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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dr's Night Out

As a part of a Blog Chain for Absolute Write the Dr's are spending a night out in a painting.
The guidelines were as follows: 

 Starting Date: Thursday September 8, 2011
Open to all forum members, even after it starts!

This month's prompt: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

You have two choices this month: 

Option 1: Respond to the default picture. 
Write a brief response to this picture:

Option 2: Respond to your own picture.
The default not doing anything for you? Choose your own picture! You must include a link to the picture in your post. Please, no overly violent, sexual, or otherwise NSFW pictures. Let's keep this PG-13/15 certificate, okay?

Simply post in this thread to join. Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible. Read and comment on other participants' posts if you possibly can--they'll be doing the same for you!

I'll let you know in this thread when it's your turn.
Once your turn comes up, you have two days to complete your post. When you are finished, please post a link to your post on the thread so I can let the next person in line know that their turn is up. If you signed up but find yourself unable to participate or need to be moved around in the schedule, please PM me or post in the thread. If you fail to post on your blog and on the thread within two days, I'll bump you down to the end of the line on the third day; you'll get a second chance at the end of the month.

Please include a list of all participants' blogs in your blog post, and keep in mind we're not starting until the second Thursday of the month to give people time to sign up.

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)
BigWords - (link to this month's post)
robeiae - (link to this month's post)
pezie - (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines - (link to this month's post)
AbielleRose - (link to this month's post)
Darkshore - (link to this month's post)
dolores haze - (link to this month's post)
Alynza - (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - (link to this month's post)
lufftocraft - (link to this month's post)
Cath - (link to this month's post)

Monica smiled at her co-workers Alexa and Serach, it wasn’t often they got out of the office together. The coffee shop they entering was on 1940’s standard earth and the girls were giggling over their slinky yet modest outfits. 
                “Hello ladies” the man behind the counter nodded at them, “What can I get ya?”
                “Three coffees” Alexa smiled brightly and checked out the other people at the counter.  The waiter placed three dark coffees in front of them and turned back to his work whistling.
                “ohh” Serach whispered nudging her friends with an elbow, “Look at the secret hand hold those two have.  I bet she’s married.”
                “No,” Monica countered smiling over her cup,” Bet she’s a Moll.”
                “Don’t be silly, she looks sad and he secretive.  I’m guessing he’s the married one.” Alexa said a little too loud.
                The man sitting alone at the end of the counter looked blearily over at them, “What are you nosy dames gabbing about?”     
                Monica put on her best smile,” Oh nothing, we just can’t seem to leave work at work.”
                “What do you think,” Alexa giggled quietly in her ear, “Off duty copper or drunken lay about?”
                “Alexa!” Monica hissed back.
                “Cop definitely.” Serach laughed,” Oh relax Monica, we’re only here for a minute enjoy the depth of character this artist gave his subjects.”
                “Dumb Doras” the man at the end of the bar mumbled into his drink.
                “Come on girls,” Alexa dropped some coins on the counter, “I didn’t get dressed up just to drink some coffee.  Let’s blow this gin joint and find us a Speakeasy!”
                “That was the twenties girl, this is the forties!” Serach laughed and stood up.
                “Well I’m in the mood to dance!” Alexa smiled standing dragging her friends up with her.  The three of them left the same way they came in laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  The four people in the cofee shop looked puzzled as they left but quickly put the three strangers out of their minds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thomas's first Session

