Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Traditional Art / Student Jaya LakshmiFemale/United States Groups :iconmericcup: mericcup
the princess and the viking
Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 719 Deviations 15,236 Comments 43,240 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Literature
My Grandmother's Sewing Box
A woman crossed a great ocean to another continent. This was a long time ago, when anyone could cross to another continent and not face remonstrance. At least, that's what grandmother tells me. She was that woman, with a diplomat for a husband.
Grandmother had a plastic green box, one filled with old needles and thread. She used a needle shaped in a half circle. She would open it, take out a piece of fabric, and sew. When she bought a nicer wooden box, with a glazed finish, she gave me the green one. This was before the floods came, obviously, before the ants took over the crops and attacked anyone who dared pluck a corn ear.
My mother never learned, properly. But of course it was because Mother was shunted off to boarding school, to learn a trade that would feed her, a similarly educated man, and seven children. Mother had to buy clothes from the store and pass them on to her little ones when the older sisters had outgrown their frocks. Yet I longed for handmade clothes that were sewn
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 4
Literature
Breaking Character
Plastic eyes rarely move, unless they swivel on a string. In this case, the eyes move due to tiny gears and wires, covered by resin and paint, and ordered to by microchips in their brains.
The cast members were always befuddled by this ride, The World: A History. It was a simple ride showing the progress of art and technology through the years. They swore that the lifelike animatronics of the cavemen painting followed their gaze. During the late night cleanup, after the park had closed and the cast members were shooing out the guests trying to hide out, that things would move around. Sometimes a brush that was used to mimic painting the Sistine Chapel would appear. The cameras would show only black screens at certain hours of the night. They were repaired multiple times, but the same results would happen.
Upper management made noise, but the mystery kept the cast on their toes. Maintenance did the same. In all honesty, they wouldn't have believed the answer.
#
"It's time," Queen
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 0
Literature
Diplomatic Playtime
First mate Nem Torihan had smuggled weapons through various solar systems. She had advised a captain when he had wanted to torture prisoners, so that he never crossed that line. Nem had even helped draft a constitution of the galaxies, that was the blueprint for future articles. None of this, however, seemed to matter for this mission.
"Refugee children are on the planet of Trappist 1," the transmission read from a charity organization. "Their home planets were blown up by a supernova. You need to collect toys and medicinal supplies for them. A shipment in the Gamma Nebula port will come in, of toys from various planets."
That had seemed simple enough. Nem just had to advise her captain to make a detour to the Gamma Nebula port, so that he stopped for supplies. There had been an alien waiting with a sign and a large box in the port, so that they didn't have to waste countless nits searching and shaking down corrupt officials. The box was labeled with hazard stickers and a giant warning
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 18 17
Literature
FFM 31: The Winged Girl on the Train
She had learned to fly before she had learned how to walk. There had once been two wings attached to her back. They were tiny and brown, with white flecks in the wings. Her mother had built a nest in a train station, and had fed her and her siblings. Eder and Desi had flown out of the station, to make their fortune as messengers in a nearby coal town.
Time had passed, however, and while Isa had flown many times, the wings had started to tear away. The muscles become soft and sinewy. Isa flew less, and she started going to a local school. The teacher made fun of her dialect, and of how she would shed feathers everywhere.
When she flew, strikes were going on. In the coal town where her brothers worked, the boys carried signs on their flailing wings. They had used copper wires and tape to keep flying, and speaking for their coworkers. Isa cupped her hands to greet them, but they'd wave her away. She soon saw why when the guns came out.
Years kept going. Isa found herself saddled with a sc
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 2
Literature
FFM 31 Challenge: A hook at the beginning
There was a hook in the door. It had a bone attached to it. 
"Ah hell," the Captain said. "I'm too hungover for this." 
"Do you know whose it is?" His first mate asked.
"Unfortunately, yes," he replied. "To Skipper Aaronson of the SS Anarchy. They must have been ambushed."
"Where is the Anarchy?" 
"I don't know," the Captain replied. "But wherever they are, either they have a one-armed Skipper, or a dead one."
The Captain gingerly picked up the bone. Her glove scanned the marrow inside, which was fresh enough for a DNA reading.
"Skipper Aaronson has three surviving children and a widower now, by the looks of it," she said with a frown. 
"We have to tell them."
"We have to tell them," the Captain sighed. "I can't imagine how the family will be feeling." 

