Author Spotlight:
Avatar for Lena TaoLena Tao (9)
Hi! I've just returned to this site in order to refine my writing skills which I currently am lacking of quite a bit (or a lot). I hope that by returning, I will devote more of my free time towards writing, whether it be poetry or fantasy or whatnot. Constructive feedback is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing any suggestions and/or tips. Thank you very much! A bit about me, I'm very interested in the Arts, including Visual Arts and ......

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery"

-Jane Austen

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Click to Preview Take One Take One
Take One

Alright! Welcome to the book, so glad you could make it! Tonight's show is entitled The Tested Love of Lorena and Bartholomew, or something less ridiculous. I'm sure we'll figure it out in the second draft. So! Without any further ado, let's get this show on the road! LIGHTS!! The sun shines on a quaint little hamlet. See the thatched roofs and the ox-drawn cart? Adorable. CAMERA!! We zoom in on the little town, closer and closer. Focus on a simple wooden barn, down through a hole in the ceiling and onto a young, bare-footed man. He gazes up at the lazily moving clouds through the slits in the ceiling. This is Bartholomew, one of the titular characters of this piece and I assure a remarkable performer. ACTION!! "Ay me! How cruel are the gods to torment me thus! For what sin am I facing such fierce vengeance? My truest love, betrothed against her will, and in mere hours she will be wed to that barbarous dog, Earl Rochester!&...

Click to Preview What a Horse! What a Horse!
What a Horse!

Once upon a time, a horse walked into a bar and the bartender said, “Why the long face?” The horse just stared at him with large, glossy black eyes. THIS IS NO TIME FOR YOUR LIGHT-HEARTED RACISM, TOM. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. THERE IS SOMETHING I NEED YOU TO DO. WILL YOU HELP ME? The voice came from deep within Tom’s mind. From someplace dark and primitive, ancient and forgotten. He did not break eye contact with the horse. He probably couldn't’t even if he wanted to. That voice was undeniable, whatever it wanted it would have. No matter the cost, he would help that horse. Not trusting his own voice, Tom simply nodded. THIS IS YOUR MOMENT, TOM, the voice echoed. THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO DO. Tom’s heart began to race. This was his moment! He had been waiting his entire life for this. This was his purpose! WHISKEY, NEAT. A twenty appeared on the bar and slid towards him. A crushing sensation crashed through his body. He turned to grab a glass, feeling co...

Click to Preview London Rain London Rain
London Rain

The drops smashed my window, each one with a purposeful, muted thud. I drew back my sheer curtains and peered outside. Instinctively I clutched my tan arms as I surveyed the thick, dark clouds that loomed over London. Everything seemed so distant and hazy. The heater hadn’t turned on yet, and I paced around the creaky oak flooring until warm air began to spew into my room through the metal ventilators. I thought over my earlier decision to step out of my apartment complex and came to the ultimate conclusion that I needed to finish my business. Tonight is it, I realized with a startling jolt. It wasn’t long until I slipped on a heavy overcoat and boots. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to move in the unforgiving weather, but what needed to be done had to be accomplished. I sucked in the crisp air deeply into my lungs. I set my feet onto the wet cement and treaded down the road. There was something about the rain that brought memories rushing back to me… I shook m...

Click to Preview Into the Black Into the Black
Into the Black

Life is a war. No matter how you live, you will encounter battle. If you're lucky, There will be victories too. But they are far and few between. You may grow old, And remember those that did not. No matter how old you get, you'll discover, that you are never too old to fight. You can't win this war. But you can push forward. So that when you fall, someone can take your place. You may try to live in peace. And you might For awhile. But those around you are fighting. And the danger is growing closer. You may run, but be warned As soon as you turn the target on your back grows Tenfold. You must fight. You must bury your loses and march forward. Into the black. Make Your Life Known Let your voice be heard Shout your battle cry and plunge into the black. You can't escape with your life and you can't take anything with you. But you can leave it behind. And it will be known by those you left And they will know th...

