Author Archives: Sarah VanBuskirk

Witch’s Curse

Hello, Radishes.

This story is not a fun one. Straight up, it’s not. I was challenged a while ago to write what made me uncomfortable… what made me afraid. I didn’t know why at the time this challenge seemed too daunting of a task to undertake until it hit me. I was living the uncomfortableness that I was afraid to write.

Things have been going on with me that aren’t exactly thrilling, but I’m constantly fighting to make my life better. To fight my inner demons, or however the saying goes. Writing became something I couldn’t handle, so I needed to take a break from it for a while. I needed to find my way back to where writing was fun for me again. Where anything was fun for me again. And I’m nearly there. Through the love and support from my partners in crime and my stubbornness to never back down, I’m getting stronger.

This is a parody on being a writer with depression/anxiety. And it was hard for me to write. It won’t be mind-blowing, but I do hope it offers some insight on what it’s like to be in my head for all of five minutes. It’s the battle I’m fighting and it’s the war that I will conquer.

Names were based off of this Bible verse:
Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.”
Naomi means “pleasant.”

Mara means “bitterness.”

                                                                                 The Witch’s Curse

Once upon a time, there was a girl that forgot how to write. Her name was Naomi and it was her dream to share her stories with the world.

It wasn’t as if she’d forgotten the words, and it wasn’t as though all her grammar lessons had amounted to nothing. It was that her body and mind were placed under a spell, preventing her limbs and synapses from sitting down, picking up a pen or opening up a laptop, and creating something beautiful.

The witch at blame went by the name Mara. She was invisible, but had her eyes set on Naomi since she was a little girl. The witch had cursed her family with depression throughout the ages, making sure that no matter what hopes and dreams they had, they would never be accomplished. Or, if they did accomplish them, they would never be allowed to see the greatness they had achieved.

The curse hit Naomi earlier than most of her ancestral counterparts. Instead of waiting until she had something to achieve, it began when she found something she loved. Writing. Words. The power of a single sentence that could make a reader feel something deeper than anything else the shallow world currently provided. Crafting such magic became her passion; it soon became her burden.  Continue reading

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A Thousand Deaths.

Sarah’s Prompt: Curses! No really, that’s your prompt. In the spirit of Halloween, someone in your story has a curse. Do they fight it? Accept it? What is it? Is it just a part of life? Would everyone consider it a curse, or just that person? Let your imagination run wild!

I ran wild with it. 
This might be a bit out there because it’s a possible plot bunny for me, but I hope you all like it!! 
Oh. And HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN. 

 

***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***

One minute there was a blinding, beckoning light at the end of the tunnel and the next there was only her. She blocked my path and stopped me from moving forward, her dangerous blue eyes tantalizingly haunting. I waited for her to speak the first words of our exchange, but she remained patient, her mouth parted yet silent.

“Something’s happened,” I said after what felt like an infinity. The seconds ticked by as I waited to hear the strange girl speak. She didn’t seem possible. Dark brown skin with hair the color of fire. It flowed down from her head into perfect ringlets, blowing in a breeze I couldn’t feel.

I didn’t believe in monsters, but the way her shoulders caved forward like a hunter about to bag its prey made me think otherwise.

“Do you want to hear a story?” The girl asked. She took a step forward, a grin pulling at her cheeks. “Stereotypical blonde hair, hazel eyes, pale skin… You look like a girl that really enjoys stories.”

I took a step back. “I don’t want to hear a story.”

“But it’s such a good story,” the girl hissed. For a moment, I swore her eyes blackened over. Her eyes were calm rivers hiding behind lava-red bangs.

I didn’t trust her. Continue reading

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6/10 Word Sentences

So I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. So interesting, that I can’t even begin to describe them to you. 

My mind has been crazy busy editing ANOTHER draft of KeyNovel. That, combined with some annoying life matters, has me in a writing funk. Monica took pity on me and gave me a new challenge: 6/10 word prompt. 

I took it just a step further. I combined this with her original prompt: Think of a place or situation where you are totally, completely, deeply uncomfortable. That’s your setting.

There’s so many things in this world that make me uncomfortable. One of them being the existence of “rape culture.” It’s a scary world we live in, but because brave heroes are finally speaking up, we are making a difference. I saw this (see gifs below) on Tumblr today and allowed it to kick start my interesting post for you guys.  Continue reading

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A Conversation over a Table Full of Food

My prompt:  Everybody’s got World Cup fever! Or do they? Your next story must include the World Cup in a prominent way (it can’t just be on a TV in the background) 🙂

So I did a thing. 

