Tag Archives: #whoretip

What it Seems by Dalia Lance

For Dani, who usually wears a smile.

She was a very unusual woman… or else a really good drag queen.

Frank thought it might be her height, or how broad her shoulders were. Or maybe it was the fact that she always wore make-up as if she were appearing in a show in Vegas.

He could never put his finger on exactly what it was about her that had him so confused. However, there was one thing he knew more than anything else… He was infatuated with Darla.

That was the name she had given him the first night they met at the bar. She was sitting at the bar, but her stool was facing out. She was watching all of the people with fascination, whether they were playing a game of pool or darts or simply chatting with friends. There were even a few customers that seemed to be having a hard time keeping their hands off each other.

No matter what the interaction, Darla would watch and sometimes a slow smile would creep across her face. Frank found himself watching her for several minutes until she finally turned her gaze to him.

Darla looked him dead in the eyes and winked. He turned away, quickly embarrassed. He didn’t know why he felt this way, but his cheeks warmed and he took a long drink before daring to turn and steal a glance at Darla again.

When he timidly turned his head, he was surprised to see Darla was still looking his way, this time with more of a smirk than a smile.

Darla said, “I am going to start charging if you keep staring.” Her voice was deep and sultry. Not giving away anything. “You gonna buy me a drink or are you going to keep pretending you can look away?”

Darla was bold. He liked that.

He bought the next couple of rounds of drinks. Darla liked a 7 & 7; it gave nothing away. He found out that Darla was guarded about some personal details. Darla loved cats and hated dogs. Darla used to smoke but now couldn’t stand the taste and Darla let Frank talk about anything he wanted to and Darla just listened.

He came back the next week with the hopes of meeting up with Darla again. He hadn’t gotten a number.

Four weeks later, he arrived again on Friday night. Darla was there

Darla always wore a dress that revealed a little but not enough.

Frank took a deep breath; he would have to do it now or lose his nerve.

He walked up to Darla, and before anything else could be said, he blurted out, “Darla, I want to take you out for a real date.” He had said it. He took another deep breath, awaiting the reaction. Darla looked at him a little puzzled and then said, “I didn’t think I was your type Frank.”

Frank stood there next to this beautiful creature and said the only thing he could think of: “Is that a yes?”

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Great Things by Nicole Dragonbeck

For Kat Tozer – see, that wasn’t so hard was it 😉

There was too much pressure…I tried, and nothing.

Jon couldn’t believe it. He blinked and looked around, hoping to see the telltale sparks, or the golden egg he had thought he was conjuring. He had practiced this spell for weeks before the Trial. Jon hung his head, hands still held out in the spellcasting position. He lowered them slowly, and clenched them into fists at his side.

The Masters mumbled among themselves and shuffled papers, peering over different colored glasses.

“Was that it?” the Master on the far left asked.

“Um…yeah,” Jon said. “No! I mean, no. I wasn’t trying to do that.”

“And what were you trying to do, exaclty?” another Master asked.

“Uh…well, I was trying to…” Jon trailed off. What was he supposed to tell them.

“Well, mister, uh…” the Head Master paused, looking down at the paper he held in his hand, searching for a name. “Mr. Ryan, thank you for coming for the Trial, we’ll consider your application to this highly esteemed establishment of higher learning, and get back to you as soon as we possibly can.”

“Thank you Head Master,” Jon said. “And Masters. I hope you’ll…”

“Yes, thank you Mister Roland, that will be all,” the Head Master waved another applicant forward. “Next!”

Jon shuffled away, noting with jealous eyes the confident swagger of the oncoming student. The next Trial wouldn’t come for another Blue Moon, which by the calculations of the Royal Mage’s calender wouldn’t come for another fifty-three years.

Jon wandered outside the cavernous Trial hall. He had been training and practicing for this test his whole life. He knew he wasn’t the best or most talented wielder of magic in the four realms, but he had never thought about the possibility of going blank at the crucial moment and failing. And he didn’t even fail with style or flair. There were stories of potential students who had given a Master a bright purple beard or burned down the testing hall.