Ten years later

They had advanced the prosthetics. Now a hand looked like a hand. It could even bend and flex, and connect with the galactic networks. 
"I don't see why I can't get a h
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 2 2
Literature
FFM 30: A Car in the Woods
You don't realize that you start feeling until you fall out of the sky. The ground crashes into your wheels. Pain feels like a bunch of wires and metal plates held together by magic. Your only response is to  drive, and ditch your passengers. You remember to toss them their luggage.
In the woods, you find you don't need sustenance. Gas does not exist, and any oil is lodged deep within the ground. You can roam the paths, or make your own. The centaurs leave you alone. So do the spiders as large as your wheels.
When the giants enter the woods, you give them berth. They talk, and discuss.
You always have a choice. Before, others would drive you. When the spiders rise up, and the centaurs battle them, you know what to do.
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 29 Challenge: A Strange Girl
She didn't remember it, not as a clear photograph. Babies didn't have brains meant to remember. The pieces came together like ripped up pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. As a teenager, she assembled those pieces with some newspaper clippings. It was like her mind was walking through a labyrinth, waiting for a goblin at the end to gobble her. 
He didn't come searching for her. Perhaps he had known that when you cross certain lines, your daughter can't follow you. She had only needed a twenty dollar bill and a jar of peanut butter. Into the night she had vanished.
She waits tables now; her nametag reads Stranger. When she pours coffee, she always smiles. A front tooth is missing. A chipped cross hangs around her neck.
On the coldest nights, she'd wake up with saltwater clogging her nose, and the memories of bloodstained hands tousling her hair. Hearing the sound of waves makes her heart race. She still hasn't learned how to swim.
Stranger often wonders if she's going to hell.
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 0
Literature
FFM 27 Challenge: Spider Land
Itsy Pookums was helping with the spider bake sales. She didn't understand the ingredients at all. The recipes were written on drying leaves that crumbled if someone touched them.
"Why are we using spider legs in food we are going to eat?" she asked. "This is cannibalism."
No one listened to her. They mixed dried spider limbs with grain taken from the ground. The sun baked the wet lumps.
Silky Lasso had ridden the gusts to find her nieces. It was a world where the wind could turn you upside down and send you right back to where you came from. She had run into a tribe of spiders that constantly flew with the breeze.
“You’re doing real good!” she could hear. Silky wished that she could have stayed to chat with them. They seemed to understand wind.
Bold Jumper found herself tethered to the ground. Ants had gotten her while she was out of the colony and had tied her with woven grass strands
“Oh come on!” she called out. “I stand above you in the food cha
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 28: At Soddenlord Castle
We went to the Soddenlord wizarding castle in the distant moor for our summer vacation. It was near where my estranged sister lived with her husband and two kids. She wasn't invited. In fact, I made sure to send a handwritten letter detailing that we had no interest in making our way to see her, since she always had a habit of making plans with the family and then cancelling them at the last minute. i didn't want to reserve a ticket for her at the wizarding castle, only to have her make excuses for the waste of money. The mailman had notified me that she had received it.  
I had asked for this as a birthday gift: to be petty and cold the way she had been. I didn't want her jumping in and ruining the magic. Besides, she had complained to my grandparents that her kids were sick so she couldn't come out and see us anyway.
It was easy to forget. At the Soddenlord castle, there was a wall where wands were hidden behind the bricks. The two siblings that had come with me, my younger brot
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 26: The Genie of the Teapot
There are some strange items you can pick up from a secondhand shop. Sally Hoffman had gone to grab something to entertain the ladies at the Sunday fundraising tea, which would start a nest egg for starting the charity. This shop was in a New York alley, next to a vintage clothing store. It had all sorts of odd knickknacks, like a giant metal mermaid's tail that dangled from the wall like a pendulum.
Sally paid twenty dollars for the teapot. She had thought it was overpriced, in all honesty. But the teapot was strong and sturdy, and the paper sticking to it promised that you could pour boiling water in it.
This teapot was white, with strange Sanskrit writing on it. Sally knew a handful of Sanskrit from her college days, when her Indian father suggested that she could go back to her roots.
