Mar 31 2017

A #AtoZChallenge All Intents and Purposes #Fiction #SFF

#AtoZchallenge BADGE 2017
A #AtoZchallenge @JLenniDorner

My THEME for the A to Z challenge 2017 is an ongoing speculative fiction story featuring telepathy.

Each letter post is titled and inspired by a commonly misused word or phrase.

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All Intents and Purposes

I hope I’ll survive high school without being hauled off by the government’s newest task force. In freshman English class, Mr. Bennett gives us each a notebook. He says there is value to putting an actual pen to paper. He says we should decorate them, make them our own, and carry them with us everywhere. The first topic to write about is would what keep us from being fully honest when writing in the journal.

I think it is obvious. My pen glides over the blue lines of the crisp paper.

Someone might read it.

I feel this covers the answer. Grabbing my bag, I dig around to figure out how I’ll kill the rest of the time. A sheet of shiny stickers featuring fat cats under ridiculously over-sized fantasy flowers seems perfect for decorating. I stick one on my pen and another on the inside cover of the journal.

Anah, why aren’t you writing?” Mr. Bennett crouches beside my desk. “The journaling time lasts for fifteen minutes.”

I point to what I have written. Seriously, what more is there to this topic?

Mr. Bennett takes my pen. The sticker wrinkles. I inhale his cardamom cologne as he writes.

Why do you care? Why does it matter if someone knows more about you? Why is privacy important? What are you most afraid to share with others and why? Is our society better off when we keep secrets?

I see where he’s going with this. Then he writes something unexpected.

People who read minds can’t avoid knowing all that you might write in a journal. They know how often people keep from being honest. What do you suppose life is like for them, being journals of truth for people who fear being read?

He drops my pen on the desk and walks away. I’ve never thought about it this way. The HSMTF hunts down people who can read minds. They are taken to a holding area somewhere near Hawaii. I’ve seen it on the news. Is just hearing really dangerous?

I look at Mr. Bennett. He’s walking around the room, checking on other students. I press my pen to the page, drawing only a spiral.

I know what it’s like for people who can’t help but hear the thoughts of others. Do you?

He snaps up and spins around.

Am I the only one you hear?

Mr. Bennett shakes his head. I watch the beads of sweat forming on his brow. He looks to the door while scratching a red blotch behind his left ear.

The Homeland Security Mind Task Force isn’t coming. They know about people like you, but they don’t know about people like me yet.

I drop the pen and cross my arms. For all intents and purposes, he and I should be friends because we share a common secret. Time will tell.

Journal image. A #AtoZChallenge All Intents and Purposes #Fiction #SFF @JLenniDornerSticker Fat Cat Fantasy Flower @JLenniDorner A #AtoZChallenge All Intents and Purposes #Fiction #SFF

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Has anything ever kept you from being fully honest when journaling?

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
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  1. Enjoyed the excerpt! Your flashes are always a pleasure to read. I’ve never had a journal, wouldn’t want to put down actual events/facts to paper, scary prospect, – fiction much easier 🙂

    All the best for the A-Z
    From Madly-in-Verse
    Theme : Arabiana
    Nilanjana Bose has this post to share A is for…. Ahlan wa sahlan fi A-Z Challenge 2017!!My Profile

    1. Thanks so much. And I agree, fiction is easier.

  2. Off to a very interesting start. And speaking of starts, A to Z seems to be starting off very well. I’m having no trouble with this social media system. So far plenty of blogs to be found and they are all posting according to the Challenge.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out
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    1. *Fist bumps*
      I hope it keeps kicking butt.

    • John on March 31, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    Oh my. You’re too good!

    Do I really have to wait till Monday for the next installment? That’s too bad.
    John has this post to share Great & Powerful A to Z Challenge Theme RevealMy Profile
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    1. Indeed you do. Glad you like it so far.

  3. WOW! This a fantastic start to a story. Can’t wait to read more!

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir
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    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

    • David on April 1, 2017 at 1:43 AM

    Nice start to the challenge 😀 Are you going to explain why the words and phrases are misused anywhere?

    @breakerofthings from
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    1. I was thinking of putting that in the reflection post in May.
      If you’re curious though, this one is often misused as “all intensive purposes” instead of “all intents and purposes.”

      1. Thanks! I was wondering about that, too.
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        1. Maybe I should include a daily graphic…

  4. Great story. Now to figure out how the MC is different from everyone else being hunted…
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren has this post to share Awesome Arrow #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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    1. Well, she’s different because *REMOVED BY SPOILER POLICE*

  5. Really intrigued by the concept here. Looking forward to more!
    Nick Wilford has this post to share A-Z Challenge 2017 – A is for AlistairMy Profile
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    1. Thanks.

