Friday Fictioneers – Mea Culpa (Paranormal? Supernatural?)

Mea culpa. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault, I have exceeded 100 words, posted two days early, and left all of my faithful readers wondering what awaits Angelique at the penitentiary. As recompense for my sins, I direct you to a previous story to shed some light on Robby’s guilt.

On a slightly dumb note, I’m not quite sure how to genrify Angelique. I’m thinking either Paranormal or Supernatural, but since I don’t actually read either of those genres, I’m not sure which label fits better or if she belongs elsewhere. If you would, please leave a note and let me know what you think. Thank you in advance!

Today’s photo comes from fellow Fictioneer Lora Mitchell. Click on the blue froggy guy at the bottom of the page to read all the stories inspired by her explosive picture. Better yet, join the Friday Fictioneer fun by writing your own 100 words and adding your story to the list!

Copyright - Lora MitchellPhoto Copyright – Lora Mitchell

Mea Culpa (150ish)

From the belfry, the boy surveyed the crowd on the pier. Slowly, he stepped to the edge. Wind ruffling his hair, he turned to Angelique with anguished eyes.

“You were with her, weren’t you?”

“Till the very end.”

“Jen…” He threw his head back, eyes closed, stomach convulsing.

In the bay, the countdown began.

10, 9, 8…

“You can’t hurt me, you know?”

“I know.”

His dark eyes bored into hers.

7, 6, 5, 4…

“You can’t stop me, either.”

Angelique jumped first. Writhing in the air, she threw her arms around his torso. Pain tore down her back, and they slowed, her ivory wings spread wide.

3, 2, 1…

The cracking of his bones coincided with the first explosion of fireworks. She pressed her cheek to his, whispered “Robby,” and lifted off to the rhythm of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Claire had advised a solitary place. Perhaps if Angelique flew far enough, she could forget him and Jen and all the rest.



52 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Mea Culpa (Paranormal? Supernatural?)

  1. I always end up posting “early” but since the prompt is out… As for the genre, I completely forgot about that. Maybe I’ll go back and add it. However, sometimes it gives too much away. Anyway, on to the story.

    Thanks for providing the link back, because it made this story make more sense. Poor Angelique (love having “Angel” in her name, BTW) has a lot more to carry than just all these poor souls. The “Auld Lang Syne” was a nice touch, too.

  2. I know what you mean about the genre giving too much away, especially if you have a twist at the end. (Thank you, by the way. Somehow since reading your story, instead of having “Independence Day” stuck in my mind, which would make perfect sense, I keep singing “Earl Had to Die.”) Anyhow, Rochelle has been a most gracious host. I doubt she’ll ostracize us if we neglect to divulge the genre. She’s been pretty understanding thus far… 😉

    I’m glad the link helped. At this point, I’m trying to tie together some of these stories to create that six degrees of separation effect. It will be hard enough as it is. Without links back, I’m not sure it would work at all. For example, I should have linked back to the first story a few weeks ago to show that the missing husband in the delivery room was riding the bus on which the fat man met his death. Ah well…

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Lovely vignette as ever. I’d be interested to see how you are going to link all this together. And yes, I’m concerned about giving the game away with the genre; I rely quite a lot on twist in the tale. Maybe I’ll just miss it out when I do that kind of story. Nice work again.

  4. Okay look… no one really follows the rules… look at all the Wednesday and Thursday Fictioneers (me included)… Oh, and is genrify really a word? I remember Robby’s story, and what he did… and on my photo too. I guess a teenager can be forgiven for encouraging, but not for leaving. I just realized I haven’t read the new story… I’ll be right back.

  5. Thanks for linking it to the old story. I liked the writing. when she jumped and spread her wings I could almost see it like a scene played out in slow motion.
    just one confusion. Who is Robb? The guy from the old story? Maybe it’s a dumb question. I still have to read the whole story.

  6. Dear Waiting,
    I guess I’ll have to throw the dictionary at you for exceeding the word limit. Nah. I love this series and find myself looking forward to Angelique’s weekly adventures(?). I think this classifies as paranormal..
    I apologize for the genre confusion or any consternation it’s causing. Please know that I had a very good reason and would be happy to discuss it in a more private venue.