Wondering what he was now going to do with his life, now that he had no money, and little potential, Jon stepped off the grand campus and into the boulevard. He looked left, then looked right. Neither direction appealed to him. So he looked up into the bright, cheery sky, hoping for an answer to what was left of his life.

“Pssst!” a voice hissed.

Jon looked around in surprise.

“Pssssssst!” the urgent summons came again.

It sounded like it was coming from the bushes lining the imposing white stone wall around the university.

Jon went over and knelt down, peering into the shadows beneath the leaves. The leaves scratched at his face as he moved further into the bush, until he found himself nose to nose with a thin, older man with a shining purple beard.

“Hello,” the old man winked. “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” Jon answered. “What are you doing?”

“Are you now?” the man said, ignoring the question. “I heard you just bombed the Trail.”

“Well, that’s a harsh way of putting it…” Jon began, but the man held up a hand.

“How would you like another opportunity to further your studies?” he asked, grinning widely.

Jon noted his teeth were as purple as his beard.

“Um…thank you mister…?” Jon said.

“Master. Master Semdun,” the man said, sticking his hand out in an awkward gesture.

Jon shook the man’s hand. “Master Semdun, I’m afraid I don’t think…”

“Yes, I can tell that about you,” the Master said. “Fortunately, you’re just the type we’re looking for.”

“What?” Jon said, thoroughly bemused.

“Won’t you just come and see?” Master Semdun coaxed. “I promise, you’ll decide to stay if you just give it a chance.”

Jon thought about it. It wasn’t like he had another option. “Okay,” he shrugged.

Master Semdun grinned even wider, and yanked Jon further into the bushes. Jon expected to run into the wall, but it never came. They just went deeper and deeper into leafy darkness. Then the ground dropped out from underneath Jon. He was sliding down a tunnel, and was dropped neatly into a crate of hay.

Jon climbed out of the crate, spitting hay out of his mouth, and gaped at where he found himself. Under the University was a whole…was a whole…Jon couldn’t quite tell what it was. It looked like a city square. Twelve large archways led to alcoves, but as far as Jon could tell, that was it. The space was full of people, color and sound, with no discernible order or pattern.

Nearby, a young woman was blowing up balloons then popping them with a large knobbly wand; when they exploded, showers of golden bubbles rained down on her. Under the closest brick archway, an old man was carving horrible and comedic faces into pumpkins, then enchanting them to life. Another younger man looked like he was trying to teach a black cat tricks, without much luck. A girl was stirring a bubbling concoction in a black cauldron; when she tested her brew, her skin turned bright yellow, then purple and she giggled, admiring her hand. A boy was playing a pipe, making a girl’s golden hair grow by the foot, coiling around her feet. Another person was making different parts of his body disappear and then reappear.

“What is this place?” Jon asked.

“This is what I like to call the Underground Talent Chamber,” Master Semdun said proudly.

Jon stared at him, blinking.

“This is where everyone who doesn’t pass the Masters’ Trial come to continue their education,” Semdun said.

“So this is where the rejects go?” Jon said.

“We don’t condone negativity here,” Master Semdun said with a reproving frown. “This is a place to learn, to grow, and to discover who you could be.”

Jon looked around again. Now the one girl was a bright green color, and the other had hair wrapped around her body all the way to her neck. The man with the pumpkins was pulling faces at one pumpkin, which was mimicking him.

“This is a nut house,” Jon said.

“We might be a little unusual,” Master conceded. “But most people who advance the world are not normal.”

“And you want me here…why?” Jon asked.

“Because you might be the one to discover the elixir of life, or invent the never-ending ball of unbreakable string!” Master Semdun exclaimed.

Jon leaned back to avoid being hit by the enthusiastic waving of the Master’s arms. “And why would anybody want a never-ending ball of unbreakable string?”

