The Island.

“I went out to the hazel wood, ’cause a fire was in my head.”

Tom glanced at his sister as if she were on crack. “If you don’t want to tell me the reason―fine. But, I’m getting out as soon as we’re back at the site.”

Lauren gawked. “Oh fuck you, Tom. You know they’d put you back under like that,” she snapped her fingers. “You can’t be a breach to us.”

“The least you owe me then is an explanation.”

“And what else after? Some cinnamon pie? A nice Moscow mule? We can’t have those luxuries here so I don’t owe you shit except survival.”

“I just want to know you’re safe!”

Lauren sighed. “I joined this group and I think we have a shot at escaping—for real this time. They were able to draw up some maps of the island…”

Written for the dVerse prosery prompt:

Write a story that includes the following line(s) from the poem ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ by Yeats:

‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

I used the two main characters I created in a group collaborative novel I am running on here. Not much context is needed for this piece as it takes place before the events of the story. Just a little indulging with the quote from today’s prompt and my desire to tackle fiction again.

Reposted for the Go Dog Go PYM 2/22/21.

Categories: Prose, Stories/Excerpts

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

74 replies

  1. Oh I definitely think you should tackle fiction again! This set the scene dramatically, and I definitely want to know more…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww, thank you Ingrid. I do have projects on the side but I always struggle with ideas and continuing the plot. Maybe someday I’ll dive headfirst again in those projects and see what happens. 😀 But, I really do like working on this project with others; it’s been a blast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I first found your site by working on a collaborative poem: that was fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds familiar, I think I remember you saying something like that! 😀 It was a fun project and I can’t believe I’ve forgotten about it by now. Wow, and it wasn’t even over a year ago yet. So many people participated, had fun, and even connected with each other which made me so happy. I’m now, thanks to you, mentally planning to host another one in April especially as that is NaPoWriMo.

        …Which now also reminds me that I promised one of my readers they would be the first to know when the next one hits. Better late than never, I guess lol. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok thanks for the heads up! Pleased I jogged your memory: I was just starting out so this was a great way for me to meet other poets 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this part of a story, and how much you tell through dialogue. It seems so credible, and yet I catch a dystopian story underneath, maybe getting away from under the thumbs of totalitarian lizard men…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. no no no no!!!!! Keep on with the story!!!! What happened last time???? What’s going on???? I want you to continue writing!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I LOVE your reaction. Luckily, we have ten chapters of it so far and it’s somehow still kicking. 😁 I will hopefully be working with more collaborators in the near future to continue on with the general storyline.

      Now as for what happened last time… This may or may not be the first time they attempted to try something of an escape. Luckily, it didn’t reveal they broke out of their memory loops and so now, the siblings work even harder to remain undetected by the island society.

      That’s all I’ll say but I included way more in-depth spoilers in a comment to Kim below.


  4. A group collaborative novel? That sounds interesting, Lucy! Prosery is an excellent exercise when you’re writing fiction – short and sharp to flex your imagination and get your creative juices flowing. I like the way you used the prompt lines as a springboard into the piece, right at the very beginning, and where it took you so fluently and naturally. And I’m left with so many questions: Who and why would they put Tom ‘back under’? Why is he a breach – and to what? From what are they escaping? I’m going to be thinking about this all night!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha, thank you so very much Kim! I can answer your questions if you don’t mind major spoilers from the collaborative novel 😉

      So, yeah, spoilers below and beware:

      Who would put Tom back under? It’s an island society that tries to have a place for anyone in it (and discards those who don’t or fail to have a use in running their part in the society). So, “being put back under” is what the memory loops are–where it places individuals in a sort of hypnotic state to do as they’re told on the island, along with altering their memories. They may remember bits and pieces of the in-between. The island runs experiments on people, but Lauren and Tom were deemed as failed experiments as they couldn’t react to the trials.

      Those trials, in the story, morph people into mutants. There are some humans in the story, but not a lot. That should probably tell you the success rate. 😏 However, mutants can break out of the loop too, but like with humans, if this is discovered they’re put at a disadvantage of being put back under or hunted and killed. And if they escape, the same thing unless the mutant is willing to work for the the island labratory and bring back targets.

      When Tom threatened to leave their hidden site, he would be a breach as he’s risking himself to being discovered that no, he is no longer in the designated loop. All that they’re working on has been under the island’s society’s nose as Lauren gathers supplies and makes connections with the radicals, pre-story.