Click to Preview Dreamfield Dreamfield

He hated his boss, ‘hated’ her. He always felt oppressed in his job, psychologically bullied because she simply took a dislike to him. He seemed to be the type of person whom, to her, was instantly dislikeable. It was not her who had hired him, so she had no choice but to accept him as an employee. He wondered if she was trying to find a way to dismiss him, but then thought that perhaps she enjoyed tormenting him because he let her get away with it. He had to he supposed, or she probably would sack him. Maybe she was frustrated because he never gave her a reason to dismiss him. As a health records clerk, his job did not warrant excitement. In fact, nodding an acknowledgement to the student nurses who he came by was as exciting as it got. He hated it, and he hated Miss Barbara Deacon. Miss. 57 years old, and married to her job. He knew that she had never had a man in her life. Probably just as well he thought. Any poor wretch who had been caught in her web was bound to have ended...

Click to Preview Looking for Georgia - Part One Looking for Georgia - Part One
Looking for Georgia - Part One

Duke was losing. Thank the Lord. Trying to ignore the thirst brought on by the Budweiser commercial, Kip crumpled up the bag of Chex Mix and cracked his toe knuckles. His feet were cold in these indecently thin socks. They were about as useless as everything else in this dump. Where the empty chip bags ended, the Chinese take-out boxes began. You couldn’t even see half the old files littering up the battered footlocker Kip was currently using as a coffee table/foot rest combo. It was symbolic, his inner cynic hissed, of how useless he was – an unemployed private investigator. Say what you like about Grandpa Dave, thought Kip, but the old geezer had perfect timing when it came to kicking the bucket. The inheritance money was the only thing keeping Kip from joining the huddles masses of the Big Apple, scratching out Mozart on a dusty viola for a two-dollar burrito. It wasn’t his charming Aryan curls and cheekbones; that’s for sure. The baseball bat living under his pillow for eight ye...

Click to Preview September 2013 September 2013
September 2013

September 2013 Her umbrella was difficult to miss – lime green in a sea of black – her sleek, slimming raincoat was the exact color of a bluebird’s wing and her galoshes the brightest amethyst purple. I reached down into my diaphragm and called out her name, blinking rain out of my eyes. She looked over her shoulder, just for a moment, and as the wide, blue eyes met my brown, it was as though we were connected for half a second, and she knew who I was. With a whip of her long dirty blonde waves, she disappeared behind a group of tourists, high school students on Spring Break no doubt in their cheap bright-colored plastic ponchos purchased from a street seller who knew just whom and when to strike a bargain, struggling to open their flimsy black umbrellas in the hopes of minimizing the deluge. When the last of the adult chaperones had brought up the rear, she was gone. Just once I’d started thinking I’d lost her for good, and that I’d have to drudge back to the hotel soaked to the bo...

Click to Preview Darkling Quest - Prologue Darkling Quest - Prologue
Darkling Quest - Prologue

The world is flat. That’s what they taught us. All children of the planet Ea heard the story from their cradles. But I’m not going to tell it to you now. It’s a long and complicated one, and full of boring complicated terms you won’t even remember. The short of it is: “Once, the world was a gigantic sphere, but it was cut in half, and now it is flat. The end.” The story that I am going to tell you, however, has more to do with events that took place after the world became flat. Maybe someday you can come find me again and I’ll tell you the rest. Now, you logical, rational, scientific types are probably muttering amongst yourselves at this moment, and your mutterings most likely fall along the lines of “If the world was cut in half and is now flat, what happened to the atmosphere? If the North Pole got cut off, what about the South Pole? How does that fit in?” For crying out loud, there doesn’t need to be a logical answer to everything! But I’ll do my best to explain anyways. Think o...

Click to Preview Bring Me the Forest Again Bring Me the Forest Again
Bring Me the Forest Again

Tycho International Station was bustling with activity. The low hum emanating from the sleek silvery pods tinted in an array of hues undercut the whisper of legs under robes and cloaks swishing over the platform, and the voices of venders split the air like the calls of birds. As she watched from her perch crouched atop an abandoned crate, Livia felt the last four years, eight months, and thirteen days wash over her; shuddering through every bone in her body. Though normal height for a girl from Fiera, Livia towered over the Tycho women scattered around her on the platform. All the better that she was dressed like a Tycho boy. A boy by the name of Leo, whose name was on the stolen passport sitting in a pocket of her robes, who was currently six feet under in a hastily dug grave in Yuval. In addition to binding her breasts, Livia had gone so far as to put together an apparatus that allowed her to use a urinal without too much difficulty, albeit a bit painfully. The only dang...

Click to Preview I will write you everyday ... I will write you everyday ...
I will write you everyday ...

