Monday, November 30, 2009

Contest Alert!

Two to Write is hosting its first contest!!

There are several ways to enter to win great prizes.

Leave a comment on our work at livejournal, facebook, twitter, or blogspot.
Each comment earns you an entry. (Hint: You can earn an easy entry by simply replying to this post.)

Refer people to follow Two to Write on livejournal, facebook, twitter, or blogspot.
Make sure they comment that you referred them!
For each person you refer, you’ll earn an entry.

Spread the word about Two to Write or this contest.
Leave a link on this post to where you spread the word.
Each place/time you spread the word, you’ll earn an entry.

*Blogspot allows you to leave a comment without being a member of Blogger.

The Prizes
Grand Prize:
Bag filled with goodies (picture to come)
Feedback on 4000 words of your writing
Custom web graphic

Prize 1:
Feedback on 3000 words of your writing
Custom web graphic

Prize 2:
Feedback on 2000 words of your writing
Custom web graphic

Prize 3:
Feedback on 2000 words of your writing
Custom web graphic

Additional prizes will be added for the following:
- When we reach 25 followers on Blogger.
- 25 comments posted in December
- 50 comments posted in December
- 75 comments posted in December
- 100 comments posted in December

Start Date: December 1, 2009 (12:00 am EST)
End Date: December 31, 2009 (11:59 am EST)

Winners will be announced during the first week of January.

Good luck!!

Questions? Just ask!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 3

My head was spinning, my pulse was racing, and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. In fact, it was pretty much the only thing that I could hear at all. My other senses were completely gone. And then, it occurred to me that Drew had gotten through this before. He had been there and he had survived Sikal.

I had to pick myself back up off the floor. When I had realized that he had won, I collapsed. With a goal in mind, I approached my apartment door. Fumbling, I tried to keep my hand steady and get the key into the slot. The first key was obviously the wrong one; it only fit halfway into the hole before it got jammed. I tried a second one and had no luck with it either. I cursed myself, knowing that I should be able to easily identify the key to my own apartment. That’s the trouble with keys though; most of them look exactly the same. After about only four different keys, I gave up and kicked the door in. I was too frustrated to take time for procedures.

Ignoring the clock screaming at me that it was already 3:30 in the morning, I dialed Drew’s number. It was late and I would wake him, but it was too important of an issue to just wait until morning.

“Hi.” Drew said as he picked up on his end. “He beat you, didn’t he?”

“How do you know I’m not calling to say that I beat him? That I lasted out the entire time length?” I demanded, annoyed by his assumption.

“Because you still have twelve minutes before your time would be up.” Drew explained rationally.

“Oh. Well, maybe I just needed support through the last stretch.” I suggested, but he wasn’t buying it.

“The last fifteen minutes are the easiest,” He explained. “That’s when most people start doing their victory dance because they know they’ve won. They know they’ll get to keep their soul.”

His reference to my lost soul hit home. He was pointing out what I’d lost. I felt the water droplets starting to form in the corners of my eyes. I vowed that I wasn’t going to get emotional about this again.

“Hey? You still there?” Drew asked, concerned by my unusual silence. “Did you want to talk about it?”

“Didn’t I wake you?” I inquired, trying not to sniffle and give myself away.

“Nope. I was expecting a phone call, so I was up.”

“Oh.” I said surprised. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow when I get my coffee then.”

“What?” Drew commented, laughing.

“I don’t want to tie up your line.” I tried explaining to him.

“I was expecting you to call. You are one complex woman.” He told me and I found that I was smiling despite my state of mind.

“I’m doing my best at it.” I told him and then began explaining what had happened within the last two and a half hours of my life. Drew was silent during the entire story, only making the occasional grunt to remark on a classic Sikal move or a random “mmhmm” to let me know that he was still listening. When I thought I had finished my story and was getting ready to move on and complain about having my soul taken tomorrow, he interrupted me.

“Wait a minute.” His voice seemed hopeful, but that might have just been my wishful thinking.


“I might have found a loophole for you.” He explained as the static cracked in my receiver.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 2

Suddenly, a piercing scream erupted through the night. I dashed over and threw up my window. Sticking my head out, I could see a massive ball of fire just as it exploded on a car in the alley below.

“What the hell just happened?” I mused aloud.

“Looks like a tragedy.” I heard a cynical voice behind me.

“You!” I felt my eyes widen as I spun around to face him. “You did this?”

“Things happen.” He replied shortly.

“That’s not, you can’t just, innocent people are not –” I was trying to reason with a madman; not even a madman. I was trying to reason with pure, untainted evil. “I will not let this happen.”

Throwing open my apartment door, I made a mad-dash down ten flights of stairs and then jumped over the banister for the last flight. I tore open the door to the building and ran out into the alley, prepared for the worse.

Inside the flaming car, a young boy was screaming and pulling on the door handle. Stupid child locks, I muttered to myself, recalling other horror stories I’d heard about those things when I was younger.

Raising both of my hands into the air, I drew on the forces of wind and water. I intended to use the wind to create a vortex which would suck the oxygen out of the area, thus killing the flame. Just as humans require oxygen to survive, so do some types of fire. The water would put the fire out where the vortex failed. Just as a giant vortex formed around the car, the vehicle disappeared into the night sky without leaving a single trace behind. I was mystified.