Dr. Alexa Cort loved her job.  While her co-workers coddled and delved into the past of characters she got pull new stories out of them.  Sometimes she was nice but more often she got to tease and poke them till they cracked open and became real. 
Her current patients were perfect examples of 2 dimensional characters.  From the “7 seals” world these three gentlemen were supposed to be the primary emotional support for the MC Lia.  However the author barely has a physical description for them.   Nothing for personality except that they are really old Fae warriors who loved their niece Lia. 
It would take a few sessions with each of the men individually to flesh out who they really were.  This would allow the author to create more realistic dialog and non-generic reactions.  She looked over the one page she had on all three of them and decided to take the oldest first.  She opened the door and looked at the three almost identical men sitting quietly in the waiting room.
“Thomas Nolan?”  The blond man stood up and nodded his head at her.   Alexa studied him as he walked into her room.  She inwardly rolled her eyes.   Tall and perfectly sculpted the man was on the graceful side of masculine.  He had bright blue eyes and a thin face.  His blond hair was short but too perfectly feathered away from his face as if walking off a modeling shoot.
Why do authors insist on only focusing on how hot their protagonists were.  Give them a scar or bad hair.  Ok, he was Fae of the tall elf like variety.  No pointy ears, that was good, she hated those for some reason.  At least he didn’t have long flowing hair like one of his brothers. 
“Thomas I’m Alexa.  You understand why your author sent you here?” Gesturing him toward a chair.
“She wants to learn more about me.”   His long strides took him quickly to the indicated spot but he waited until Alexa sat to sit himself.
“True but I need more than dates and times.  It is your personality that we need to discover.”
“Glad you approve.” He was haughty so she wrote it into her notes, “So you’re the oldest of four siblings, two brothers and a sister, what makes you different from them.”
“As the first born son my Father expected me to become his heir.  For the first eight hundred years I worked as his seneschal.”  Oh ye gods was that predictable.  No need to write that down.
“What happened to change that?”
“I realized the truth of Fae life.  We don’t age.  Until my father was dead I was never going to rule.  I didn’t want my father dead but I also didn’t want to be his errand boy for thousands of years.  I decided to live my own life. “  Mildly interesting but nothing truly interesting.
“This is good but I think it’s the wrong direction to find your personality.  What your author needs is your personality not an in depth story.  Let’s try some situational reaction.” Alexa waved a hand and a dark figure came out of nowhere approaching them with determined strides.  He was dressed in dark armor and holding a sword readied for attack.
Thomas jumped up and rushed the figure.  He lunged to close the distance and grapple with the intruder.  After a brief exchange of blows the newcomer vanished.
“Fight first talk later.” The Dr noted, “Good, an honest reaction.  You can sit back down.”  Anger sparked in Thomas’s eyes at being tricked but he returned to the seat. “Was it his classic bad guy look or the weapon that made you respond?”
“I supposed I should have stopped and checked to see if he had just drawn his weapon to inspect it for damage before letting him cut you in half.”
Alexa smiled, a protective instinct, that would work well with his role.  A little sarcastic but within acceptable margins.  Now for more immediate information that dealt specifically with his world.
“There are many races in your universe would you consider yourself friendly to others.”
“I have plenty of human friends.”
“Do you really?  Are they friends or just amusements?”
“Friends.  I can’t bring them around my family, of course, but they are definitely friends.”
“Why can’t you bring them around your family?”
“We live on a Fae reserve and Lia needs to keep a low profile.”