    • Thanks, Rochelle. Can I keep the dictionary? Please? It might help me with those red-line words. 😉

      Seriously, though, I don’t fault you at all for suggesting we identify the genre. It’s a good exercise in knowing what we’re writing and possibly expanding our styles. (Look at Parul, stepping out into Fantasy and doing a marvelous job…) And I do think, for certain genres, a warning is considerate. Knowing the genre might lessen the impact of some of the surprise endings, but I don’t think it will lessen the enjoyment of such stories. I’m sorry if I seemed critical, esteemed bus driver! 🙂

      • Everyone should have a dictionary…in every room and on your cell phone.
        I beg to differ on the thought that labeling the your story’s genre weakens its impact. I’m of the opinion that an impacting ending has more to do with plot than genre. Ad that’s my 2 cent’s worth.
        I agree about Parul’s masterful and imaginative venture into fantasy.

        • I keep my dictionary – the one the kids are not allowed to touch – next to my Bible. Webster is also first in line on my bookmark bar. Just got an iPhone, so I’ll have to find a good dictionary app.

          As for the great genre debate, we need not argue. I support you wholeheartedly in your efforts to bring genres to light!

          • No argument at all. Just taking my stand and I guess parsing things out in my head as write.
            I have Merriam-Webster on my iPhone. I really like it. There’s a free app or you can spend 3.99 for the more complete version. I have both versions and I’m not sure which is which.

            • I just don’t want you to feel like you have to defend the decision. Obviously, you had a reason to make it, and I really do think it’s a good idea. Even if the genre hints at an unexpected ending, we should – as writers – be able to identify our genre, and -as readers – be alerted to content we might prefer not to read.

  7. Well, here’s a comment I’ve never written before……Your entire ‘Angelique’ series (this story included) is excellent, compelling entertainment, is well written and imaginative, and is the best character driven set of stories that I have read in all my time on FF. Not an easy thing to do, judging by the amount of the “series” type stories we see. No matter. You have pulled it off perfectly. I love reading your ‘Angelique’ stories. Doesn’t get any better. I’m envious, jealous and a couple of other ‘..ous’ words thrown in for good measure.

    Re the whole ‘Label your genre thing…I don’t think doing so or trying to effects the impact of your stories and I agree with our bus driver re the need to do so. My two cents and of no real import, one way or the other.

    Last….I love you writing, pacing, and minimalist descriptions in this story.



    • Thank you again, Doug. I don’t even know what to say… except that I am incredibly grateful for your kind words and those of others!

      I don’t think labeling the genre is a bad idea… just that it might take a little of the punch out of those stories that rely on the ending to bring home a sudden emotion, particularly the horror types that sail happily along until an ominous closing line. That said, I DO think it’s a great exercise to identify your genre and focus your writing. I also think it’s a good idea to give people a heads-up if there are elements of your story that might be objectionable.

      Thanks again for your comment. I’ll try not to frame it… 😉

  8. First, great story! I particularly like the detail of how lifting both of them is painful and hard for Angelique. It seems to fit with the painfulness of the whole incident.

    I’m a little uneasy about genre labeling too (in fairness, maybe I should comment to Rochelle about this issue). First, I agree with the other commenters who feel explaining the genre can give away a twist ending. Besides that, I know people who flat out refuse to read certain genres; I hope we don’t turn out to have that problem inside this group.

    • I hope we’re more mature than to skip a story simply because it’s Romance or Sci-Fi or whatever, but I can see the merit of letting people know if you’ve written something they might find offensive. I don’t know – or need to know – all of Rochelle’s reasons for invoking the genre label, but I get the feeling she didn’t do it on a whim. I do agree that knowing the genre might give away a twist, but if that’s what it takes to keep things running smoothly, I can bear a little clue at the top of the page and enjoy the story’s twist anyway. It’s a small price to pay, I guess. And honestly, between us… I don’t always even notice the genre in the title because I’m too eager to read the story! 🙂


      Thanks for the comment!

  9. Pingback: Asylum « Mari Wells

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