Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Prompt: Message by fortune cookie

Siena McAlister retrieved her weapons from the spaceport security. The tension eased from her shoulders as the comforting weight of her pulse pistols and laser knives settled against her hips and thigh. She always had the titanium stakes tucked in her thick black braids, but she hated feeling vulnerable when she wasn’t fully unarmed.

She glanced over to her favorite neo-Chinese takeout place across the station. The host caught her eye with an impassive nod as he held out a silver tray and bowed to her. She shook her head slightly, but he only bowed deeper, more insistently, and held out the tray patiently. She sighed and headed over. When she reached him, she returned his bow and took the lone fortune cookie on the tray.

“Xie xie,” she muttered as he slipped away. She broke it open and read the fortune.

Be prepared to lend your assistance. You are ready for success.

Siena sighed and tucked the fortune in her pocket. She knew she wouldn’t have to look for it. Trouble was undoubtedly already headed her way. Surely there was time for spring rolls and lo mein.


Trouble ran into her headlong, in front of the jeweler’s shop. A young girl, Siena guessed eight or nine, was darting through the crowded walkway and tripped in front of Siena. She barely had time to plant her feet and brace for the impact. As she grabbed the young girl’s arms, she marveled at how much more she seemed to weight than her slight frame appeared. The girl gasped and pulled away. Siena looked past her to see three helmeted guards walking toward them. She tucked the girl under her arm and swung across the walkway, walking away from them.

“There you are! Ama sent me looking for you when you didn’t come right home from school. Come on, I bet you have homework, and I have to get to work” she said loud enough for passersby to appreciate a long-suffering older sister. The girl glanced back at the guards, then up at Siena with a fierce glare. Siena winked at her and gave her a quick squeeze.

“It’s okay,” she reassured the girl, encouraging her to go along. “I’ll tell Ama I found you at the library. Come on, let’s go see if she has supper ready.” When the girl started to look behind them, Siena whispered, “First rule of being chased. Never look back. It slows you down and draws attention. If they’re going to catch you, they will. But not today, I think.” The girl looked forward and matched Siena’s stride.

Siena took the long way through the port to reach her small rented room. By the time they took the lifts into the residential quarters, she was sure the guards had continued their search for the lone girl elsewhere. She debated sending the girl on her way, but she suspected her fortune wouldn’t be fulfilled so easily. The girl looked over the 10th level balcony while Siena lay her palm against the door to unlock it. “Come on,” she said. “Home sweet home.”

The girl followed her inside and kicked off her worn shoes in the entry. She had some manners then, Siena thought. She still hadn’t spoken. She stood with her hands on her hips and looked around the small room, then back at Siena. A smile ghosted across her lips. “So, what’s Ama making for supper?”

Siena grinned and shook her head. “Hope you like soba, kid. It’s about all I can cook.” The girl raised her eyebrows and marched into the kitchenette along the wall. It was Siena’s turn to watch her, hands on hips. Without a word, the girl opened cabinets and the chiller and pulled out random items, including a pack of soba noodles. She poured water in a pot and put it on the stove, then started chopping things with quick efficiency.

Siena shook her head and walked over to the wall safe, where she stashed her pistols and knives, then stretched out on the couch.

“You got a name, kid?”

The girl looked up, opening her mouth a couple of times as if she wanted to speak but couldn’t. Finally, she whispered, “Sojenjay.”

Oh, shit. Siena leaped to her feet and stared blindly out the window. This girl wasn’t trouble. She was Armageddon.  

Dogs in house:
Time writing:
~45 minutes
July word count:


  1. Ooh, very interesting! I'd love to know who she is!

  2. I'm back from my internet-holiday, but I started editing my novel during that time and I'm trying to keep going -- so I might not always have time for prompt writing (like today). I'll try to check in and report on my writing activity anyway, just to keep up with the social feel, though, if that's okay.

    Today: novel editing, time 20 minutes

    1. Welcome back! I appreciated your thoughts on FB - it , was a productive experiment. I hope you will check in here every now and then, and write when the mood strikes you. But novel progress is more important! Go, Anne! :)

  3. Thanks, I'm excited about this one. I already wrote a bit more, and I think this could be a good story!