Archive for April, 2014


 Her head was pounding by the time Soph was finally able to make it into the bathroom away from the noises in her head which her ears couldn’t hear. Her mother saw exiting the link as a choice no one in their right mind would make. If Soph could, she would turn it off forever. Unfortunately that wasn’t a choice you got to make, it was a privilege taken away from you if you failed to meet quota. A privilege Soph wished she didn’t have the burden of carrying.

            Splashing some water on her face Soph waiting for the pounding to diminish, if it didn’t she was determined she would leave, even if it meant facing her mother’s wrath.

For all her efforts she hadn’t managed to speak with Jace yet, and she knew that if she left the purave without speaking to the man her parents intended her for that her mother might have her head before the Neopuritans had the chance to take it. Although, Soph supposed she couldn’t truly be blamed if Jace hadn’t bothered to introduce himself. Technically it was Jace who should approach her, never the other way around, at least not at these traditional gatherings.

The throbbing started to subside. And Soph raised her head to look at herself in the mirror. Her mascara has become smeared by the water and most of the blush had come off her cheeks. Her eyes we blood-shot, as they always became when the headaches struck her.

She reached for a tissue and began the slow process of blotting at the make-up, trying the best she could to tame it, finally she gave up and replaced her mask, hoping it would hide most of the damage.

Soph opened the door to the bathroom and hit something. No someone, the lone wolf from earlier in the evening.

Pulling back and said “I’m sorry” aloud, two loudly as in the quite room head instinctively turned, shocked expressions on their face to see who had broken the silence of the evening and why.

Soph’s face turned beet red and ran, leaving before the man in front of her could reply, she exited through the nearest door and ended up at the rear of the house, running through the garden. She stopped after a moment. No one would be out her with her, there was nothing to run from any more. She took a deep breath and tried to stop her racing heart.

Why did I speak aloud? The question raced through her head over and over again.  That just wasn’t done in “polite” society. In this company “reflex” wasn’t an excuse either. This group saw the link as the nature way people communicated. Speaking was seen as a last resource, and never something to be used in public. The sound of a voice was jarring to them.

In the slums where Soph insisted on living talking out loud was less abnormal. Though everyone in the slums still had access to the link they didn’t view the  Neopuritans and their technology as the be all and end all that these people did. The lack of silent communication was more of a rebellion against the upper class. In this company the fact that Soph had replied aloud would mark her as suck city scum. Her parents would kill her when they found out about this. Any chance she had to marry the man of their dreams would have been swashed after this incident.

You’re over reacting. Soph tried to re-assure herself. These things happen. It will be fine. She took another deep breath. The smell of flowers, herbs and freshly cut grass filled her lungs. For a moment she felt refreshed and comforted by the smells. This was quickly replaced by shame. She had left this world behind for a reason. Either everyone should have a right to live like this or no one. The people in the cities deserved better than the air they were breathing.

Still, the fresh air in her lungs and on her skin helped to relax her. Soph decided to give into the comfortable feeling. She would return to the city soon enough and should enjoy the time she had here in whatever way she could. She decided to walk around a little and explore. Maybe if I wait a little longer they will forget about me, she hoped.

For the first time since coming out Soph took a second to look around. She was standing between the edge of an apple grove and lines of tomato plants. Just behind her she could see flowers. She thought she recognized them as roses but should not be sure. It was odd to think that something which was a part of nature was so unnatural in this day and age.

Soph walked towards the roses, if that was even what they were. As she approached their aroma filled the air surrounding her. It was a… sweet smell was the other way Soph could think of describing it. But that wasn’t quite the right word. The smell seemed to play on the gentle breeze. If you were used to it you probably wouldn’t have noticed it was there. It was shockingly mild for a flower. Yet, due to the unfamiliarity of it, the smell seemed pungent to Soph.

When she got close enough she reached out and touched one of the petals. It was softer than silk. Softer than anything she had ever laid hands on before. She went to grab the stem to pick on and suddenly felt a sharp prick in her fingers. She exhaled sharply and cursed under her breath pulling her hand way from the plant. Her index finger had a small hole in the tip of the glove she was wearing which was seeping blood. She tore off the glove to look at the finger itself.

Her skin had a small tear in it.  She lifted her finger to her mouth and sucked on it to sooth the pain while searching her clutch with her free hand for a tissue to place over the cut.

Hello” echoed through her head causing her to freeze. Someone else was out her. They must have heard her. Why on earth couldn’t she learn to keep her mouth shut.

Soph didn’t move a muscle. She didn’t reply. She hoped that whoever was out there would move on. After all who else would be out here, they would thing they were imagining things and just got away.