Nothing really interesting there, more a situation then a characteristic of his.
“How bout Were’s?”
Thomas’s lip curled before he could hide it.  “I do not associate with Weres.”
“Isn’t your niece a Were?”
“Yes but she isn’t like them.”
“What are they like?”
“Oversexed children, they don’t take responsibility for any of their actions.  They play with the people around them with no thought to hurting them emotionally.”
“Is this because one of them got your sister pregnant?”
“No. That was more proof of her recklessness.  Remember, I was around during the Middle ages when Weres destroyed many of political reigns with their sexual games.  They showed no respect for the sanctity of marriage or any other bond.  It was like humans and Fae were just sexual toys to be used and discarded.”
“Did a Were take someone from you?”  He glowered but didn’t answer.  “No matter, the attitude is all I needed.  How about Vampires?”
Thomas’s shoulders relaxed, “Parasites but not much different from humans.  Their diet and abilities make them worthy opponents but it depends on the individual.”
“Wonderful.” A specific hatred not just one for all races not his, “Now your writer has established that you and your brothers are close but how would you describe your brothers?”
“Sean is the youngest and the practical joker.  He keeps us all from slipping into boredom over the ages.   Michael has always been the quiet one lost in his own mind and thoughts.  But I think you have misunderstood our relationship.  We have only become really close since Bedilia’s birth.” Alexa checked her notes … ahh Bedilia was Lia his niece, “Twenty seven years is barely a tick in our time.  Before her birth opened the first seal, the three of us lived separately.  My mother called us home for the birth and has asked us to remain close to protect her from our father.”
“Do you resent what your mother asked of you?”
“No, It has been wonderful having a purpose again.  Lia is a magnificent warrior now and barely needs our protection.  It has also been good getting to know my brothers again and my mother has never asked much from anyone.  Doing this for the family is important.”
“Your Fae ability is with Animals like your Sister yet you dislike Weres. Why?”
“You mind is a confusing place Doctor.”
“True but I’m trying for a general picture not details”
Thomas closed his eyes and thought, “Being Animal blessed is like having a connection to the souls of every creature.  You feel their needs and wants like a song in the back of your head.  With most animals they are simple and pure even when angered.  With Weres,” his voice became clipped, ”the feelings are stronger, more complicated, and tainted by the greed and deception of a human soul.  It can be intoxicating how their animal passions reach out to anyone around them.  But once a Were realizes that power they can use that draw as a tool against others.  It is twisted.”
“Your niece doesn’t do this?”
“In many ways she is better and worse than your average Were.  She controls herself so strongly that she doesn’t influence anyone around her.  That control comes at a high blood price.  If you don’t give into the animals urges in one way you must in another.  So my brothers and I give her animal an outlet in battle.”
“So it is the sex that you object to?”
“No, I enjoy sex as much as the next man.  Especially in this new modern age, where some women see sex as just another form of exercise.  But Weres, especially Alpha’s, give off an aura that influences people sexually in ways they might otherwise not behave.”
“Alright I think we have enough to work with for now.  I’ll be out in a bit for your brother Sean.”
Thomas rose confused at the startling ending to their session and left.  Alexa was happy she had established just enough to start working on better situations to put him in next time.  He was a protector, bigoted, and loyal with just enough of a sense of self to keep from fading into the background.  His brother Sean seemed to have the next most defined personality but the quiet one Michael was going to take some though.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lia's Second Session