“You’re missing the point,” Master Semdun said. “You can do great things. We believe in you.”

“Great things? Like what?” Jon said, rubbing his chin.

“Anything you want,” Master Semdun said. “What do you say?”

Jon thought about it for half a second. “Where do I sign in?”


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Distracting Features by Dalia Lance

To Whammi and whatever happened in 2006 🙂

She knew this day would come. She lay in bed and waited for the alarm to go off, thinking and thinking about what was going to happen.

When Jade got out of bed after sleeping for only a couple of hours, she didn’t even want to see what she looked like in the mirror. She knew that the bags under her eyes would be terrible. Deciding to forgo the initial shock of her appearance, she got in the shower and turned it on as hot as she could.

Something about getting really clean in the shower seemed to be able to lift anyone’s spirits. She brushed her teeth and began the morning routine to make her look amazing, even in her sleep deprived state.

She decided to wear a black pencil skirt, a tight sleeveless black top, and a grey blazer. She wore patent black stilettos. She draped her neck with a series of chains that started at choker length and ended up plunging into her neckline alternating between yellow and white gold.

When she looked in the full length mirror, she was pleased. She was tall, almost 5’10 without the heels. She had a slender frame with curves in all the right places. Her long auburn hair cascaded down her back in a tight ponytail which held it back from her face. The only make-up was black eyeliner, mascara, and a plum lip-gloss that perfectly accented her pouty lips.

She knew how hot she was. Jade had learned early on how easy it was to get what she wanted using all her assets. She felt that women who wanted to be measured only on their intellect did quite know how the world was intended to work. After all, women would not have been given such distracting features to use at their whim. Jade was nothing if not distracting.

She grabbed her purse and headed for the door.

The car was waiting for outside as she knew it would be. She actually couldn’t remember the last time she had actually driven herself anywhere.

The drive took about 45 minutes. She debated reading the news on the way, but it seemed pointless as she didn’t really care.

Her phone rang right as she pulled up. She gestured to the driver for him to wait to open the door.

“Yes, Martin?” she asked.

“I am not sure you should get out of the car. I think you should pull around back,” he said, sounding worried.

“You’re kidding right?” She hated cowards.

“No, look at them, I am afraid… Well… I am afraid you may get hurt or worse. There are so many.” His voice was trying to be imploring. Since she had already made up her mind on how she would handle this exact situation when she was unable to sleep at 3am, she just let the silence now on the line speak for her.

“Fine,” he finally said. “Wait ’til I open the door at least.”

She hung up the phone and gestured for the driver to open the door. She put on her sunglasses and grabbed her bag. She was done waiting.

She emerged from the car amid an explosion of flashes. There really was a mob. She could hear the voices throwing questions at her, asking her to look this way and that but due to the sheer number of them, they all seemed to blend together.

Her driver attempted to move the crowd back out of the way but there were simply too many. Martin finally arrived with several officers in tow. “I told you to wait,” he said when he was standing right next to her. “I know,” she said with a smile.

The officers began to clear a path towards the building and Jade sauntered forward. She made sure that each step was deliberate and confident. As she ascended the massive steps of the courthouse, she turned to the sea of reporters and waited for the one question she was willing to answer.

“Why did you do it?”

“Are you worried about the verdict?”

“Did you know some are calling you the Black Widow?”

And on, and on, and on. The same stupid questions.

Everyone believed in her guilt. Everyone was expecting a death sentence. After all, her husband had died, her husband had been poisoned, her husband had left her everything. She sighed, disappointing she thought as turned and headed into the courthouse.

As she entered the courtroom, she had her eyes fixed on just one person: Judge Edward Smithton. He held her fate in his hands. Of course, she mused, for the last few days, he had held more than that in his hands.

The room was stunned by the not guilty verdict. So much evidence, way more motive, and yet they hadn’t factored in the one crucial piece of the puzzle…… the distracting features.

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