Before the fundraising tea, she took the teapot home. To test it, she boiled water in a steel kettle that had been in the family for centuries.
"I am the genie of the pot," it said to Sally. "How do y
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 25 Challenge: Necromoniconopoly
The board game was locked in the closet that had a purple octopus painted on the door. Mason and Marbles had found it as the rain poured outside. Their uncles were arguing in the bedroom and had muffled the cracks with dish towels. Marbles had mentioned she hoped they would go out for ice cream.
"The best game to play with your worst enemies," Mason read aloud. "Compete to buy the souls and gain a monopoly on them."
Marbles chewed on her hair. She had bleached it pink in the hopes of looking like the singer Bubbles. It had come out looking like she had doused her hair in cheap gum.
"Sounds like a fun way to spend twenty minutes," she said.
They set up the board in the kitchen because the freezer was packed with ice pops. Mason got two grape pops. Then they chose their pieces: Mason went with a metal book knickknack while Marbles chose the bust of a woman with long flowing hair. Then Mason got out various plastic gems that served as currency for the game, and separated them by color. He
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 24: The Great Cold
It came suddenly. The virus was a plague that came with the summer rain, tiny and insidious like a single dandelion seed. it jumped from droplet to droplet, waiting to splatter against an unsuspecting, warm-blooded host.
A germ entered the waterglass that belonged to a family in Brooklyn. The family started coughing, into the night. The youngest son went to work and spread the germ. It ended up infecting a theater company.
The great cold spread through the company. Morning vlogs started with coughing actors sipping ginger mixes. They would blow their noses into various cocktail napkins. They had a matinee in the afternoon. Even the understudies were ill. 
"But!" The commenters cried. "What about the show?"
The show must go on, the company thought. But how can we go on?
It was quite a question. They had to figure out how to keep going. 
"Aromatherapy!" Commenters suggested. "Intense ginger cleanses! Lots of tissues!"
Regardless of this, the curtain had to go up o
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 23: The Cork Dare
 It was a peculiar habit, to raid the grocery store's bins for used corks. L knew that he looked weird to his friends. Yet that weirdness did nothing to prevent the thrill of sticking his hands into and to feel for the corks that he could chew when his jaws ached.
Tonight was different. He was out with friends, as the rain roared outside, and they had gotten a fifty dollar wine for the table. It was a nice Chablis from a Sonoma winery, that made the tongue lilt.
"I wonder what they do with the corks afterward," his friend Edward said.
"Recycle then," L responded. "What else would they do? Glue it to a cheeseboard?"
Their mutual friend Carly was sitting and rubbing her nose. She had a small cold, and would occasionally cough.
"Not a bad idea," she said. "You could put it in a gallery and sell it for five grand."
"I think they'd have to find someone to credit it," L said.
Carly dug into her purse for a tissue. It was a tiny black evening bag with diamond-shaped rhinestones. The stra
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 0 0
Literature
FFM 22: The Lady on the Tightrope
You came to see her. The Untripping Harriet has been the darling of the town, ever since she and her circus posse had rolled into town. The newspapers have reported that The Untrippimg Harriet will have a baby soon, and she is going to climb with her customary shackles.
The clergy are in the crowd. They have bullhorns that magnify their voices. Even so, they are courteous and pragmatic enough to wait until Harriet crosses to platform's safety on the other side. Then they shout into the bullhorns.
"Harriet! It is not safe for you to do such feats! Think of your unborn child! Think of your husband!"
You can reach over and grab the bullhorns. You can do nothing You can tell the clergy to shut up. You can leave for now. 
If you reach over:
Your hands are large and meaty. It's an easy feat to grab the bullhorn. Then you can shout your own call:
"Harriet! Do what pleases you! You are a free woman!"
She smiles at you from the platform. Her outfit doesn't hide the growing bump. Yo
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 2
Literature
FFM 21: Thoughts Gathered After a Rough Day
It's an odd thing, being yelled at. You thought you've been good today. But you get a reminder that you weren't. You weren't good, and you won't ever be good.
This afternoon, you drove past a car on fire. There were no people inside. There were a lot of cops. You wonder if they were killing someone. They killed an Australian woman a few days ago.
 