Lia entered the office in a much better mood for her second session.  Dr. Plethoric was already seated in the session area with a folder filled with handwritten notes in her lap. 
“So Doc, where do we start today?”
Serach smiled, “What has you in such a good mood?”
“My writer is doing well.  Guess the last session helped.  She’s even written a friend for me.”
“I’m glad to hear it.”
“Yeah she’s a bit two dimensional at the moment but I’m sure she’ll flesh out in time.”
"Should we start?"
"Sure.  Last session we stopped when you were six what were the following years like?”
“Well I guess they were as good as a kid could ask for.  I was homeschooled for the most part.  My Uncles were great and Granna was a good replacement for Mom.  It wasn’t until the second seal broke that things fell apart again.  I was nine, Underhill was open again and most of the people I hated left to go back and live there.”
“Your Granna didn’t go back to Fairy?”
“No she said she liked it here...  I’m pretty sure it was because of Grandfather that she stayed.  He is one of the High Kings in Fairy and she used to be his Queen.  If she went back she would either have to form a Kingdom of her own or go live under someone else’s rule.  Here she was under no one and responsible only for her land and me.  It would have been perfect.  Unfortunately my mother decided it was time for her to become part of my life again.”
“And this didn’t make you happy?”
“Not even a little.  Mom had moved into Grandfathers castle and thought it was the perfect place to raise me.  She was convinced that away from the mortal world my Fae heritage would destroy the Were part of me.  So despite my Granna’s arguments she took me into Fairy.  Luckily it only took a few months for me to realized Grandfather had only agreed to it so he could more easily kill me.”
“Did your mother try to stop him?”
“Mom is many things beautiful, charming, graceful, but smart is not one of the descriptions I would use for her.  She loves being a princess and blossomed in the medieval style court.   Most of the returning nobles tried to pretend the last thousand years or so hadn’t happened.  They wanted to ignore the time they had spent in the mortal realm.  I was miserable and a constant reminder to my family and their retainers of  the mortal realm they hated.
The assassination attempts were subtle at first.  Poison in my drink, letting the wild hounds out while I was walking in the garden, bad directions to the dance hall that took me through the lower dungeons where a prisoner had just happened to escape.  When a spell meant to make me fall off a high balcony almost took my mother with me she said that ‘something about my Were nature’ didn’t agree with fairy.”
“So she didn’t acknowledge your Grandfathers part in any of it?”
“No, he was too slick to be caught.  I don’t think it was hard for her to send me away.  I was only ten but she knew my Grandmother and uncles would protect me, and enough of the lesser fae had stayed in our home town that she could pretend I wouldn’t be alone.   I’m confident that the moment she sent me through the gate home she forget me.  I haven’t heard from her even once since that day.”
“Have you tried to contact her?”
“No, it was better that way.  Granna was happy I was back.  So was I.  I was never meant to be a court lady.  I had hoped to have normal life when I returned home.  I thought that my Grandfather and his cronies would stop trying to kill me now that I was out of sight.   I was very wrong, in fact now that I wasn’t in court anymore they stopped trying to hide the attempts as accidents.  I have no idea how many assassins and summoned creatures my Uncles killed over the next year but I do know there wasn’t a single week that went by without something happening. 
I was eleven the first time I had to kill.  ‘Killing should always be your last option Lia’ My uncles would say to me ‘But once you have made the choice to kill all rules and honor are no more.  Survival is your only goal.’”
“Did the thought of killing scare you?”
“Not really.  I think until you actually kill it isn’t real.  Like the video games you just don’t feel anything.  I remember It was just my Uncle Thomas and I at the house when a pack of Kith Hounds attacked.   I ran upstairs intending to climb onto the roof but stopped when I saw my uncle go down under the weight of four hounds.
It was in that moment that I found, rage has a taste.  It’s like acid and pennies at the back of your tongue.  Something broke inside me.  My two knives were in my hands and I don’t know how they got there.  Everything was slow motion, I could see every twitching muscle on the beasts.
After that I only remember the last kill. I was covered in hot syrupy blood and my  knives were now metal claws grafted by magic to the ends of my hands.  My uncle was barely conscious and covered in wounds.  He was holding the last hound inches off his throat and his arms where shaking.   I dove onto the hounds back reaching my hands around to its soft underbelly. 
I remember my metal claws slipped into the hound like it was putty.  I pulled the creature apart.  It was odd, there was no gasping or scream from the creature. Just ripping sounds as I held its lungs in my hands.”
“You did what you had to do …”
“I must have looked completely feral as I stood there holding my bloody trophies.  ‘ It’s over Lia girl.  Put the claws away darling.’ My uncle must have said that several times before it sunk in.  I threw the remains to the floor horrified.” Lia’s body shook at the memory and her hands clenched around invisible claws.
“That is something an adult would have a problem with, as a child I’m sure it was worse.”
Lia nodded but absently rubbed her hands up and down her thighs. “Killing cemented something inside me.  I think it was hate or anger, but what came next was somehow worse.  Granna decided I wasn’t safe there anymore.  Her reasons were sound but it still felt as if I was being exiled.  She said I needed someone to teach me how to tame my Were nature.  I was almost eleven and my first change wasn't far off.  She told me I was going to a Were-wolf pack until I mastered the change then to a private school out of my Grandfathers reach.”
“How did you handle that news?”
“It wasn’t like I had much choice.  Put my family in danger or accept exile to strangers.  She told me I had to stay away until my age of majority, twenty for a Fae.  That was how old I had to be to legally challenge anyone who attacked me.  Until then by Fae law only my Mother or Father could do that and I knew my mother wasn’t strong enough.  My Father didn’t even know I existed and at that point I only had a fake name and a picture of him.”
“Did it bother you not knowing your Father?”
“Yes and No.  Dad was just a concept.  When I thought about it I wanted one, but I also wanted a loving mother.  It helps now that I know he would have been a part of my life had he been told about me.  So I resent Mom and if I'm honest my whole family for not telling him.“
“Understandable and realistic.  Well Lia I think this is as good of a stopping point as we are going to get.  Some points for you and your author to think on.  You might want to think on some good memories to add to all these painful ones.  So far I’ve only heard details about the bad in your past.  It is good that on the surface you appear to have a positive relationship with your Granna and Uncles but they seem to be extremely vague and unreal characters.  If any charecter has nothing bad in their past they would become bitter and angry like your author said you are showing signs of.  Before our next session I would like the two of you to come up with a short but detailed happy memory.”
"I'll let her know."
"Good.  See you next time"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lia's First Session

