Writers Island, a great place to get writing prompts, is on hiatus for a while. I enjoy the challenge of writing fiction from a prompt so I have decided to start a series of prompts on my own, right here every Saturday. I would love it if anyone would care to join me.
Ever checked your stats and what search engine terms get people to your blog? There are some wild and woolly ones out there, but also some incredibly inspirational ones. That’s what gave me the idea to use search engine terms as writing prompts. I mean, I just couldn’t come up with prompts as good as this on my own.
The prompt this week is an absolute gift. I couldn’t believe it. There is so much you can do with it.
I Hate Love.
Can you believe it? Someone typed that into Google and it brought them to my blog. It is fantastic.
So please, join with me in writing whatever takes your fancy when you hear the phrase
I Hate Love.
You can write fiction, poetry, non-fiction, even include photography or art. Just leave a link to your piece in the comments section of this post. My only stipulation is that what you write must be a new piece inspired by the prompt. I would love, love, love if you would join me. I will post a new prompt every Saturday (a little earlier than this.) Why not give it a go?
Here’s my story –
It was nothing but a lie. Love. Splitting me open from head to toe until my soul was exposed, making me think I wanted an existence I never could have envisaged. Love, love, hooray for love. Love never dies. I hate love.
I am afraid of things I never considered as frightening before. Like sunlight and mirrors. I cannot bring myself to stand in front of the huge mirror in the drawing room. Its gilded frame jumps out at me with its burgeoning fruits of the forests and its mocking cherubs. Leering at me, taunting me with its reminder of what I really am.
Some call a mirror a looking glass. Look within and see yourself, see how you appear to the world. I cannot look, transfixed forever like Narcissus, because then I will know that there is no undoing what has been done, that I am diminished, that there is truth in myth. I will see the horror of what I truly am, no reflection, unable to capture the light, the mirror recognising only my absence, a monster drinking the blood of others. Vampire.
Love. I did it for love. Gideon begged me. We’ll be together forever, he said. Immortal. Roaming the world as we please. All you have to do is drink the blood.
The blood is acrid. You gag on it. Whoever said vampires crave the taste of it was deluded. We crave the effects of it. The dull, untarnished bliss. The momentary pulse of life in our deadened veins. The heat, the pull of it just like a prayer. But the taste is worse than death.
I endured the transformation. I feasted on Gideon’s blood – my master – like a virgin thrown into a state of rapture, filling my mouth, my head, my heart with ice and a burning blankness. I was numb by the end of it. I wished I could die in the normal sense. My regret was immediate. But I followed his instructions, a supplicant on my knees, drinking the blood of the innocent Gideon had killed minutes before, a rabid animal.
Each night I kill. I ravage. I feast. It is easier than breathing. I walk above the ground. There is no evidence of my pursuit.
Some of us taunt our victims, hungry for their pleas, their cries for mercy. I do not. I kill swiftly. I take no pleasure in seeing the light go out in another’s eyes. For each night, without fail, I remember what I once was. Alive. A human girl. In love.
Gideon left shortly after my transformation. He said I had changed. I have heard that it happens. Your otherworldly self can be opposite to the self that existed in the real world. You are brutal. You are fierce. It comes as no surprise – I drink the blood of humans to survive, lashing at the tender skin on their throats like I am piercing the luscious skin of a peach.
Gideon imagined me as some kind of ethereal princess, drinking blood from a jewelled goblet, wearing velvet gowns and silken shoes, my beauty captured in time for all eternity. He did not imagine I would turn into a charred stain of myself, clutching and moaning at the shadows as the realisation of the depth of my fate drove me to madness.
I love you but I hate you, he said as I lay on the ground, spent from draining the blood from four victims in a row, my mouth bloated, my tongue distended.
What does that mean? I called after him as he walked away into the maw of the night. How can you hate me and also love me? The thought was unfathomable.
The word alone hangs like a wraith. I must face this till the end of the world. I have tried to die, to starve myself of the blood but I lost control of my mind, of my senses, and killed solidly for twenty four hours.
It is quiet in this old house. I killed the people who dwelled within it. Their photographs line the walls. Their smiles assail me, accuse me. See what you’ve done, they cry. This is all you can be for thousands of years.
Evermore. I hear it in birdsong as I huddle and cower from the early morning. Evermore. I hear it in the clock chiming midnight over and over. Evermore. I feel it in the taste of the blood. I am tainted, I am doomed. I trusted in love and it wove me a rope which will forever bind me. I am in despair. Each night as sunset falls I utter the only three words that sustain me, over and over, no stirring anthem, just a torrent of loss and anguish. A cry only ever made in the dark – I hate love.