And then I was pissed. The whole thing had been an illusion; a mirage of sorts created by him. Created by the demonlord that was probably laughing as I recalled the magic I’d used to create the vortex and annihilated the approaching storm. Looking up, I saw a figure standing in the window against the white light. Contrasting with the fluorescent glow, the demonlord was a menacing blackness, but none of that mattered anymore. He had won and now he would be coming to claim my soul. I felt cheated, but what was worse, I felt disappointed in myself. I had let the enemy win.

Meeting me in the front lobby, Sikal said, “Game. Set. Match. I win. Checkmate. Whatever it is you pathetic mortals say when you defeat someone.”

“You cheated.” I protested.

“And?” He inquired.

“Nevermind.” I told him seething and headed for my apartment.

“You’ve got twelve hours and then I’ll come for your soul.” He smiled in his own sickening way like he was laughing at a private joke. “Just so you know.”

“I look forward to it.” I spit and he actually recoiled slightly, in surprise.

With that he disappeared and I was left alone with my thoughts. If only I had held out two more hours, if only I had called for help instead of trying to deal with that problem by myself, if only I had never started magic in the first place, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Of course, all of the ‘if onlys’ in the world were not going to get me out of this situation, but I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. With only twelve hours left, what was I supposed to do? My soul had a timer on it that would go off like a bomb when he came to pick up his collections.
Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 1

I only had to make it through the next twelve hours and thirty two minutes. If I could go that long without using my magic, I would get to keep my soul. That was the deal. He told me if I could make it through the next twenty four hours without casting a spell or using any of my natural magic, then I could keep my soul and practice magic without consequence. Twelve and a half hours had never seemed so long before.

“I don’t understand what the big deal is.” I told my friend Drew at the coffee counter six hours later. In reality, Drew isn’t so much a friend as an acquaintance from my stops at the Coffee Shack. Actually, he’s more just a fellow practitioner of magic. I don’t know anything about Drew aside from the fact that he too practices magic as a mere mortal. I only know that much because I witnessed him using his magic out back in the alley to save a cat that was about to be hit by the garbage truck. Afterwards, he cussed at the cat and told it to get away, but he saved it.

“There is no big deal. It’s just what he does. As the demonlord of mortal magic, he can get away with it. Just don’t use your magic.” Shrugging, Drew prepared my usual – a Mocha Latte.

“But I’ve only ever used my magic to help people.” I protested a little too loudly and Drew put his forefinger to his lips, indicating that I should be quieter.

“Do you want to expose us both?” He demanded harshly.

“I’m sorry.” I said taking my drink and placing money on the counter. “I’m just freaking out here. What will I do if –”

“You will do what you always do because nothing is going to happen.” Grabbing my hand, Drew turns it over in his and replaces my money in my fist. “Not today you don’t.”

Sighing dejectedly, I shrugged and made my way through the crowded building. Successfully avoiding any mishaps involving spilt coffee, I exited the Coffee Shack and continued down the street toward my less than mediocre job. I couldn’t even remember how I had started working as a telemarketer. I hated having to call and harass people and they explicitly displayed their hatred at receiving my calls. At least it was a job though and it paid the bills.

At work, I redirected my yearning to use magic toward making phone calls. That day, I made more phone calls than I typically make in a week. There I was, minding my own business and trying to keep myself distracted and, because of my unusual productivity, my boss thought I was sick and sent me home. I could’ve sworn I was doomed to lose my soul.

By the time I had gotten home, I only had three and a half hours left. I made a couple stops on the way home to avoid being all alone with myself and the temptation of magic. I opened my apartment door and stood face to face with Sikal.

“I haven’t used my magic at all.” I immediately began defending myself.

“Not yet.” He arrogantly retorted, “But you will.”

“In the next three hours?” I challenged. “Not likely.”

Smirking, I slid past him into my apartment and turned on the lights. Demonlords might be able to see through pitch blackness, but my mortal eyes could not. Sikal followed me around my apartment, snickering and grunting at my actions. Standing there, feeling superior he breathed down my neck as I rinsed dishes and prepared to load the dishwasher.

“Can I help you?” I asked spinning around to face him. His five inch height advantage had me looking up to meet his stare.

“I’m just waiting.” He said with a completely blank face and then flashed an instantaneous smile.

“Waiting for what?” I demanded, suspecting that he was up to no good.

“Nothing in particular.” He informed me scrunching his nose as one side of his mouth pulled up into a twisted grin.

“Fine. Then stay out of my way.” I pushed past him and into the living room.

Plopping down on my couch, I flipped one of the pillows and stuck it behind me for support. With a lumpy couch, I found it was best to use the pillows to provide padding where it originally would have been. Stabbing the remote button, I turned on the television which hissed and snapped before a small puff of smoke flew up behind it. Cursing, I crossed the cold bare floor of the room and looked behind the set. Whatever had gone wrong with the electronic was probably an internal breakdown resulting from age; there were no visible signs of ruin. Resolved to my own despair, I journeyed down the hallway into the one bedroom. I sank onto the cool bed and prayed that the books continued to prop up the bottom left corner. Lifting and kicking the blanket straight, I laid back onto the flat pillow. Pulling the remaining cotton shreds up and over my body, my legs curled in toward my heaving chest. Sobbing, I let the flood begin and knew I’d lost the battle. I would give in to temptation and I would end up selling my soul to a demonlord.

“I’m winning.” He said, feeling my weakness.

“Bite me.” I snapped.

His deep thunderous laugh echoed through my apartment and I shivered. It wasn’t just the cold air chilling my bones, I was scared now. More scared than I had been in years. Drew had warned me about all of this when I told him I had started using magic. He hadn’t told me it would be this addicting though.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.