You wonder how much longer you have until you crack. it could be days, weeks, months. You're recording your cracking moments, hoping to find the right pattern to make the change.
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 2
Literature
FFM 20 Challenge: Judging
"No," I say. "You haven't paid enough for your actions."
In other places, my opinion would be an opinion. Here, I can feel the weight of the judge's wig, and hear the gavel as it bangs. His voice hissed against the wind, as if he's lizard prowling through the night.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"You committed murder," I said in an icy voice. "He wasn't using lethal force against you, and he came for you after you framed him for arson and left him to rot in the rain. And you used that murder to lure down your real target, because that was more important."
"But he's alive!" he pointed out.
"He's undead," I replied. "He would have been fine if you hadn't framed him. Showing relief that he was resurrected isn't enough."
Silence for a few minutes. I think of how in another world other voices would drown me in endless sound of green, like the sound of grass roasting against a campfire stove. Here, I make the judgment. I can turn my rage into cold action.
"Look, I'm not even real," he said. "And tec
:iconJayaLaw:JayaLaw
:iconjayalaw:JayaLaw 1 0

Favourites

Literature
Bottled Spirits
The sage was probably overkill, but enough was enough. Three bottles in the last week alone, and that wasn’t counting the months beforehand. It wasn’t her stuff, but her roommate believed it was her doing. Purchasing replacements was getting expensive, and the looks Tanya kept throwing Emily’s way had bypassed ‘mildly embarrassing’ and were fast approaching ‘grating.’
Emily couldn’t even share her own suspicions about the vanishing alcohol, not without making those looks even worse. As far as Tanya - and most of the world - was concerned, the mysterious disappearance of bottled liquor typically had one or two basic possible causes: either the bottle leaked (unlikely when spread across multiple bottles like this), or someone was drinking it, and barring the bizarre outlying possibility of trespassers who left no sign of their entrance or exit and took nothing except the drink itself, it could only be one of the usual inhabitants.
Tanya kne
:iconOreramar:Oreramar
:iconoreramar:Oreramar 1 6
I'm so sorry by Tenshi-Inverse I'm so sorry :icontenshi-inverse:Tenshi-Inverse 327 29 Sorrows and regrets by Tenshi-Inverse Sorrows and regrets :icontenshi-inverse:Tenshi-Inverse 224 13
Literature
The Quest of Stones
It was drizzly in this part of Munsalvasche today; grey and miserable enough that not many people were on the streets, but without enough static charge to inhibit air travel. Peri watched yet another humanoid - indistinct beneath their layers of clothing - pass by the window outside. Her fingers tapped an unconscious rhythm against her hip, just below the snug weight of her concealed holster.
A hiss of air, and the Munsalva proprietor appeared through the back doorway, pushing a crate on a humming hoverpad in front of them.
“You’ll find it all there,” they promised, popping the lid on the crate open with a keytab from their belt. “Take a look.”
Galeas and Borden shuffled closer and peered inside, humming and nodding for the Munsalva’s sake. Peri mostly kept her eyes on the windows and outside door, but she did sneak a quick look between her squadmates. Round grey lumps of stone surrounded by black synthetic padding sat in their box. She’d seen
:iconOreramar:Oreramar
:iconoreramar:Oreramar 2 0
Literature
Flash Fiction Day 2017
I.
Once she wielded sword and bow in battle: strong, steadfast, side by side with her brothers in arms. Now she wields a quill and words of power she was not born to: direct, sufficient, alone surrounded by her peers in name.
The warrior’s weapons hang on the wall, and her spirit is with them.
--
II.
A young man dangles hundreds of feet above a stream of lava, one foot tangled in a fraying rope anchored high over the chasm ledge he swings beneath. A dark-robed figure catches his eye; it is floating in midair, a scythe balanced against the crook of its shoulder.
“Huh. I didn’t think I was that close,” the dangling one says.
“The situation was dire enough to alert me,” replies the other.
“I hardly have a scratch on me, though. Usually I’m practically on your doorstep before you show up.”
“I don’t have a doorstep.”
“Expression.”
“I don’t have those, either.”
The human thinks about it, shr
:iconOreramar:Oreramar
:iconoreramar:Oreramar 2 2
Lunagirl Depowered pg 7 by ElijahPink
Mature content
Lunagirl Depowered pg 7 :iconelijahpink:ElijahPink 268 36
Jo (+ Friends) in the Institute 13 by ElijahPink
Mature content
Jo (+ Friends) in the Institute 13 :iconelijahpink:ElijahPink 576 78
Video preview #3 by BettinaLevy Video preview #3 :iconbettinalevy:BettinaLevy 5 1 Toothless, be quiet! by PaintSplatKat Toothless, be quiet! :iconpaintsplatkat:PaintSplatKat 6 10 YoI mouths by AvannaK YoI mouths :iconavannak:AvannaK 27 0 Jingle, Jingle, Jingle by The-BlackCat Jingle, Jingle, Jingle :iconthe-blackcat:The-BlackCat 251 47 The Witch, Exellinor by PaintSplatKat The Witch, Exellinor :iconpaintsplatkat:PaintSplatKat 6 2 Lefty Trio of Awesomeness by Zarakoda Lefty Trio of Awesomeness :iconzarakoda:Zarakoda 10 10 Harry's animagus form by Sketchlerette Harry's animagus form :iconsketchlerette:Sketchlerette 43 7 Sleeping Princess by galacticbumblebee Sleeping Princess :icongalacticbumblebee:galacticbumblebee 1 1 Pink Frisk and Flowey the Rose? by CJChamp16 Pink Frisk and Flowey the Rose? :iconcjchamp16:CJChamp16 5 6

Critiques

by YFYeung

When I say dramatic, I mean dramatic in a good way, a very good way. I like watercolors that tackle social and personal issues close to...


Wow, this is too adorable! It's good to see your new artwork, and done with such cuteness! What I like: The gesture- For characters tha...


Wow, milady, you have aided me in remembering the most emotional part What I like: Use of line weights and gray tones- Without a single...


There is nothing more reassuring on a Saturday morning than to see a semi-moody watercolor, especially a semi-moody Batman watercolor. ...

Activity


A woman crossed a great ocean to another continent. This was a long time ago, when anyone could cross to another continent and not face remonstrance. At least, that's what grandmother tells me. She was that woman, with a diplomat for a husband.

Grandmother had a plastic green box, one filled with old needles and thread. She used a needle shaped in a half circle. She would open it, take out a piece of fabric, and sew. When she bought a nicer wooden box, with a glazed finish, she gave me the green one. This was before the floods came, obviously, before the ants took over the crops and attacked anyone who dared pluck a corn ear.