Dr. Serach Plethoric reviewed her notes for her next patient.  Her three o’clock was a new patient sent in by the writer for extreme problems with anger.  Not unusual for main characters, but it would seem she had stopped talking in anything but snarky quips.  That particular mannerism was way overused in the Urban Fantasy genre and needed fixing.
The patient, Lia, had come from the ‘Seven Seals’ world.  They had Magic, Fae, Weres, Vampires and multiple subspecies of several mythical creatures.  It would seem that she was involved in some prophecy as well.  The Lia that would be visiting was from the post fourth seal period of time at the age of twenty six.  
Scrolling through the world synopsis, Serach noted it was a Earth based modern world so she wouldn’t have to worry about language or idioms. The supernatural cultures were close to standard and they were out of the closet so there wouldn’t be any argument about secrecy from the patient.   A knock on the door told Serach, Lia had arrived early.
“Come in.” Serach stood and walked around her desk.
“Dr. Plethoric?”
“Call me Serach.  Are you Lia?”
“No I’m a singing telegram”
Serach made a mental note ‘Snarcky and cliché we might need an intervention with the writer’ Ignoring the remark Serach motioned to two comfortable chairs.  “Please have a seat.”
Lia stalked over to the chair and sat scowling as Serach joined her.  “Lia I know you don’t want to be here.  Main Characters like you often have strong feelings about weakness.  Let me assure you that no one in your world will ever know you are in therapy unless you or your author tells them. “
“Fine, whatever.  Let’s get this over with... uhm My mom’s a bitch. My Grandfathers a Psycho.  I am the only half Fae-Were alive and people have been trying to kill me since I was three.  Life sucks buy a helmet.  I’ve got my big girl panties on and I deal. I know and accept my issues, I feel so much better.  Are we done?”
“If it was only that easy I would be completely out of a job.  Since you are stuck here anyway until your author lets you go back to your world why don’t we try just talking.”
“And what exactly have we been doing?  Dancing the tango?”
“No, you’ve been posturing and I’ve been ignoring it." 
“Sorry, look I don’t need this.  I kill the thing I get the bad guy what more does she want?”
“Your writer thinks she may have overburdened you with backstory.  It’s my job to either help you work through it or help your writer understand at what point she went too far.”
“I’m not overburdened. I can deal. “
“Let’s start with something you said.  People have been trying to kill you since you were three.  What makes you say that?”
 Lia settled back in the chair tucking her legs under her. “You know I grew up in a Fae colony and that my mother is a Fae Noble and my father a Were-tiger?” Serach nodded, ”Good.  The first attempt on my life was actually when I was three months old.  My Mother’s Father gave me a teething ring made out of silver.”
“Isn’t that a normal gift to a Fae baby?”
“Usually, except my mother had told him that she thought I was Were.  Her Magic is animal based and she said she felt something inside me.  Half breed wasn’t a word Shidhe used.   A child was either Fae or mortal depending on whether they inherited magic.  Back when Magic was blocked from the world you couldn't tell until after puberty.  Lucky me, the first seal of magic broke the night I was born.  They knew I had Fae magic but my mother said that there was an animal inside as well.”
“So you think your Grandfather was trying to kill you?”
“Bingo give the girl a prize!”
“You know it is those kind of comments that got you sent here it the first place.”
“What my writer doesn’t like my sense of humor?! Gasp! Horror!  What ever will I do?”
“No it’s not the sense of humor it’s the very angry cliché way you show it.  We’ll save that for later.  Obviously your Grandfather failed.”
“Whatever.  Yes he failed.  At first they hoped my ‘Superior Fae Genetics’ had overridden the Were and that was why the silver hadn’t killed me.  Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the three year old me that as a Fae I wasn’t supposed to be able to touch iron.  My mother found me with a piece of iron my Grandfather had 'mistakenly' dropped in my playpen, wrapped around my little fingers like playdough.  My magic had manifested it was a day of celebration.  I was ‘Metal Kissed’ one of the rarest of the rare Fae, able to control any metal with will and mind.”