[Prologue] With a recent purchase of antique postcards from the 1910 period I had the privilege of sharing a month's time of a real person's life as he left his home and love ones in Missouri coming to the west coast - California to work and explore. I hope you'll enjoy following the correspondence as our central figure delivered on his promise of writing everyday back home filling in candid details of his daily encounters and routines. Due to the fading of time certain words were not legible and I made my best attempt to guess the person's intention via the context. ... And now "I'll write you everyday" ......

Click to Preview Academy Guardian Academy Guardian
Academy Guardian

I snapped awake. The last words I told my dad in my nightmare left me speechless, not even breath for panting as I sat upright in bed, drenched in sweat. The morning light caressed my face as the tears slid down my cheeks. A rush of relief overcame me as I recognized the familiar faces of my parents in the bed beside mine. I threw the blanket gently to the left and slid out of the medium-sized bed, crossing over the grey carpet to the open balcony. The village was still asleep. Gentle snores continued behind me as I watched the blue in the melt into the streaks of orange that crept into the horizon. It was one of the enduring moments that made me realize that life would never be the same. It reminded me of a fear worse than death itself: that I had not loved enough, leading up to anything's disappearance. My colleagues, my treasures, my family, myself. But I would all too soon leave them all behind. When the vacation was over, I would find myself packing up a...

Click to Preview An Eye for an Eye An Eye for an Eye
An Eye for an Eye

The pilot grinned behind his oxygen mask. His P-51 Mustang was the greatest fighter aircraft of the Army Air Forces, the Allies had pushed into Belgium, and the end of the war was in sight. There was nothing not to smile about. The leader of a two-ship formation, he guided his mighty fighter over the German Alps, marveling at the snow covered peaks and crevices of the incredible mountain range. The Alps were a sight he, a farm boy hailing from Tennessee, could have only dreamed of prior to the war. "Bandits, twelve o' clock high!" his wingman called over the radio. The pilot shielded his eyes from the sun, looking upwards at the sky above him. Surely enough, a pair of German Focke Wulf 190s were sitting at high alpha, rocking their wings to signal an attack. "I see 'em, I'm taking the one on the right!" He pulled his Mustang into a sharp climb, feeling the 1,290 horsepower Merlin engine purr under the sudden stress. Gazing into th...

Click to Preview His Final Embrace His Final Embrace
His Final Embrace

I still remember the first day I saw him. He was like the rest of them, painted with a look of nervous anticipation and thinly veiled fear. The expression was illuminated by the soft rays of early autumn sunlight, whose particles waltzed gracefully through the row of opaque windows high above. Battling with the iridescent glow of the half-activated electric illumination, the sunlight fell like rain to the tiled white linoleum floor, throwing up fuzzy displays of dusty sparks. In that sea of sparks were his feet, shuffling behind a whirling cloud of Converses and Vans, of Nikes and Adidases. His feet stepped slowly and hesitantly, stopping periodically to let the cloud release a few wisps; one time it was of sandals fighting with linoleum, another time it was of unbranded sports shoes gliding seamlessly into the distance. For a moment, I could not see him. But that was because I wasn’t looking for him yet. At the time, he was simply part of the cloud, a wisp of cumulus hidin...

Click to Preview All Along the Watchtower All Along the Watchtower
All Along the Watchtower

“Hey mom, it’s fine. These thirteen months are going to pass by so quickly, it’ll be like I was never gone,” he said, lifting the olive green canvas military duffle bag over his shoulder. The boy was young, freshly graduated from high school and eager to serve his country. War had never seemed so tangible. Seeing an escalation of action in Southeast Asia over the past four years, the boy had watched a nation destroy itself through grainy televised imagery and listened to its pleas for help on the radio. He swung open the door of his father’s truck and hopped into the passenger seat, taking a whiff of the cool Southern summer afternoon. His last recollection of home was through the rear window, a solemn sight of his mother and younger siblings reluctantly seeing him off to war. “Get your face off the ground and return fire!” The boy opened his eyes. Suddenly, his mind was no longer in a quiet rural farm town, but in foreign rice paddies, knee-deep in manure and taking fire from en...