  6. I sometimes write a journal and i imagine someone digging it up maybe a 100 years after me and reading it… Provided English script is still the same
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    1. See, I LOVE that idea! Archeologists and diaries.

  7. Straight in there with the intrigue – nicely done.
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – Dragon Diaries
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    1. Thanks!

  8. This was interesting. I think I have exactly the same reasons of not being honest in a journal. The fear of someone reading it.

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    1. It is scary, isn’t it? When I see movies or tv where a diary is used as evidence against a person, I shutter.

  9. Wow! I’m hooked to this story! Will keep coming back for more everyday 🙂

    As for my thoughts about the journal, I have a post lined up about how blogging is like maintaining an online diary. It’s my O for post! 😀
    Mithila Menezes has this post to share Unique Alpha, Unforeseen Omega #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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    1. Great! And that sounds like a great post.

    • FinnBadger on April 1, 2017 at 6:16 AM

    Great beginning. I also wish the next update was tomorrow!

    Phillip | A is for artistamps

    1. Kind of cruel, making you wait that extra day. That’s the way the cookie calendar crumbs fall…. that was almost funny.

    • Paul on April 1, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    Well, that’s an interesting first post for certain. I’ll be interested in seeing where you go with this. Great first post in this A-to-Z Challenge — All the best, Paul …
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    1. Thanks

  10. This was great to read – nice establishing the characters, the world and the threat. I’d definitely read this novel! (Is it a novel?)

    I usually journal in a different language – this at least limits the people who understand it, especially in my close circle but I remember how scared I was when I discovered that mum kept my childhood diaries – I wasn’t very kind to her in them. I think the sheer volume of them probably scared her off from reading them anyway 😉

    On my Journey To Courageous Living A is for Achievements and Aspirations featuring the famous ‘I’m a bitch, I’m a lover’ – come, check out!
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    1. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this story beyond April. I think I’ll see how it goes and then decide. I’m kicking around a few ideas.

    • Liz on April 1, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    Oooh, really enjoyed that! Fabulous. Love the idea of reading minds but in reality I suspect it would be ghastly!

    href=>A is for Mary Anning, Fossil Hunter, #A-Z Challenge
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      • Liz on April 1, 2017 at 7:20 AM

      hmm! That did not go live! How will people link to me from the comments? Is this system going to work, i wonder?

      try again:A is for Mary Anning, Fossil Hunter, #A-Z Challenge
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      1. It looks like you were missing part of the coding in the other comment.

    1. There’s some debate on that issue later in this story.

  11. Im quite honest in my journaling because I do so much of it I don’t think anybody would have the time or patience to read it all.
    Loved your first entry.
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  12. Im quite honest in my journaling because I do so much of it I don’t think anybody would have the time or patience to read it all.
    Loved your first entry.

    Anger #Lexicon of Leaving
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    1. Those kind of journals are often excellent bases for books.
      Thanks for the love!

  13. Sorry there are two comments. I can’t seem to find how to delete the second one.
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    1. No worries.

    • Anita on April 1, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Gripping tale.
    Mind-reading is pretty thrilling! Not sci-fi.
    Anita has this post to share Angry?My Profile
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    1. That’s the trouble with Speculative Fiction cut into smaller doses like this– I don’t have all of the Venn diagram elements in every letter. The horror was also very minor in this scene. I do believe that the overall story will satisfy all SFF requirements.

    • Juneta on April 1, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    Enjoyed reading. Happy A to Z Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
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  14. Loved this beginning! Looking forward to reading the whole thing. Great start to the Å to Z!

    A is for Adele

    1. Thanks so much.

    • Natasha on April 1, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Woooah! Now thats a jolly good one!!! Looking forward to checking out the next 25 days.

    Cheers for a fabulous A-Z!

    Travel Epiphanies:
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    1. Cheers indeed!

    • Jana Denardo on April 1, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    This is a grabbing opener. I hope to see more.
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    1. Thank you.

  15. Ooooo interesting theme and a really great start to your story! I’ll definitely be coming back for all the installments of it. 🙂

    I’m taking part in the challenge for the first time this year. 🙂 I’m a writer too, stepping outside my comfort zone and delving into crime writing. My theme is: Secret Diary Of A Serial Killer.
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    1. Thanks so much! Happy writing.

  16. Excellent beginning. I wish I could read minds.

    Happy A to Zing in 2017!

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    1. Ahh… what a wonderful comment.
      This mind reading, would you rather have it since birth, or not get it until later in life, perhaps during puberty?
      How different would your life be if you knew every thought of every person?

      Keep reading and you’ll (assuming I have any skill) find good debate points.