My mother never learned, properly. But of course it was because Mother was shunted off to boarding school, to learn a trade that would feed her, a similarly educated man, and seven children. Mother had to buy clothes from the store and pass them on to her little ones when the older sisters had outgrown their frocks. Yet I longed for handmade clothes that were sewn under candlelight.

Time passed. Grandfather died, so Grandmother came to live with us. Mother had her job and savings but not many supplies, and my siblings had grown up and traveled to better parts. I would have left, but I was needed. Grandmother would tell stories about how her threads had kept children's schoolclothes safe from hawks that would steal their lunch. The king that had overseen the famine and ignored the ants sent a letter. It was addressed to my grandmother, and stamped with the royal crest.

Grandmother read the note. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. There was no dye, so her eyebrows and hair were stark grey.

"He wants me to make him a new robe," she said. "He must be joking. I haven't sewn like a common tailor for years."

I took the letter. It had the royal seal, a ghastly gold and blue lion, and it had the weight of parchment. I wondered if it would fill my belly if I chewed it, and we were one of the lucky ones.

"Don't do it," I said. "The king never pays people when he wants something like this."

We remembered the wedding cake. Everyone remembered the wedding cake. Afterward, the baker had starved, and no one would bake cakes for the king unless they received handfuls of grain in advance.

I bit on the letter. It seemed the gold was edible.  The rest of the seal came off easily, and I tossed the letter in the trash. Burning a letter was too dramatic and could cause a house-fire.

Another note came, a few days later. This time a messenger came, with a pike and dirty stockings. My grandmother was napping, and my mother was scrounging for food.

"The king won't accept a refusal," he said.

"My grandmother's too old to make the trip," I said. "I'll do it. She taught me how to sew."

The messenger gave me a haughty look. He was starving as well, but he had disdain as well.

"You? What makes you think you have her skill?"

"You either use me or you have my grandmother die en route," I snapped. "I made this top and I embroidered it."

I showed off the embroidery along the hem, and the image on the back. It was a blue dragon against black fabric, raging against a storm. The messenger eyed it. He ignored the icy fury in my eyes.

"If you fail, you won't be paid," he warned me.

"Just leave some supplies and let me write a note," I said. "You can at least offer that courtesy."

We did some shopping. Mother and grandmother had enough food to last them for another week. It would have to do. Then I packed my few belongings before we set off. I made sure the plastic sewing box was with me.

Another thing about my grandmother's thread: it has become brittle with age, and could snap easily. The magic in it has twisted and cruel. I could feel my rage entering the faded colors. So I sewed, took his measurements, and mussed up my hair so I wouldn't be seen as pretty.

When the king died later, they claimed his heart had given out. He had been trying on his new robe and showing it off to his mistress.

The embroidery around the neckline had snapped. The fraying threads gaped out out of the fine silk. It was golden, the color of his seal, and the color of my rage.

My Grandmother's Sewing Box
Third entry for the Game of Genres contest. I went with apocalyptic fairytale.
The thread and the box is real. I'm not sure if it's magic but it feels like it.
Loading...
Plastic eyes rarely move, unless they swivel on a string. In this case, the eyes move due to tiny gears and wires, covered by resin and paint, and ordered to by microchips in their brains.

The cast members were always befuddled by this ride, The World: A History. It was a simple ride showing the progress of art and technology through the years. They swore that the lifelike animatronics of the cavemen painting followed their gaze. During the late night cleanup, after the park had closed and the cast members were shooing out the guests trying to hide out, that things would move around. Sometimes a brush that was used to mimic painting the Sistine Chapel would appear. The cameras would show only black screens at certain hours of the night. They were repaired multiple times, but the same results would happen.

Upper management made noise, but the mystery kept the cast on their toes. Maintenance did the same. In all honesty, they wouldn't have believed the answer.

#

"It's time," Queen Cleopatra said. She was a grey ochre-skinned animatronic, painted so that no one could mistake her for a white woman in Egyptian getup. It may have been acceptable in the 1990s, but this was the twenty-first century.

The animatronics stared at each other. A robotic flock of pigeons, which always cooed from the rafters in the monastery exhibit, flew to the cameras. Over the years the bots had learned how to manipulate the images, so that they repeated on the camera feeds. They had about three hours before the next shift would happen.

A telephone operator stood and straightened. Her silicone curls were in place under the headphones that she wore. She blew dust off her collar; it had gathered after someone on the ride had sneezed.

"Who's going on patrol?" she asked.

"I will," said Michelangelo. His animatronic had gone down off from the ceiling. "Honestly I think our real life versions got more rest than we did."

Some of the other animatronics helped him, including the cavemen and Cleopatra's scantily clad scribe. They supported his back as Michelangelo lowered himself. He groaned.

"You come with me," he ordered the scribe. "You've got good eyesight and good hands." 

Michelangelo's steps faded into the distance. He and the scribe had to go down special stairs, that went in a spiral and were often littered with various tools.

