasha was blowing her Ice Breath in my face.”
Beasley rubbed his cheeks, trying to send some blood back in to warm them.
“Could you make out who it was, Beasley?” Chuck asked.
“Honestly, no. I’m sorry, Chuck. All I can remember is that whoever it was wore all black – maybe with a black mask covering their face. But it was almost a transparent sort of smoky black.”
The horrific realization rushed through them as they turned to face each other.
“Liana,” they said in unison.
An hour later Chuck had secured and re-secured the mansion and underground lair. Beasley was in bed with a cold towel on his head and Sasha was pacing the library floor. 
“I don’t see how she got in.” Chuck slumped down into a chair and rubbed his temples.
“You don’t see how she got in? Are you serious? First of all, she’s the personification of shadow and smoke. Secondly, you probably started seeing her again after we broke up, let her mist her way back in, and haven’t changed the locks since.” Sasha seethed.
“My security system is a little more complicated than just changing the locks.”
“Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe you need a good old-fashioned smoke detector.”
“Sasha, as much as I love it when you’re jealous, you’re focusing on the wrong thing right now. Nothing’s going on with Liana – she’s our archenemies! And she doesn’t hold a candle to you on her best day.”
“She’s MY archenemesis! Not yours.” Sasha pointed out.
“No. Any enemy of yours is an enemy of mine.  You know that.”
“Do I?”
“We’re not getting anywhere with this, Sasha. May I remind you that she broke into my lair, knocked out my trusted butler slash friend and left a creepy note in my elevator! If I know her…”
“And you do.” Sasha interrupted.
“If I know her,” Chuck continued forcefully, “Then this is just the beginning.”
“Of what?” Sasha couldn’t stop the accusatory tone in her voice.
“I don’t know.” Chuck said, regretfully.

As Chuck cast his eyes to the floor, searching vainly for answers in the wood grain, Sasha took a moment to study him. Her tension eased remembering then how much he did care for her.  And in turn that made her realize that if he was this concerned then she was definitely in a situation here.
“I guess I’m in real trouble, Chuck.” She said, leaning against the bookcase for support.
“I’ll protect you.” Chuck stood and walked to Sasha, taking her into his arms. She let him hold her a moment longer than she would have a few hours ago. She knew he would protect her – he’d done it before. It was how they met.
“I think I should look in on my place.” Sasha pulled away gently and left the library, heading for the coat closet in the foyer.
“I’ll come with you,” Chuck said falling into step next to her.
“No. Heroes vs. Villains 101, Chuck. We both go; we both get ambushed; we both get captured. And who’s going to save us? Leo’s laying low in Australia after taking out Dr. Viktor’s side-kick last week. Diane and Frey are fighting that Evil Robot out West and Swain is light-years away in some other galaxy, completely unreachable.”
Chuck helped Sasha on with her coat. She flipped the third button over and pushed it in, making herself invisible.
“Ok. But you send the code if even the slightest thing seems to be wrong. And don’t go inside until you know it’s safe.” Chuck said, using his heat vision to see her in reds and oranges.
“I will.” Sasha stepped outside, called up a small tornado and rode it out of sight.
 


About Me

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I'm Lanii. I try to Be Good. It doesn't always work. "Call Me Lanii" is sort of about that - my inner and outer triumphs (what?) and struggles. "Alana Shorts" is sort of about that, too: I draw way too much inspiration from the crazy and strange events that actually happen to me and end up writing very little 'fiction'. I usually have my tongue quite thoroughly stuck in my cheek.