Click to Preview Sunflowers For Lucy Sunflowers For Lucy
Sunflowers For Lucy

CHAPTER ONE The corner of his mouth drew upwards toward the dark circles that surrounded his hazel eyes, while the man opposite him attempted to do the exact thing, staring, blankly, with what many people would call a smile on his face. A faint laugh escaped through the smile, but Kyle had no idea why he was laughing. Nothing made him laugh anymore. Not his favorite show, not the way Aunt Millie used to practically wobble around the table at family gatherings as she tried to get to her fifth piece of pie, and certainly not Lucy’s laugh…not anymore. When she laughed, it seemed to fill the room with warmth. Sunlight seemed to radiate from her eyes as if it came, not from the sun, but, instead, from her soul. There was nothing to be laughing about; not after the accident. Memories of her came floating back to him and suddenly he found himself no longer laughing, but crying. The warm tears sprung up from the well in his chest and flowed down his cheeks in steady streams. He never cried...

Click to Preview Mr Clement Mr Clement
Mr Clement

“I still don’t see why it takes two of us to stand here. I mean, it’s not as if they’re queuing up to get in, and it’s only half eleven. Another three hours of this? And I’m bloody roasting. Why I have to wear a suit I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll stick this out for much longer” Lee Griffiths said, sighing in frustration and looking along the pavement in both directions as if contemplating his chances of simply making a run for it. His chances were good, excellent in fact. His colleague, he guessed wouldn’t have bothered to give chase, as there was probably no point. They were both bouncers, stood outside a wine bar in a pleasant district of the main city, where apartments and properties were in the expensive price ranges, so many bars and restaurants competed for business around the same, small area which was almost one mile square. Lee was 39 years of age, had had six years as a royal marine, before leaving for home, disillusioned with army life. He had returned to his school f...

Click to Preview Being 24 Hours Being 24 Hours
Being 24 Hours

In many eyes, I am a cheap package of cigarettes A nicotine of being wasted and toxic I am the face of innocence But deeply tainted by reality and logic The sap of a sucker waiting to get ripped off By the low-product of fattening calories Unemployed and broken by the social system I am the frozen statue of California's art galleries Born to be twenty-four hours, while the rest was born to be nine to five slaves Then there are ticket babies raised by parents in welfare By my birth record, I am the suburban white Caucasian That gets wasted at the Oakland underground raves My conscience is an LSD and my emotion is a smuggling heroin I'm just a third-wheel of the party, that always get the leftovers But don't really care If I get screwed by such denouement Outsiders will never witness me in a hangover Ever since I hit the big leagues of 21, I've been a dropout from the enslavement of "normality" I despise my existenc...

Click to Preview Clover Crest Clover Crest
Clover Crest

You know what they say about people who have too much. They sit on top of their money. They hoard it. They nit-pick and stingily hand it out as if the green crisp scent of dollar bills were meant to be sat on, begrudgingly given, and only used to pay for personal luxuries. In other words, selfishness. And that's the strange thing - I can make cupcakes appear in my hand but I can't make something USEFUL like money appear out of thin air. I flick my fingers out and pop! A green frosted red velvet cupcake appears in the palm of my hand. I squish it and feel the spongy texture of the baked batter and watch the colored whipped cream ooze through my fingers. I flick my fingers out again and a sprinkled cookie is conjured. My hands are clean. Is this the extent of my magic? Snacks? I concentrate and envision a perfect fried slice of potato with sour cream and onion flavoring. I close my eyes, flick my hand open, and nothing's there. No, it wou...

Click to Preview Game over Game over
Game over

The word divorce was becoming more and more frequent in his mind, as though pervading his consciousness like an unwelcome image, which to Neil Parker, it was. He had just ended a phone conversation with his wife. It was basically an argument over how much she was spending. It was quite petty really, considering it was simply about buying extra food for their dog. Neil had said they didn’t need it, as there was plenty to last until pay day. No, she insisted, it can never have enough. It was a spiralling argument in the fact that their voices grew louder and louder until she had cut him off, leaving Neil sat in the car with an angry red face, clutching the steering wheel tightly after the link had been severed. He had pulled over to the kerb to take the call, and still sat there, his thoughts twisting and turning in disorder, but reaching the conclusion that he did not want to go home just yet, did not want to face her, as home was where he had been heading when he had received...

