Apr 09 2017

H #AtoZChallenge Home in #Fiction #SFF

#AtoZChallenge2017 BadgeH #AtoZchallenge @JLenniDorner Home in Hone in #Fiction #SFF

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.

The story started with All Intents and Purposes.

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Home in

It’s important to reflect on events in your life and your experiences, Anah. I don’t want my students to just scarf down knowledge and spit it back out on tests. Teaching, and learning, is more than that; it’s taking in existing knowledge and then using it to generate new thoughts and ideas.

So writing a letter to my five-year-old self is going to help me figure out how to avoid capture by the task force? Because it looked like evidence that put me at risk.

Mr. Bennett shakes his head. It didn’t have to be about telepathy. You could have told your five-year-old self about your best friend, about a fun party, or about the first boy you danced with in middle school.

Jerk. I lean against the oak tree. This was becoming our spot. I don’t have a best friend. I sit with some girls at lunch because the guidance counselor assigned us to each other. I’ve never been to a party. My parents think they’re dangerous. I had to beg them to let me go to high school. They were going to enroll me in homeschooling. I wrap an arm around the tree. And as for dancing with a boy, or kissing a boy, or holding hands, none of that ever happened.

“Why not?” He puts his hand on my shoulder.

Memories flood back. Hearing Jarrett thinking about asking me to the seventh-grade winter carnival, but deciding not to because he thought I’d say no and tell everyone. Me asking him, and his friends making fun of him for it, so he said no and called me ugly. Hailey wondering if I wore my black hoodie all the time because I liked girls. Me passing her a note explaining that I didn’t think I liked girls the way she did, but that I’d be her friend if she wanted. Her hitting me after school that day. My hair being pulled out as she called me a freak. Hailey stealing my black hoodie, saying she was giving it to her pet wolf, and that the wolf would come to eat me. Sleeping inside the hope chest at the foot of my parents’ bed for a month, because it was the only place I could nod off.

I hold the tree tighter. Mr. Bennett prompts me again. I just shrug. He can’t hear my memories, I’ve blocked him out.

“We should hone your social skills.”

“Yeah. I’ll just home in on dating. Tomorrow will be better because kissing someone will magically protect me from the HSMTF.” I press my forehead to the tree bark.

Hone means to sharpen and improve. Home in means to get closer to something, like when using a homing device.”

I have to go. I don’t need an English lesson from my teacher right now. I need a friend. I need someone who will call me first with some great news. I need to be the shoulder of someone who can’t talk to anyone else. I need someone who will share secrets and a bowl of ice-cream.

Mr. Bennett can’t, or won’t, be my person. Even though he knows what it’s like. He’s left me to be an outsider, just like him.

H #AtoZchallenge @JLenniDorner Home in Hone in #Fiction #SFF

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Did you learn anything today anywhere that will make your tomorrow better?

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
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H #AtoZchallenge @JLenniDorner Home in Hone in #Fiction #SFF


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  1. I feel bad for Anah. I wonder if she knows that there are people out there who feel just like she does and they don’t have the telepathy skills? Continuing to love this story! You beat me with H, I won’t have mine up until tomorrow so I have no link for you to click yet 🙂

  2. I wish I too had telepathy skills :D. I am glad to have visited and shall keep coming back for more.
    Dipanwita has this post to share #A-Z Challenge – H Is For Horse’s NeckMy Profile
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  3. I hope she’ll home in on a friend soon!

    Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, Science Fiction/Fantasy Author
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  4. Aww this is sad! Its so painful being friendless and teased and hit upon all the time in school – school can be a cruel time in our lives!!!

    I hope she finds a friend soonest.
    Loving this series J – its par brilliant!!!! 🙂

    Theme: Peregrination Chronicles (travel)
    H id for a stinky high at ChangLa pass in Ladhakh #atozchallenge
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  5. That was quite a read – i feel the need to hone my writing skills after reading your post. Lovely – I will be back for more.
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  6. Ah, the troubles of being a teenager… Happy A-to-Z-ing.
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren has this post to share The Labyrinth: Home of the Cursed Fae #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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  7. Just an oft repeated lesson about gratitude. I got caught in one of the regular tropical downpours we have here in Darwin, armed with an inadequate umbrella, and having to walk further to the bus stop than I planned. I overcame by initial grumble by reminding myself, that the rain actually causes a very pleasant, albeit temporary drop in temperature, and my clothes would dry (and they have – even my shoes).
    Life is a perpetual lesson for teachable souls. That teacher is annoying, and I’m well qualified to judge because I am one.
    D.A.Cairns has this post to share H is for HiranyaMy Profile

    • FinnBadger on April 10, 2017 at 7:35 AM

    To answer your question – not yet, but the day is young.

    Phillip | H is for Homemade Envelopes

  8. Well life always seems tough when you’re living it. Only in retrospect things don’t seem that bad…Love your little story.

  9. Navigating friendships can feel like walking through minefields when you’re young and different from your peers. Great Installment!
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  10. I wouldn’t want anyone knowing my thoughts even if they were memories. Not unless I volunteer to tell them. I seem to learn new things everyday, but I think it’s all absorbed in an osmosis sort of way where nothing stands out specifically.

    Arlee Bird
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  11. i did learn that people confuse hone with home. That had never occurred to me.
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  12. Ah, I’m feeling sorry for Anah now. Hope she finds that friend!
    Nick Wilford has this post to share A-Z Challenge 2017 – H is for HedgesonMy Profile
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  13. It would make life so much simpler if we could simply read other people’s thoughts – although in Anah’s case, it seems to make everything worse!
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  14. You’re doing an awesome job of convincing me that I never want mind reading abilities!

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author
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    • John on April 11, 2017 at 9:30 PM

    These are so clever. I thought I had missed one, but I’d missed THREE. Where the heck was I? Oh, that’s right, crazy busy. But now I’m caught up. And of course, impatient for the next installment! I’ll hone in on it tomorrow.
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  15. Great chapter! I love how you’re including so much backstory but it doesn’t read like an info-dump. 🙂
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