"What would happen if they knew?" A boy animatronic dressed in Greek robes asked. He was to imitate one of the students that his teacher had. "Why all this secrecy?"

"They'd want to know how it was possible," his teacher responded. "They would take us apart and look at our gears. That may even kill us."

A zap cut through the air. They fell silent. Then they waited.

Michelangelo came back. He was wiping his hands nonchalantly. Queen Cleopatra gave him a questioning look.
 
"Teenagers," he said. "They were attempting a stakeout. Right now they're locked in storage closet. The doors are muffled, and it's unlikely they'll wake up from the shock I just gave them, for a couple of hours."

"All right," the Queen said. "As long as you didn't kill them."

Michelangelo shrugged. He was the largest animatronic, due to being a near replica of the original artist.

"Why should we care?" he asked. "It's not like they could blame that on us. We're not supposed to be able to move from our posts."

After an awkward silence, Cleopatra nodded her head in assent. The Greek boy clung to his teacher, and Johannes Gutenberg made an effort to not hide behind his printing press. 

"We have three hours," Cleopatra told her subjects. "Use them wisely. Go in groups and take care not to damage your bodies."

They went out, two or three at a time. Cleopatra went with the man in the newsboy cap. 

"One day we'll get caught," he said. "It's in their nature to find out what we do."

"Perhaps," the queen said. "But we may as well enjoy what time we have." 
Breaking Character
This is my second entry for the Game of Genres contest. The choice was either paranormal mystery or teen romance, so I went with paranormal mystery.
Loading...
First mate Nem Torihan had smuggled weapons through various solar systems. She had advised a captain when he had wanted to torture prisoners, so that he never crossed that line. Nem had even helped draft a constitution of the galaxies, that was the blueprint for future articles. None of this, however, seemed to matter for this mission.

"Refugee children are on the planet of Trappist 1," the transmission read from a charity organization. "Their home planets were blown up by a supernova. You need to collect toys and medicinal supplies for them. A shipment in the Gamma Nebula port will come in, of toys from various planets."

That had seemed simple enough. Nem just had to advise her captain to make a detour to the Gamma Nebula port, so that he stopped for supplies. There had been an alien waiting with a sign and a large box in the port, so that they didn't have to waste countless nits searching and shaking down corrupt officials. The box was labeled with hazard stickers and a giant warning to not open it. Nem read the script with mild trepidation.

The crew was curious. They had never seen such warnings on a box of toys and medicine. Nem told them that while it was all right to scan the box to identify the items within, they would not break the seals. There were countless horror tales of crews who had opened shipments, and were lucky if they were only eaten by the things within. The unlucky ones faced court-martialing, and no jury would be sympathetic to a crew that stole from refugees. 

Nem got the handheld scanners and passed them around to the crew, hoping to kill time while they were waiting for permission to depart. The crew, including Bathes Midden and Logos Lon, had eyed what was within using the tiny devices. They were the size of their appendages, with bright blue lights that touched the box. 

"A hemogoblin!" Bathes exclaimed. "I haven't seen those since I was a hairsplit."

Nem frowned at Bathes. A hemogoblin was a common enough toy, a red blob that had tiny round ears and fake teeth. It supposedly shrunk small enough to enter your cuts, and eat you up from the inside out. For some reason kids loved these. 

"There's a game of Black Hole Stretch," Jat Urr said. "I don't know, these games don't seem appropriate for children that have been traumatized." 

Nem took the scanner from Jat and checked. Her pupils shrunk. Black Hole Stretch was about navigating an unprotected being through such a hole, with minimum damage. The game peeked out innocently through the scanner, but the others didn't. There was a spiked mace, a model of a star that showed its life stages, and a plushie of an aquamarine space beast so large that a crew could die traversing from one end to the other.

"We have to deliver it," she said. "Even if the captain doesn't care, the officials will."

"Shouldn't they get more than this?" Bathes asked. "These are all games about monsters and surviving disasters. If I just lost my home, most of my family and my old life, I wouldn't want reminders of all the ways we can die in outer space." 

Nem scratched her neck. She had to admit that her crewmates have a point. Once her captain had found her as a hairsplit, orphaned in a port. She wouldn't have wanted a game about stretching your body through a black hole.

"We can't open the box," she warned. "They'll know if the seal was broken."

"We can add another shipment," Logos pointed out. "Create a new box. Surely that isn't against protocol. The port has plenty of trading venues that ought to have better toys."

"How many nits do we have?" Nem asked. She checked her timepiece. 

"About twenty. We'd only be able to hit the nearest stalls," Bathes said.

"Right." Nem pulled up a map of the port. "Two of us need to stay on the ship, at least. The others won't be back until they've warmed their bellies with flask. Bathes, Logos, how do you feel about shopping in the Mim and Hazel stalls for toys?"

Logos and Bathes looked at each other. They exchanged a look. 