I feel a little guilty sometimes, when I see some of the prompts that brought people to my blog, and feel that the post they were brought to doesn’t answer their question.
Does an attempt to answer it for them count?
Another great story, there. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
The bit about a vampire not liking the taste of blood reminded me of the old Yorkshire joke about the beer drinker who went out every night for a gallon.
His wife turned up one night and decided she’d have a go, to annoy him. She picked up his pint glass and drank. She grimaced: ‘that’s awful,’ she said.
Her husband turned to her and said, seriously: ‘You don’t think I do this because I like it, do you?’
As for search terms to my blog, I was a bit disconcerted by this one:
‘When did Anthony North die’
You’d have thought someone would have told me, wouldn’t you?
Very creative, Selma. Very Anne Rice-esque. That’s a compliment, btw, cause I love the vampire trilogy. I like how it took a bit to reveal itself fully. Maybe I’ll have a go at this prompt. I’ve never done one before.
Selma, how incredibly clever of you to start your OWN writing prompts, and how very cool of you to invite all of us to join. You are so awesome.
Hmm… I might like to try this, but I fear I would fall short. The way you write is such a GIFT, I think I would be too nervous to try my hand at writing something as beautiful as you.
well i have nothing to share as of the moment,, but i will think on it in terms of monday and be more prepared next week…
and that story,, i am with holly in the anne rice-esqueness of it… very far from where my mind when when i first read those words… i loved it!!!
Great story! I love the thought of a vampire being so different… at least different than how I’ve always thought they’d be.
It may be time to give your story prompt a whirl. I’ve wanted to do the Writer’s Island for ages, but I’ve just kept putting it off. Kind of like a manuscript we both know… gah!
Oh, and the most frequent google term that brings folks to MY blog? “Hairy old woman.”
TRAVELRAT – I definitely think an attempt to answer it counts. How kind you are to worry about that!
ANTHONY – I cannot believe someone typed that into a search engine. And yes, I do think they might have told you. Great joke, by the way. 😀
HOLLY – I would love it if you had a go. Please do. I won’t be posting another prompt until next Saturday, so you have all week. I love the vampire trilogy too. For many years I was obsessed with Anne Rice so you have just paid me a huge compliment. Thank you so much!
MELEAH – now you really do sell yourself short because I read your writing every day and I have read some of the chapters of your book and you are very talented. Everyone has a different style and a different way of interpreting things. I would love to see how you tackled this!
PAISLEY – isn’t it amazing where the imagination takes you? I had no idea when I first read the prompt that I would write a story about vampires – it just sort of all fell together. In a way I kind of freaked myself out!
KAREN – I am so sorry to laugh but – ‘Hairy Old Woman’? Ha ha ha. Actually, that would make a great prompt. I do so hope you have a go at this at some stage, Karen, because you are a great writer. I would enjoy reading your work.
I would love to have a go at one of your prompts Selma but I’m afraid fictional writing is not something I excel at. It feels a bit like homework when you are tied to a particular prompt but that’s just me.
What a tortured soul the character in your story was. Forever doomed to drink the blood of her victims.
After giving some thought about how I’d write the story prompt, I’ve come up with something, so yeah… I’ll have something up on Wednesday.
Now I’m all excited, but too tired to do any writing tonight.
GYPSY – non-fiction would be just as good. You’re a very good writer, I’m sure you could write an excellent essay on the prompt. She was a bit tortured, wasn’t she? If anyone ever sidles up to me in a dark alley and asks me if I’d like to live forever by drinking someone else’s blood, I will very quickly turn them down. Can you imagine living forever? After 300 years all the botox in the world isn’t going to get rid of your wrinkles. Forget it. 😉
KAREN – now I’m very excited. Thanks for joining in, Karen. I know you’re a ‘hairy old woman’ and all that, but you rule!
Hi Selma, great story. I enjoyed reading it. I am working on my ‘I hate love’ piece and will post it soon(ish). Cheers, David
DAVID – oh, I am thrilled. You have made my day. Can’t wait to read it.
I still MIGHT try this. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
MELEAH – I would love that. I know you would come up with something great. I am actually setting up another blog for this prompt right now. Should be ready by tomorrow.
Wow. What a challenge. I’d want to see what I could come up with. Hope I’m not too late.
CHRIS – I have posted a link to your story over at Search Engine Stories (sorry, I don’t know how to do that linky thing.) I really appreciate your contribution and the amazing photo. You are the first one ever. Bravo and a million thanks!