I wrote a controversial short story. And even though I hope it doesn’t, I know it will offend people. 

Keep in mind a couple things:

1) Originally, I wrote this out of frustration. My biggest “thing” as of late is people with opposing views waging war against each other. In a world where everyone can say what they want, there’s bound to be someone that thinks different than you. Religion. Politics. Sports. Prejudices. I am all for having your own views as I feel this demonstrates freedom of choice, but I am very against the ways people choose to act out their differences. Fighting? Killings? Posting rude or nasty pictures on social media sites to make the other side evoked? Please, LET IT END. Work out differences in way that can be civil. No good ever came from forcing someone to see your side of things. I hope that by reading this short story (written by an imperfect human being) that you can see that there is a peaceful solution to having differences. 

2) As the writer of this short story, I’d like to say that I am friends with people of all opinions. And I love those with different views because they help me see the bigger picture in life. And, dare I say it, they even make me feel stronger in my own faith. And from what I’ve experienced, a simple conversation has gotten me a lot farther than “shoving what I believe down someone’s throat.” (Last line is in quotations because this is the example used by a friend that spent time talking with me about difficult topics.) This conversation is actually based off of one I had in college. I promised the person I originally talked to about this subject that I would one day put my thoughts in writing. Well now I did. Your name isn’t Jason, but you did challenge me to put some thought into how I viewed life. So thanks!

3) My views are mine and mine alone and do not reflect my co-writer’s thoughts. In fact, this is a conversation we haven’t really talked in depth about. I do know that she loves people. 🙂 

4) If you are still reading this long intro, please go into reading my story with an open mind. I’m not looking for agreement. I’m just a girl that thought it was time to give an inside glance into the thoughts I’ve yet to share with the interweb. 

5) I hope the World Cup in this story is prominent enough for you, M. 😉 

6) I almost didn’t post this because I had panic attack like symptoms over how this might be accepted. But you know what… I can’t be ashamed of my own thoughts. I’m a writer and I write. That’s that.

7) Number 6 happened because I almost went and deleted this whole thing.

8) I’m still debating it.

9)I’m sending myself to bed now.

10) dsafhdjskfhalkejcnrlwekrjvh

Enjoy. 

A Conversation over a Table Full of Food

One would think it’s a crime to walk into a World Cup party wearing a hockey jersey. At least, that’s the impression I got when I walked through my friend’s front door and fifteen sets of eyes immediately glared at me. One of them even boo’s me, pointing at my shirt.

Jason, my friend from COM 103, makes a gagging sound as I join him at the food table. He dips a scoopable chip into some salsa before leading a generous portion to his mouth. “Did you forget which sport is playing today, Nat?” I shudder at the fixed nickname that’s been following my whole life. I wish people called me by my full name: Natalie. Instead, I’m forced to share the same name as the annoying bugs that swarm the air in the summertime.

“Not a big soccer person,” I say, surveying the table. The hostess went all out on this party. Appetizers on the left and casseroles, sandwiches, and a roast in the middle all lead to an impressive dessert display at the end. I spot pizza puffs mixed into the buffet and drop two on a plate. “Hockey is a much better sport, anyways.”

Jason huffs, a spitlet of red juice falling on his shirt. “No way! Soccer is worldwide. Hockey just gets Canada, eh.”

I smoosh the puff on my plate under my finger. “Wrong. Haven’t you ever watched the Olympics?” I roll my eyes and sigh dramatically. Jason covers his mouth with the back of his hand and laughs. “But, at least America has the Blackhawks under its belt.”

Jason stops laughing and nods at my shirt. “You’re a Blackhawks fan? Geez, Chi-Town, I couldn’t tell.” He glances at the TV and then at the couch. He looks like he wants to join them, but decides against it. “Sucks you’re going to school in only THE GREATEST HOCKEY TOWN IN THE WORLD.”

Someone from the bathroom chants “LA Kings. LA Kings.”

“You guys win one Stanley Cup…” My words trail off and I end the thought with a shrug. “Besides there’s always next year.” Damn. I was starting to sound like a Cubs fan. “Hey wait, I thought you were a World Cup kind of guy.”

“I am.” Jason’s lips tug up at the sides. “But if there’s a chance to annoy you or any Blackhawks fan, I’ll be whatever I have to be to do so.” Continue reading

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On Top of Mt. Future

Sarah’s Prompt: Summer is all about making choices, so this time I’m giving you an option. Check out the Instagram account called Yeah_Write, an account dedicated to daily visual writing prompts. You can pick an old picture (and it’s accompanying prompt if you wish) or go with the one for whatever day you start writing. Please link us to whichever picture you decide!