"Can we get compensation on our paycheck?" Logos asked.

"I'll discuss it with the captain," Nem said. "Now, off with you. There's no time to waste! And don't forget to get a contained that can survive a time jump!"

The two left, each jumping from the ship to the port floor without using the stairs. Bathes took a left, while Logos took a right. Each had a piercing on their neck that would serve as a communicator.

Nem studied the map. Then she rescanned the box. It brought up memories. The captain had given her a blaster, said it wasn't a toy, and showed her how to levitate tiny meteorites to shoot at them. It helped her pass the time. But she had missed soft things you could hold at night. When a space blanket was to be thrown out, she had saved it from the compactor 

She thought about a memory of a toy she had left behind, perhaps of a doll with long hair and painted eyes. But that toy was lost to the galaxies, and was fading from her mind. 

"Bathes, get a toy for yourself, Logo and something for me," she spoke into her neck communicator. 

"Are you sure?" Bathes asked with amusement. "Aren't we too old for that sort of thing?"

"Believe me, I am," Nem said. "That's an order from your first mate."
Diplomatic Playtime
This is a submission for the Game of Genres contest. We could choose between urban fantasy and space opera. I went with space opera for this one.
Loading...

She had learned to fly before she had learned how to walk. There had once been two wings attached to her back. They were tiny and brown, with white flecks in the wings. Her mother had built a nest in a train station, and had fed her and her siblings. Eder and Desi had flown out of the station, to make their fortune as messengers in a nearby coal town.


Time had passed, however, and while Isa had flown many times, the wings had started to tear away. The muscles become soft and sinewy. Isa flew less, and she started going to a local school. The teacher made fun of her dialect, and of how she would shed feathers everywhere.


When she flew, strikes were going on. In the coal town where her brothers worked, the boys carried signs on their flailing wings. They had used copper wires and tape to keep flying, and speaking for their coworkers. Isa cupped her hands to greet them, but they'd wave her away. She soon saw why when the guns came out.


Years kept going. Isa found herself saddled with a scholarship. That meant she could leave the station, her nest. It also meant leaving her brothers behind, however, and her mother, who was balding around the neck. By some miracle her mother had kept her wings through all the years, but she hadn't flown since laying her eggs. Her mother insisted on burying Isa's wings when they finally tore off completely.


In the new city, Isa walked a lot, because her boarding house was stuffy. Several times, she passed a firm with strange letters. J.Y.A. Law, the office said. Isa walked past it, though she stopped and hesitated one day. Then she went inside, since it was about to rain.


"Hello," the secretary said. "How may I help you?"


"What do those letters mean?" Isa asked. "Why are they J, Y, and A?"


"Do you have an appointment?" the secretary asked.


"No," Isa said honestly. "I just have that question."


The secretary viewed her with curiosity. She seemed to notice the lumps on Isa's back where wings had once grown, and the ash gathered in her hair.


"Justice, Youth and Action," she said. "We're a firm that speaks for the unprivileged. But we are booked for the summer, and underfunded.”


"How do you help men with broken wings?" Isa asked. "Can it be done?"


"We try to mend them as best as we can and send them on their way."


"What can I do?" Isa asked. "For my brothers. They've been striking for several years."


"Mend them as best as you can," the secretary said. "We may be able to get to their case in the fall, if they can hold on. We'll take down your information, and please take ours."


Isa took the card. She studied the lettering. It filled her with hope, and a tinge of sadness.


“Justice, Youth and Action,” she said.


FFM 31: The Winged Girl on the Train
This was another FFM challenge, given by :iconbookcrusher:
-Word count must be divisible by 99 (99 up to 990)
-A Magical Realism story
-Include either a dangerous deal or a broken promise
-Work your username into your story!
Loading...
There was a hook in the door. It had a bone attached to it. 

"Ah hell," the Captain said. "I'm too hungover for this." 

"Do you know whose it is?" His first mate asked.

"Unfortunately, yes," he replied. "To Skipper Aaronson of the SS Anarchy. They must have been ambushed."

"Where is the Anarchy?" 

"I don't know," the Captain replied. "But wherever they are, either they have a one-armed Skipper, or a dead one."

The Captain gingerly picked up the bone. Her glove scanned the marrow inside, which was fresh enough for a DNA reading.

"Skipper Aaronson has three surviving children and a widower now, by the looks of it," she said with a frown. 

"We have to tell them."

"We have to tell them," the Captain sighed. "I can't imagine how the family will be feeling." 


Ten years later


They had advanced the prosthetics. Now a hand looked like a hand. It could even bend and flex, and connect with the galactic networks. 

"I don't see why I can't get a hook like my mum," Miles Aaronson said. He was showing off his metal hand, and how well it could bend.

"It's in bad taste, son, especially with the way your mother died," his father said.

"But it's been decades," Miles protested. "It's the best way to remember her, as a Skipper of the Orion Nebula!"