Soph heard footsteps. Coming from her left. She slowly backed away from the roses and into the tree line of the apple grove. With any luck they wouldn’t see her. They wouldn’t look this way. They would just walk back into the house.

From the shadows of the trees Soph saw a figure pass by where she had just been standing. They looked around as they walked but didn’t appear to see her. Soph held her breath as their eyes past over her. Praying they didn’t stop. Whoever it was kept moving.

A few moments later Soph hear the door to the house open and shut. Only then did she remember to breathe again. Her finger started pounding in pain, reminding her of what she was doing a moment ago. She continued to rifle through her clutch, found what she was looking for. Pressing the tissue around her finger and replacing her glove she headed back to the house. If someone else was out here it must mean they had been looking for her. Why else would they be out here? It wasn’t her home, she should have stayed at the party. Hopefully by now they would have forgotten about her outburst. Hopefully no one would notice the tear in her glove. Hopefully she would make it through tonight without being reported as a free-thinker. 

Saturday Night

Posted: April 23, 2014 in Creative Writing, Poetry
Tags: ,

So, I’m normally not one for poetry (writing it that is, I could read the poems of Frost, Blake and the like all day) but being as it’s “poetry month” I thought I would try my hand and this is all I could come up with. Not the most heart melting piece in the world but open honest and somewhat relatable. Enjoy.

 

I’m twenty-two, the sky is blue and there’s no end in sight,

To the world of bingeing TV shows that is my Saturday night.

My peers they are all out in bars, out looking for Mr. Right,

While my man cooks the food they eat ‘til stars are shining bright.

For me though I’ll be on the couch alone ‘til Sunday’s light,

For my love won’t be home until it’s no longer Saturday night.

Alas this is the life I choose, I’m married to a chef,

So date night falls with Monday wows, my life’s not like the rest.

Feedback welcome

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Hello Readers!

Just a general note that your thoughts, feedback and advice are more than welcome on my writing. As long as the feedback is CONSTRUCTIVE. If you notice a spelling error, let me know about it. If you think the story line is starting to drift or fall flat…TELL ME. I’m looking to improve and develop my writing as well as get attention for it. So if you see a chance for improvement let me know about it! I’ll take you feedback into consideration when I’m development, editing and updating my posts!

Also, if you are enjoying it and think things are flawless let me know that too! 🙂

Thanks in advance!

-Laura


Jace had slipped back outside into the garden. He prayed that no one had seen him come this way, especially not his mother. She would have his head if she knew that he had left the party. The talk they had at lunch was more of a lecture than a conversation. His mother, seeing his request coming, had told him that it wasn’t an option and that avoiding this would bring nothing but pain to himself and shame to the family. “Besides” his mother has stated, aloud in order to drive home her point “I’ve gone through all the trouble of inviting that Shelly girl, you will not be the end of the agreement we made with her parents. You will do your duty to his family.”

Jace has seen Sophia enter and all but ran at the sight of her. He couldn’t commit to a life he didn’t want and wouldn’t provide the girl with false hope. Who knew what conversation Sophia’s parents had with her before the party.

Among his plants he felt his breathing come easier. He could only imagine what it would have been like to live in a day where nature existed outside of this man-made context. At least, for now all he could do was imagine it.

As he walked along the garden he allowed his handed to brush against the soft leaves and rough vines of the tomato plants, rub the edge of the firm fruit, not yet ripe. He drifted further in an touched the other plants in the garden, almost slicing his finger open on the thorns of a raspberry bush, only to be greeted next by the satin soft petals of the apple blooms on the tree beside. There was something real about the natural world that was lost in the technology of today had lost. There was an unexplained warmth in the garden. An unspoken understanding that if you cared for the plants, the plants would provide for you all you truly needed.

A few of the books he had read grown up said that the wars which had brought the world to its knees were fought by technology for nature. But none of the information available in the link. In fact, the limited information that was there on the wars suggested that it was the technology of the link itself that was fought over. Suggesting that one country had been keeping this development from the rest of the world, leaving those without access to it far behind and warring amongst themselves until they decided to fight for the link and bring it to all, equalizing all the people, all the nations, bring about world peace for the first time in history. The truth probably lay somewhere in the middle, or maybe was none of the above. Histories we altered as was seen fit by the leading Neopuritans.

Other information was also in constant flux within the network. As long as the majority of the population could be persuaded to state the same thing the reference material would change to reflect the socially acceptable reality.

The perception of the masses was constantly manipulated by the reports and media updates put out by the Neopuritans, considered a reliable source to the people. They would suggest that the world was at peace and all people we equal, the masses believed and so this is what the records reflect. Somehow people were able to ignore the huge differences between the living standards in the slums and on the estates, which would be visible to the naked eye if only the people ever bothered to look around them.