I chose this link: http://instagram.com/p/nyLcoIke8h/  (Copy and paste it into your browser! It wouldn’t let me save from my computer from some reason.)

And now… the story. Disclaimer: I’m not posting this on my Facebook and will lead those that I know will understand this story to this link. Monica will get it though. 🙂

On Top of Mt. Future

There we were sitting on one of the most beautiful places in God’s green earth when Kara turned to me and said, “I think we should break up.”

I didn’t look up from the book I was reading. Not because I was really interested by it, but because I didn’t know how to respond to the statement that I sensed was coming. So I waited, the fog rolling in from the mountains and turning the tension heavier. I looked over her shoulder to see what page number she was on.

“I’m on page two-seventeen,” I told her. She shrugged, seemingly uninterested. “That’s only three behind you.”

“Great,” she said, shifting so that our shoulders had at least a foot apart. I wish I could say that I had no idea why she was treating me this way, but let’s face it, I knew exactly which cause was to blame.

“We were bound to break up anyways,” I said, turning the page in my book. “I mean, think about it. We’ve only been going out for a year.”

“That’s an infinity in high school years,” Kara snapped, pulling at her novel’s binding. She only hurt books when she was angry.

This fight wasn’t a new one for us. It all started five months ago when I told Kara I loved her. It seemed like the right thing to do. We’d been dating for seven months and had already been deemed the school’s cutest couple. At least, that’s what it looked like to me. I didn’t anyone else walking down the hallways with smiles as big as ours. I discovered happiness but forgot to calculate in the power of those three, overused words: I love you. Let me explain.

I loved pizza. I loved staying up late and watching footballs games. I loved the internet. And I loved Kara Newsbury. But eating pizza every day would make me fat. Staying up late to watch football games would make me tired the next day at work. Bumming around online all day would make me miss the real world. And loving Kara Newsbury would only end in a heartbreak that I would cause. Continue reading

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The Skin I’m In

Sorry for the late posting, guys! I’ve been back in the States visiting family so my mind and time has been limited. (As you may see when you read this.) But writing is important and I have to keep at it!! My prompt:

4yearold

 

The Skin I’m In

I turned the corner and saw myself at four years old. Not a phantom, but the physical me, on the last day I ever danced.

When I was born, my mother wasn’t surprised at my lack of mortality, but she was livid. My hair grew out into pink waves while my eyes took on a sea green color that clashed with my sunset colored skin. Mother tried to use makeup and dyes to hide my appearance, but when my wings sprouted out from between my shoulder blades, there was nothing she could do anymore. “You’re disgusting,” Mother would say to me, her eyes never resting on me for more than a minute. “If ever there was an example of a dangerous one night stand, that’s you.”

I tried not to let it bother me.

When I was one and a half, I knew better than to look out the windows. I was a creature of disgust and needed to act like it. At the same time, I was supposed to act like the other toddlers my age, keeping my talking and observations to myself. Most days, I stayed in my room, dancing to the tunes that spilled out of my radio. I got quite good at matching my steps to the sounds, my body moving on something akin to instinct. It was the only time I ever felt truly happy: when my body became the movements of dance. Continue reading

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Roma

My prompt was to take this picture and transform it:

dscn1336 

So I did. 

What happened was I took on a voice of someone completely different than anything I’d ever written. I’m not sure it’s good. I’m not even sure I like it. But until I’m 100% sure, I’m going to be proud of it. 

Enjoy.

Roma

Her name was Roma and she was beautiful, even if she was deadly.

When this whole thing started, I’d been looking standing on my balcony, the waves in the distance luring me into a sense of dreariness. At least I’d hoped it was the waves. I was only on my third Birra Moretti so I couldn’t possibly be drunk. No, I knew I was still sober all the way up until my fifth drink.

That’s when I saw what I thought could only be explained as an illusion.

With her hands, she touched the man like a thousand year old vase that might shatter at the slightest pressure. Her lips moved in a way that suggested she might kiss him at any moment. My conscious hinted that it would be proper to leave them be, to walk back inside my room, finish off my drink, then head to bed. But curiosity got the best of my bored self and I watched. I waited for the beautiful woman’s lips to meet with the man’s, but it never did. It was then I realized she didn’t plan on kissing him.

She was singing. Continue reading

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