    • Marquessa on April 1, 2017 at 6:38 PM

    Great post! I remember the days of keeping a journal…the good old days!

    Marquessa @simplymarquessa from
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    1. There were a few teachers who required journal keeping in my various schooling days. They are all part of the inspiration behind Mr. Bennett. The other part is… whoops, spoiler police.

  17. Great flash fiction. I really like it.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
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    1. Thanks!

  18. Fab start! I’m already hooked into this story and I need to know what happens next. Guess I’ll be back on B day 🙂
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    1. Wonderful!

  19. “The Homeland Security Mind Task Force” There’s a scary thought!
    Interesting premise. Looking forward to learning more about these characters. I kept a diary in high school and am grateful nobody else ever read it. 🙂

    Debbie @ THE DOGLADY’S DEN
    Latest post: Azzurro: Going AWOL in Switzerland
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    1. Hang on to your hat (or keyboard), because it’s going to get scarier.

    • Tawnya on April 1, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    Loved this! I love writing in a journal, and I always write exactly what I feel. I am guessing that one day there will be someone that reads my journals that is able to grasp more of who I am. I think that if we can’t be our most authentic selves when writing in a journal…. then what is the point of writing? Looking forward to reading more!

    1. You’d do well in Mr. Bennett’s 9th grade English class. 😉

  20. Ooh, intriguing! The story is off to a great start! 🙂
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    1. Thank you!

    • Tamara on April 2, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    I like the inexplicable.
    Can’t wait to read more. If I was clairvoyant I’d already know 😇
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    1. LOL. Maybe that would be like reading my mind.
      Good luck in there, it’s a dusty room, lots of books and dried leaves. 😉

    • Darcy on April 2, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    I enjoyed this and look forward to reading more as your story unfolds. I like the mind reading twist in there. I commit acts of omission when journaling – I wouldn’t qualify that as being dishonest – just withholding what I don’t want to share.

    1. Fair enough. Do you know why you decide not to share certain items with a journal? Not wanting them found, not wanting to admit, or wanting to forget perhaps?

        • Darcy on April 3, 2017 at 6:56 PM

        Probably a combination of not wanting them found and not wanting to admit.

    • Anna on April 3, 2017 at 1:08 AM

    Oooooooo lovely.

    I like mind-reading people. I mean, stories about people who can mind read. I don’t want people to read my mind though. :p
    Anna has this post to share #AtoZChallenge: The Princess and the Blueberry BaneMy Profile
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    1. I’m glad I wrote a story with a character trait you enjoy.

    • Chandni on April 3, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    Oooh that was delicious ! I love the possibilities of the idea of mind reading if it were true . I am most certain we all have that hidden ability . Sometimes I can almost sense exactly what someone is going through by simply reading their post .. are we all trying to send these subliminal messages to each other? I just hope no one is tracking this conversation .. I don’t want to be taken away by the Homeland people!
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  21. Telepathy and mind reading:) Sounds like it is going to be an interesting series
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  22. Hi, Lenni! I’ve just learned that Sorchia Dubois is compiling a list of bloggers who are writing fiction for the A to Z Challenge. She’s using LinxZ, so the opportunity to add our own blogs is open for only the 1st week of the Challenge. If you’re interested in a bit more exposure, you might check it out. I just added Space, Time, and Raspberries, and I’m spreading the word to the other 6 fiction authors I’ve found, like you. I’m going to add an additional 6 from Sorchia, and publish them on my daily posts, too.
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    1. Thanks so much for that info!

      – J

  23. I enjoyed your story so far. Wondering what will happen next!
    Discarded Darlings – Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction
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  24. Wow! Tense beginning– and oddly reminiscent of my own school days. Not in high school, but in middle school, my best friend had me utterly convinced that she could read minds. It was a very strange thing to believe, because I was never sure my thoughts were private, and that was oddly stressful. I mean, I’d be ogling some boy, and then I’d think, “I wonder if she can hear me thinking right now?”– and then I’d get all self-conscious. It was pretty weird, really. I had mental techniques that I thought would ‘block’ her and everything. And when I finally came to the conclusion that she probably couldn’t really read my thoughts, I felt sort of deflated, because even though it was stressful to believe that she was reading my mind, it was also totally awesome to believe that she could. Also, it was sort of provoking, to think that I’d spent all that time worrying about something that was not happening.
    Melanie Atherton Allen
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  25. The A to Z Challenge has finished and now I’m only starting to catch up my reading. Really looking forward to working my way through this story. Thanks for sharing.

    Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge.
    Sandra, Aspiring family historian, fellow participant in the #AtoZchallenge – Sandra’s Ancestral Research Journal
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    1. I hope you enjoy it!

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