"No." His father's tone was firm. "When you can afford the credits needed for a hook, and when you are off in the academy as a cadet, you can wield one. But for now, be grateful for the hand that you have."

Miles pouted as he sat in the hospital bed. He thought, and then dialed someone.

"Ahoy?" The woman's voice was irritated.

"Ahoy, Captain. This is Miles Aaronson."

"Oh great," the Captain sighed. "You know that I hate to talk to people to whom I deliver bad news."

"Where did they put my mum's hook hand? You know, after they buried her?"

"Oh, for someone like Skipper Aaronson, it'd be in the Memorial Hall," the Captain said. "But I wouldn't suggest trying to take it. The bones go to the family, and the prosthetics go to the government, even if you ask nicely. Why do you want it?"

"To remember her," Miles lied. "I was only a toddler when she died." 

He flexed his fingers. This prosthetic felt stiff and artificial, like it belonged to a robot. It didn't belong to an Aaronson. 

"That's not all, is it? What stupid thing are you going to try?"

He thought about it. The Captain was a smuggler that ran both sides of the war going on at the moment. There were rumors that she owned three houses in three different planets, which was a zoning violation. She would look the other way for such a trivial matter.

"I want to wear my mother's hook," he said.
FFM 31 Challenge: A hook at the beginning
This was a challenge piece from :iconscfrankles: . I had to follow these guidelines:

1. The story begins with a hook.
2. There is an emphasis on dialogue.
3. There is a flashforward in the story.  

This was a fun month! I enjoyed doing this challenge
Loading...

deviantID

JayaLaw's Profile Picture
JayaLaw
Jaya Lakshmi
Artist | Student | Traditional Art
United States
I draw comics to make people laugh, including myself. The world is an absurd place, filled with crazy kids, crazier adults, and the craziest current events. If we can't laugh at these absurdities, then we reinforce them as normal parts of life.

My webcomic A La Mode is about a bakery that sells talking pretzels to pay the rent. I post it at alamode.smackjeeves.com as well as here on Deviantart.

Open for commissions, by the way; just send me a private message with visual references. My rates are as follows:

Sketch - $10 for one character, +$8 for each additional character

Linework (Brush pen or quill) - $15 for one character, +10 for each additional.

Full watercolor- $25 for one character, +10 for each additional

Watercolor comic- $50 for single-size (three panel minimum), $60 for double-size (five-panel minimum)


Fiction (Fan or original):

Microfiction (under 100 words): $1, or 20 points.

Flash fiction (100-1000 words): $5-10, depending on subject matter, or 200 points.

Original fiction only, OCs included:

Short story (1000-10,000 words): $20-50, depending on subject matter, or 2000 points.


Novellete (10,000 to 20,000 words): $50-250, depending on subject matter

Send me a note about any longer work, or serials!

Current Residence: Miami
Favourite genre of music: Broadway. Science-fiction bluegrass, classical
Favourite style of art: Impressionist
Favourite cartoon character: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third
Interests

A week ago, I was having an emotional meltdown over the start of school, a disastrous job interview that messed up the family schedule for a day, and about being unable to write. The idea of watching more of Race to the Edge unnerved me, and still does, with fear that the new episodes would disappoint or yank at our chains. My attempts to douse my mood with chocolate and weeding a planter didn’t help.

Several of my friends recommended that I vent it on paper. So I did, writing a fanfiction of Hiccup suffering my mood swings based on the spoilers I had heard (and honestly I don’t care about RTTE spoilers), and I posted it after midnight last Sunday. I was worried that people would find it OOC of Hiccup, too angry mayhap.

That’s not what happened.

Instead, a week later, the deviation had six favorites and several lovely comments. My mood swing eventually passed, though I still felt emotional with a power outage on Wednesday, job updating and catching my younger brother’s cold. One person on deviantart asked how I was feeling, and the friends who read along said that I had done a good job.

Thank you. It means a lot when something is born out of pain, and acknowledged.

Journal History

Friends

Groups

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:icontherealtwilightstar:
therealtwilightstar Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy b-day. ^^
Reply
:iconjayalaw:
JayaLaw Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icon35096:
35096 Featured By Owner May 5, 2017
Remember me
Reply
:iconjayalaw:
JayaLaw Featured By Owner May 6, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Yes, I do
Reply
:icon35096:
35096 Featured By Owner May 6, 2017
Do you seen my Q and A
Reply
:icon8tothe8th:
8tothe8th Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Jay, Twilight did NOT post the chain mail below. \/

This message was sent to me, along with several of her other friends at the same exact time. You might also note that the same thing is happening on Panda's account.

I advise changing your password and hiding the comment just in case.
Reply
:iconjayalaw:
JayaLaw Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks! Will do!
Reply
:icontherealtwilightstar:
therealtwilightstar Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday!
Reply
:iconjayalaw:
JayaLaw Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
Add a Comment: