Whoo boy. The second installment of the WordPress Discover Challenge has dropped, and it’s a doozy, or at least, it hits me pretty hard. The challenge topic is “Witness,” and I won’t be reading today’s inspiration post, but I certainly invite you to read what is described as:
a guest post by Elizabeth Marro over at Cynthia Martin’s blog, Catching Days. It’s a moving tribute that the author wrote about her dog, Chloe, who had recently died.
“She was the witness to every word I wrote that day as well as every word I’ve written and the many I have failed to write for fourteen years.”
I myself have cats who are my children, and I’m still trying to get over the loss of one of my daughters from cancer last July, so even thinking about that post and writing this out is making me weepy. Ugh. (For a glimpse into my kids’ lives and a happier post, you can read a short story I wrote from another daughter’s perspective, a piece I posted in January called Forever Home.)
I’m sure Elizabeth Marro wrote a powerful piece, and maybe someday I will be able to read it, but for now, I have to concentrate on the further meaning of the challenge today, separating it from the pet angle.
Who is your witness? Who sees you when you write (or draw, or snap a photo)? Do you ever imagine anyone observing you, whether over your shoulder or from across the room? Whether it’s a person, an animal, an inanimate object, or something else entirely, publish a post — in prose or in verse, or in any non-textual medium you love working in — about it/them/her/him.
This is another intriguing post and a great challenge, and my mind immediately went to how I can shape it into another snippet from Neeka’s cyberstory (you can read last week’s installment from the sensory challenge there). I already have some ideas… time to let them percolate, and then get some writing done later. Salut for now!
As she stepped through the full body scanner on her way into the corp tower, the monitor flashed her ID picture and credentials for the ork security guard at his station. Great, he’s new, she thought as he studied her image closely. His large eyes kept flickering between the pristine image of the petite, fresh faced, dusky-skinned half-elven girl with black, shoulder-length hair shot through with red streaks on his screen, and the not-quite as petite as when the photo was taken, more worn around the edges half-elven girl with black, spiky hair streaked with electric blue and a red cybernetic eye standing before him.
“Name and department?” the guard finally asked in a growling voice instead of waving her through, and she fought hard not to sigh.
“Neeka Delgado, Security,” she said. She was already running late, but there was no point trying to rush him — orks had notoriously short fuses, and his fist was the size of her head. She glanced at the miniature security drones zipping around the gleaming lobby, then turned her full, red-eyed glare on one that had broken out of it’s standard formation to swoop down toward her.
The mini quadcopter, only the size of her open hand, hovered in front of her face for a moment, tiny LEDs on the casing blinking patterns at her and mounted camera lenses glinting at her from all angles. She had the overwhelming urge to swat the thing away, but knew she couldn’t afford another demerit right now, especially if the idiot at the security desk was going to make her late.
“What floor?” the ork asked, apparently taking the quad’s sudden interest in her as validation of his suspicions. Neeka watched a majority of the people standing in line behind her groan and move to other, faster moving security lines.
She knew it was impossible, but the quad seemed to quiver as if laughing before it looped around her head, then flew toward her feet, ostensibly scanning her again while the security guard glared. “Forty-two, blue sector,” she said, her teeth clenched. “That picture is three years old,” she added, trying to be casual, but when the quad moved around to her heels and began to scan up her legs, she clenched her hands into fists.
“Why’s that drone keep lookin’ at you?” the guard growled, then jerked his head in a small motion that nonetheless swung his huge tusks in a scary arc, as he got the attention of his supervisor.
“Because Arlynn likes my ass,” Neeka hissed, finally risking stepping away from the spot she’d been standing obediently in during her mini interrogation as the quad hovered right behind her. She didn’t need her special hearing to know the mounted cameras were clicking away, saving 3D images of her backside, and even with it she couldn’t hear, but she could imagine, her best friend’s laughter echoing off the walls of their closet office on the forty-second floor.
Just as the ork guard was about to protest, probably violently, that Neeka had moved out of position, the head of lobby security, an older human woman with a cybernetic hand and a gruff expression, came over to intervene. “Trod! What are you — Neeka, get your ass to work,” she barked, and the ork guard quickly hit a button that dropped Neeka’s ID info from his screen.
“I was just — the drone, ma’am,” Trod stammered, and Neeka threw the quad that was even now zooming off to rejoin the security formations above their heads another glare, wishing she really had the laser-shooting ability that Arlynn often joked about her having so she could bring it down. She then gave the older woman an apologetic smile before rushing off to the maglifts, hoping she could catch one up to the forty-second floor before her scan-in window clocked her as being late, again.
Ahhh! This story is far from finished, but I hope that I was able to convey the aura of “police state security” to count for the “Witness” Discovery Challenge! Stay creative, everyone, and look for more updates soon!
This post is copyright © Jamie Lyn Weigt. All rights reserved. Please do not share without credit and a direct link back to this post and my site, writingdragonsblog.com.
Image credit – Since I was writing about drones today (more correctly called quadcopters or quads, I’ve learned), I thought I’d look for a “dragon drone,” and of course, because the internet is a wonderful place, I found this awesomeness. It’s a fully-functional, fire-breathing dragon flying drone, that retails on that website for a hefty $60,000.00 — yes, sixty thousand dollars, that’s right. But still, to have your own little flying, fire-breathing dragon that you can sic on your enemies and friends? Worth it.