“Sounds like it didn’t turn out to be a good thing.”
“Got it in one.  Everyone had to admit the truth.  I was a half-breed.  Yes I had Fae magic but I was also a Were.  I was banished from Grandfathers home and land, so was my Mother as long as I was with her. Lucky for me, my grandmother left my grandfather almost five hundred years before I was born and invited me and my mother to live with her and my uncles.  I don’t think I would have survived the next years if she hadn’t taken me in. 
“Why do you think your Grandfather threw you out?”
“My Granna once told me that Grandfather hadn’t adjusted well to being stuck in the mortal realm without Magic.  My opinion is that it drove him batty, but I’m pretty biased by this point.  Granna took me in and raised me from that point on.  Mom didn't stay around for long.  One might believe being an ‘Animal Blessed Fae’ would make her love me more. That side of me drew her interest but she told me once that the memory of my father and what her “wild” times had cost her was too much.  I’m still not sure what I cost her since she dumped me on Granna so young but I’m not a Fairy Princess so I guess I just don’t ‘get it’”
“It sounds like you Granna is a special person.”
“Yeah, like I said, I was three when my mother handed me off to her and my three uncles.  It was later that same year that my uncles started training me in combat.  Teaching a four year old how to fight might seam ridiculous, but they made it a game.   My uncles knew I had a hard life ahead of me and they wanted to do anything they could to help me survive. “
Lia snuggled deeper into her chair, “I had the best backyard playground ever constructed.   The obstacle course set up in the woods behind Granna’s house was over a mile long with everything you could imagine to climb or jump on.  I only learned later that many of the impromptu training drills were actual assassination attempts my uncles and I avoided.  Lucky for me even as a small child I could almost keep up with three grown men.”
“So you were different from the other children?”
“Not that I ever spent much time with other children, but yes.  By the time I was six I could out race my Uncles in a sprint and lift almost twice as much as they could.  Looking back I can see they used martial arts to teach me control, delicacy, and grace.  I guess they thought any kid who could toss a log out of her way didn’t need to lift weights.  They believed that all Were children were could do these things so they treated me as if I was normal.  I remember them telling me how lucky I was to get both sides of my heritage. “
“Being unique is always hardest on children...Well we’ve covered quite a bit today.  You could probably use a break.  Why don’t you come back tomorrow and we’ll talk some more.”
Lia stretched pulling herself out of the chair,” Whatever you say Doc.”
Serach stood and walked her to the door.  When Lia was gone the Dr. shook her head.  The first session was done and they had only reached age six.  Lia was definitely a MC with an extremely detailed angst filled background.  It would take time to get the overworked snark out of this one.

Waiting Room

“Welcome to the Inter-World counseling agency how may I help you today?” 
“Yes, uhm my writer made me an appointment with Dr. Plethoric.”
“Wonderful I take it you are a new patient here?”
"Great you just need to sign this disclaimer here stating that you understand all events revealed here may or may not be changed for future fiction.  If you come to peace with any issues your writer feels you need to enhance storylines your sessions and the peace you found may be removed from your memory.  Any people or creatures you meet while in the waiting room are not to be brought back into your world without prior permission from your author.  All these rules may be changed at any time at the discretion of your writer.  Do you understand everything I’ve told you?”
“Not really.”
“Great sign here.”