The only thing in the world that didn’t lie was nature. A tomato was skill a tomato, even if the masses could be convinced it was called an apple, in the end, it would still have the look taste and feel of a tomato. They couldn’t change that, just the world’s perception of it.

A branch snapped, jerking Jace out of his thoughts and into the present moment. “Hello?” he thought, but no answer came. Jace started to make his way back to the house. If she wasn’t already his mother would be looking for him soon.


The night came more quickly than most, the day flying by in a blur of dog walks, errands and worry. Soph soon found herself back at home putting the final touches on her hair and make-up and waiting for her parent’s driver to arrive to take her to the purave. The dress looked even more alive in the night, with the light striking one area or another, lighting up a section of stars, making it look as though she was draped in a living object rather than mere silk. She started to second guess her dress decision and wished she had tried the others on.

 

Her hair was pulled back from her face and flowed down her back like a waterfall, laced together to complement the lacing on the back of the dress, courtesy of her mother’s hair dresser. The Makeup Soph has done herself, insisting on keeping it to some mascara and eye shadow, as simple as was possible given the nature of her outfit, though makeup was less than necessary considering the mask covered most of Soph’s face, only adding to the mystery which the dress created. The shoes were sitting by the door along with the gloves, both of which Soph was hoping Silver would mistake for chew toys so that she would have an excuse not to go.

 

I have arrived Miss. Shelly.” The driver’s voice drifted in.

 

I’ll be down in a moment” Soph replied as she headed to the door of her apartment, slipped on her shoes, grabbed her gloves and told a disappointed Silver to go sit so she could make it out the door.

 

Heading down the hall to the elevator she tried to think of a reason not to go. Not to suffer through another night of pointless conversations on pod sessions only to disappoint her mother once again. She didn’t want to deal with another conversation with her mom about how she would rather deal with the unknown consequences than settle for a life she didn’t want. She wanted more than to be a mother. She wanted to see what was left of the broken world they lived in.

 

Unfortunately Soph arrived at the car without a reason not to step in and was driven in utter silence to the Archer’s Property. Much like her parents property the Archer’s was a large estate, out in what used to be the countryside. These days it was just an extension of the city, the houses were father apart as the properties were larger, but each estate had several houses on it, for the extended family to live in. If her mother had her way Soph would have been living on her parent’s estate rather than in her apartment in the city. This picture-perfect life was not what Soph wanted though; she didn’t fit into this pristine untouched illusion.

 

The world was more concrete jungle than not these days. Though most of that jungle was vacant since the farms had been paved over, war and pollution had wiped out those who were already weak from starvation. The Neopuritans were now trying to re-build the world which humanity had torn apart. Part of that re-build was ensuring the populations stayed at a maintainable level, not dropping so low that the work force could no longer rebuild the broken world, not high enough that starvation war and pollution destroy us all again.

 

These estates were part of the re-build. The world was pretending that there was still nature somewhere. The air quality out here was better than in the cities, the properties were gifted to families who had done their part in the re-build as deemed by the Neopuritans. Those who hadn’t yet done their part lived in buildings like Soph’s in the cities, run down and in ruins. Unlike Soph’s the outside appearance was often better than the inside. If it wasn’t for her parents money and standing she would be much worse off.

 

Still she hadn’t earned the estate and she hated the idea that the majority of the population was forced to live in slums. Her only form of protest that wouldn’t hurt her family was to choose to live in the city to be closer to work.

 

When she had first moved in the unit was a little more than a hole in the wall with rusted out pipes, termites in the walls, faulty wiring and the only furniture was moth-eaten and at least 200 years old. Her parents had renovated the apartment without her knowledge or permission. They had also purchased her the adjoining unit so she had some space. They couldn’t understand why she would want something like this, couldn’t understand why she insisted on living like the rest when she was of privileged, not part of the Neopuritains. But if she married right she could be.

 

By the looks of the estate and the nature of the dress she was wearing she had a feeling marrying into the Neopuritains was exactly what her parents had in mind.

 

From the main gates to the main house had been close to a 15 minute drive. The house itself was more of a castle than a home or even a mansion.  As she got out of the car and approached the main doors they opened of their own accord. A female voice uttered “Welcome miss. Shelly” the Archers must have programmed the identities of their guest into the homes security system. Things out here where much more advanced than in the ruins.

 

She was thankful that the mask covered the majority of her face, hiding the disdain in her eyes as she surveyed the room. The rest of the crowd where in attire much more lavished than hers. Suddenly Soph felt dangerously under-dressed

 

She saw the other masked faces look up and scan her face before dismissing her. The point of the masquerade was to know the person not their features. But that didn’t stop the crowd from judging you based on your attire. Apparently her dress was seen as too plain or too covering. Then a spotlight flicker over Soph brought her dress to life. The illusion of the stars shot across it and a glow came off it catching a few eyes. Suddenly her welcome warmed. Damn my mother, Soph thought as the first strange voice drifted into her consciousness catching her off guard as it always did.

 

How are you this evening, Miss….?” the voice was deep and smooth.

 

Shelly, and you are?” one of Soph’s biggest pet peeves was the way everyone used the link even when they were standing right next to each other. But it was expected. In the clubs it made more sense. The link actually allowed you to hear each other over the pounding music. But here, with nothing but a quartet playing something classical in the back ground, one’s voice could just as easily be used. She wondered sometimes if anyone actually remembered how to speak aloud.

 

Daniel Chambers, charmed I’m sure” The last had a hint of sarcasm to it… or arrogance; she could never tell which in crowds like these. Half of them would have been raised with a silver spoon in their mouth and never so much as seen the ruins in pictures. Others would be of a slightly lower class attempted to partner with someone higher up, these sometimes mocked the old fashion rituals imposed by these puraves. It would be too much to hope that like her they had actually held any amount of true disdain for the way in which society had reverted.

 

It’s been a pleasure to meet you Daniel, would you excuse me for a moment?” If his tone hadn’t been sarcastic Soph’s certainly was. She scurried off into the crowd hoping that whoever this voice was drifting from would assume she had headed off to join a friend of use the powder room and give her a moment or two of peace.

 

The room was buzzing yet silent at the same time. Everyone had connected into a public link when entering the room so you could hear snippets of other people’s conversations was you drifted by. One group or another, it was meant to mimic the way in which the conversation in a party would actually sound and force intimacy, if you didn’t want your conversation overheard you needed to be out of the personal sphere of the other guests. Yet despite the buzzing in her head the only sound which came in by her ears was the shuffling of feet and fabric and the music playing softly in the back ground. It was eerie. A sensation which she had never fully gotten used to and part of why she hated events like these.

 

While in the area of the public link the only people able to connect with you were those in the room, so at least Soph could take some solace in the fact that her mother wouldn’t be able to barge in and question her until the night was at an end. But the constant clamber in a quiet room was unnerving.

 

As she approached the refreshments table she noticed one of the other guests watching her. Grabbing a cup of punch she noticed another guest watching her. He was wearing a simple mask black tux and standing apart from the rest of the crowd. She wondered for an instant why he too was standing alone. No sooner did the thought cross her mind than did he realize she was looking and disappear into the crowd.

 

And you are?” popped into Soph’s head. She turned to face the man now talking to her and forgot about the lone wolf.

 


Out in the garden was one of the few places that Jace had ever felt safe. There was something about being around what his parents referred to as ‘nature’ that made him feel at peace. This was not the nature he wanted to be around. He longed for the forest and jungles that no longer existed in anything but the history books. Something that the Neopuritans were allegedly trying to rebuild. Something that Jace knew, unfortunately, was not true.

His father was a member of the Environmental Development Agency, a role he was granted for being a descended from one of the original founders of the Neopuritan party. The Neopuritans pretended to be a democracy but the reality was that it worked much more like a monarchy: the people had too much “respect” for the founding families to ever run against them our vote them out and the elections were more for moral and show than any actual say. Due to his father’s role Jace knew more about the real plans that had been made for this world than he wanted to. They were plans that he couldn’t agree with. His father’s shoes were not ones he was about to fill.

Jace picked a couple of ripe tomatoes off of the vine to use for lunch, and headed back inside. His mother told him that she wanted to chat over lunch this morning. He had a feeling this had to do with his lack of finding a suitable mate, another role which he was expected to fill which he had no desire to. After all if he were to marry he would have a family to provide for. He would not be able to avoid taking on the role his father had waiting for him. There would be no rocking the boat after that. No ability to make change. Not that he had much of a chance of making change anyways, but at least without a family his life would be the only on effected by his trying.

Opening the door to the kitchen Jace was greeted by the rush of the help getting ready for the purave that his parents were hosting tonight, the purave at which they fully intended to have him marry the woman of their dreams. He made his way to the far end by the only stove that wasn’t in use and grabbed everything he needed to start the heirloom tomato tarts he was making in the attempt to lessen his mother’s wrath.

Dicing the tomatoes and onions he thought about the plan of attack for the conversation with his mother. He didn’t want to get her hopes up for tonight but he wasn’t about to marry any of the girls his mother was inviting. But telling her that would break her. Unlike most of the population his family knew what the punishments were. What his mom didn’t realize was that the punishment was exactly what he needed to make changes in this world.