      They are escaping from the night-slayers and mutants watching them, and eventually, sent after them. They’re pretty much escaping for freedom and to find the real world they were abducted from after their parents died in a fatal car wreck.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These two feel bonded in how they throw niceties aside in their conversation. Seems like a tense place they are in where they need to escape and one feels responsible for the safety of the other. Good grittiness to your slice of the story here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Lisa! I’m happy you could pick up on that from this little scene here. Your analysis is exactly right especially as that is the dynamic that surrounds them for the most part. Even with trying to keep the other safe, they take so many risks. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is incredibly enticing, Lucy! I love the fact that the prose raises so many unanswered questions .. just enough to keep the reader on the edge of the seat. Perfect! 💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh no! This does not seem like a good place. I hope they’re OK, but somehow I sense. . .maybe not. 😏

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A great story of intrigue and questions to answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This reads like a snippet from a longer story. It works well using only dialogue.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Exciting, Lucy! The characters both look like they have their hands full; you’ve done such a good job delineating them already.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. An enticing slice of fiction. You write terrific dialogue. As noted, this long tease implies, infers, suggests many thing. Each reader can fill in the blanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A firey tale. From start to finish, you kept the tempo steady
    Happy Monday


    Liked by 2 people

  13. The conversation seems natural, even the fact that she quotes Yeats. It’s definitely a teaser, leaving questions hanging everywhere. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Third sentence really stirred my curiosity Lucy. Who, what, why? You write very natural dialog — I can recognize these individuals… they’re real. Very effective!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Okay, Lucy. Now this is simply unfair. I demand that you write another 144 words to continue the story!


    Liked by 2 people

  16. More, please. This is a wonderful beginning. It would be interesting to see what happens next. Good writing, Lucy!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Quite a stage you’ve set …. not surprised folks are clamoring for more. Me too.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Very interesting story! I’d love to see more pieces like this if you have any!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I sang a song in a theatre show once called The River that included this line and I didn’t know it was from a Yeats poem. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Well…aren’t we all fired up,fire burning

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Great story, And consistent words… Brilliant work continued… thanks for sharing.. good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Artemis was still scratching the pen along her diary. The city was covered in a thick crepuscular gloom.

    ” Fancy basking in the moonlight?” Lauren asked alluringly

    “Fat chance of that,”

    “Fuck you!”

    An incorrigible tardy bum. Dhur! Lauren flounced off the room and vanished in the ebony night.

    Slowly she strolled down to the huge oak tree struck by lightning. She ran a sorrowful glance to its bared bones, tendons and sinews to establish the extent of damage caused by the lightning. Sitting underneath the tree her heart lurched. Back on the day, the giant tree offered a considerable latitude to the villagers in their youthful endeavours by flexing its muscles, scaring and sending a chill down the spine to the night-slayers like a latter-day Bruce Lee.

    The thorny caress of moonlight and the balmy air began to badger her. She moved into tears, wailing inconsolably. With a heavy heart, she scrambled to her feet and clenched the tree tightly branding a kiss then another and then one more and whispered tremulously.

    ” You will be fine. Don’t work yourself into lathers. You’ll be okay…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried this inspired by the same story. Unfortunately paragraphs are omitted. 😶

      Liked by 1 person

      • Smita, this is AWESOME. I have this big dopey grin from that ending; I find it so humorous and sad: Lauren having that panic attack and kissing a tree. You nailed the character dynamics perfectly—Artemis being obliviously aloof while Lauren is more emotional, vulnerable. Makes me wonder when this happens too.

        I really enjoyed reading this! This was a pleasant surprise to start my morning with. 😁 Very well-written and vibrant with your descriptions.


      • Glad you liked it. I suspected, you didn’t like/it wasn’t right to post it in the comment box. I notice people posting their poems and stories in the comment box but It was rather too long for that, makes it look a bit out of place. Right? I reckon I must keep this in mind as of now.
        With respect to the he story– Yes it was only to lighten and brighten my mood as well as others. A little bit of practice for good measure. I may post it on my blog after editing and making a few corrections. Thanks you so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I honestly do not mind when people post in the comment box on one of my poems/stories. The only thing I would not like is if it were irrelevant to the post they commented on. Yours was VERY relevant to the post and I enjoyed reading it very much.

        I look forward to seeing it on your blog, if you decide to publish it there. I would be more than happy to reblog it as well. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • The fact is I loved your story. And the idea to take the same character and ruin the story. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww, thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed my story and could feel inspired.

        And yes, that is the goal in writing! 😁 Ruin the story, corrupt it, shred it to bits. That’s what writing feels like anyway. As well, yes, the mutant is aloof and cold.

        I must also thank you for your collaborative help and effort in this ongoing story project. It’s an honor to work with you and as well learn more the nuances of writing, especially with novellas.


      • Learning this language is not being offered by me as yet but I believe that we all possess something to learn from each other. 😛 Thank you Lucy. Keep writing. It’s an absolute pleasure and a privilege to connect with you, read you. All the best for your future exploits. 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I have kinda forgotten the characters… is the mutant aloof? 😀

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Catastrophic. – Lucy's Works and Co

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