Click to Preview Who I am Who I am
Who I am

My name is Sharon Hazel. I am 25 years old, student of fashion design at Tameside college. I am five feet two inches, and whilst I am no glamorous model I do consider myself to be at least halfway attractive. I enjoy rhythm and blues music, and once a week attend a line-dancing class. I like romantic comedy films, but I also like the occasional horror. I don’t read books, but read gossip magazines. I live with my boyfriend of six months, Martin Fraser, a student of business finance and investment in the same college, and he’s wetter than soaking sponge. A reedy individual in an almost handsome kind of way. It is to my almost shame that it was me who pursued him. There was no problem landing him of course, but a woman likes man’s man, who can be coarse, rough, uncouth, yet be loving and tender as well. Even out at night, should we run into trouble, I am sure it would be him hiding behind me, but, until Mr Right comes along, I shall persist. He can do the loving and tender part to a...

Click to Preview The poisoned cradle The poisoned cradle
The poisoned cradle

A weekend in the Lake district sounded like a reasonable suggestion, but James Morton and his wife, along with their two daughters found it to be quite an ordeal, as their simmering, disordered marriage had only lasted for four months, and already the cracks were beginning to show. They had been together for eight years, and throughout that time had split up five times, yet, somehow they ended up together, and a whole year had passed without any ructions, resulting in James’s proposal of marriage, but soon after, arguments began to punctuate their relationship, and at one point they agreed to the stay together, ‘for the kids’, but it was more than that. Neither of them wanted to risk leaving their comfort zone, and venture out into the lonely world of singledom. So arguments became more and more frequent, and James slept on the couch more and more often. He had suggested a trip to the Lake district, as the fresh air and change of scenery might do them all good, and maybe it did, but it...

Click to Preview Unbounded Journey Unbounded Journey
Unbounded Journey

In my past, I’ve had my falls And I have lived through many troubles And there are times when duty calls And then the pain seems that it doubles And then I fall into despair Because I know my strength is wanting And then I feel, without a care, That in my mind, a Voice is haunting But then one day, when I’m distraught And so confused, my head is spinning, That Voice takes part in my deep thought It says, “this is just the beginning” I am lost, and not yet found I’m on a path without bound But this journey You give I will take Because You know what’s best for my sake “But have you hope,” the Voice goes on “For in these times, I will be with you And in your heart, new light will dawn Upon a gate you will go in through “By a new path, you will abide Until its end, it will be taken But fear you not; I’m at your side Be sure your faith will not be shaken” “Do not get lost in what is past If all it brings is pain and sorrow Just make amends, and th...

Click to Preview Voices Voices
[Thriller, Horror]

It’s a demon, he thought. It has to be. For the past week, he had had migraine-like headaches which he believed was a supernatural occurrence. This spirit, had gained entry to his mind, and now it wanted to get out, but it couldn’t, so banged away at his skull in an attempt to find an exit, rather like a spider in a bath, unaware of the plughole from which it came. He took all the pills he could without overdosing, but they didn’t work. He tried to convince himself that the voice inside was his own conscience, but concluded that a demon had taken over, and demanded to be let out. It didn’t possess him enough to control his actions, but it still resided in his mind. That was according to him, anyway. He was susceptible to believing in such issues. Sometimes demons took human form and committed heinous acts of criminality. Sometimes they possessed people and controlled their actions, but the one inside Ian Morton seemed to be a novice. Perhaps this was its first possession, or it cha...

Click to Preview My Friend Named Music My Friend Named Music
My Friend Named Music

On a Sunday night while I'm sitting in front of my computer finishing the assignment for Monday, Music is by my side. She's there as well when I'm feeling, and there when I'm in a pain that pain-killers can't ease. A long silent car ride would have seemed like an eternity if Music didn't come along. Music holds my hand and embraces me when there's no one else. I don't have to tell Music what's wrong; she already knows when I come to find her. She's a friend with many traits, a friend I love introducing to others. Music is always with me, when the times are tough, and helps those times fly quickly. Music reminds me daily so that I can never forget I'm alive. Life can feel so bland, so plain and insignificant, like blank music sheets. Yet she fills the sheets with a set of quarter notes, eighth notes, here, there. I'm always content when she uses flat notes and sharp notes,...

Click to Preview Symphony of Nature Symphony of Nature
Symphony of Nature

I stood one day and raised my gaze From off the crystal ground Behold, a sight that would amaze A sight, and how profound! A fleet of flakes was shone upon By rays of winter sun The fleet shone as it swirled along The separate flakes were one The forms of all were of their own Unique, though were their roles Just as a trumpet plays a tone While other parts unfold The symphony of nature plays Such music mixed with song One can't but stare as he delays The path he walks along ...