Brevity Challenges 2

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~Brevity II~
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Characters within are the property of CC, 1013, etc. No infringement intended.

A/N: These were written for the Brevity Challenge on Believe the Truth. Someone gives you a list of elements and it’s your job to fit them into the smallest amount of sentences possible. Some here have gone longer than they should, but you know how it is.

The challenger’s names and their list of elements come before the actual story on most. Unfortunately, some of the challenge elements for my earlier responses have been lost.

(Circe’s elements)

Johnny Cash song
cool breeze

“Missing You”

A fiery ring decorates the 4X5 postcard from Nowhere, Arizona. She reads as a merciful wind pushes the heat aside, if only momentarily, and tries not to imagine where he is now.

She will *not* cry.


“Incense and Purple Silk”

Summer Solstice always brings in the apprehensive ones, the curious pseudo-believers. I think it has something to do with the heat.

I feel the redhead staring at my amethyst-covered fingers and throat; feel the doubt radiating from her. She doesn’t know why she’s here. “Amethyst,” she says, surprising me.

“Yes. It calms one’s mind and spiritually awakens those who seek Enlightenment.”

She says nothing. The negativity coming from her is thick as mayonnaise and twice as bright. I feel weary being in the same room with these sorts of people, day after day, trying to make them understand. They are the real reason I’ve taken to wearing so much amethyst lately. I peripherally notice the night closing in, as I lay out my well-worn deck of Tarot cards and daydream about the
box of Cracker Jacks and new foot massager waiting for me at home, sloppy kisses from my French bulldog.

“I’m not here for Enlightenment,” she finally says, and is proven wrong when I lay down The Hanged Man.

How interesting…



Winnie the Pooh
purple rose
leopard print boxers
music box

“Ho, ho, ho”

Scully stares open-mouthed at his gift; an Eeyore music box complete with snow-caked scarf and grumpy, nobody-loves-me expression, his purple and blue body rising en pointe in an endless ballet.

She suddenly feels like a pervert with her gift of silken leopard print boxers and a note requesting his dinner attire consist of nothing but it and his glasses. After all, Christmas is a ‘family’ holiday, is it not?


a three day separation
a broken chair
answering machine


A three-day hiatus, she said, to give ‘them’ a break. Three midnights without her, his witching hour in more ways than one.

He swallowed another Advil and prodded the spring popping up from his worn easy chair, debated on going out for a beer and decided against it. An unexpected call from her would be too precious to chance to his answering machine.


a bank
a letter
a court case


No cases, no mutants. No inconvenient court appearances. Just pale pink polish drying on her toenails and towels in the dryer, a bank statement lying unopened on her desk and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in her hand.


(Fibbies Challenge #2)

Can of WD-40 oil
Bouquet of wilted sage, tied with a bow
pint of blood
Sheet of bubble wrap
4 pack of SPAM (yes, it *does* exist — I’ve actually seen one)
A craft fair


God, she hated it when Mulder whined. I mean, of *course* she didn’t want to be there either, posing as a traveling craft fair dealer, staking out the couple in the booth across from the one she and her “husband” shared, as they had for the past three shows. But he was behaving like a petulant child.

“Rather drink a can of WD-40,” he mumbled as he unwrapped a sad looking bouquet of wilted sage, a creation of his own design complete with raffia bow, from its bubble wrap prison.

She sighed. My heart bleeds pints for you, Mulder. As if she weren’t in the same predicament! How he loved to play the tried and weary victim of circumstance. Never mind that she was constantly by his side, enduring the very same — Oh dear Lord, what is *that*?!?

Mulder grinned triumphantly as he held up a complex-looking jewelry box she *knew* was created from the four pack of SPAM he’d devoured the day before in this very same booth, much to her disgust. It was a beribboned, bejeweled affair with lace fringe and tiny plastic hearts. The colors were a lovely purple, orange, pink and red, clashing so horribly she had to fight the urge to shield her eyes.

“It’s for you, Scully,” he smiled, extending the atrocity toward her with both hands, like a treasured offering. “I think I’m getting the hang of all this craft stuff.”

Her heart warmed and she took it from his hands, taking care not to dislodge the bits and pieces coming loose from the poor gluing it had been subjected to. Unsure of what to say, and feeling a little lousy for her uncharitable thoughts, she gave him a bright smile. He beamed back, looking as if he hadn’t expected her reaction.

It isn’t such a bad little box, she thought, and vowed to put it on her dresser, next to the macaroni and green yarn trinket box her nephew Matt had given her last Valentine’s Day.



stopped up toilet
dog barking
a video tape
previously owned Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
LOTS of snow
A can of menudo (ask me if you don’t know what it is – don’t let it
put you off)
Broken fuel-injectors

“Merry Christmas”

Considering the five feet of snow outside, Mulder was surprised the movie theater had been open in the first place.

Christmas Eve.

Back home there was nothing waiting for him but a can of truly awful menudo (which always gave him heartburn, but he stubbornly bought anyway), a clogged toilet and his questionable video collection. Still, he mused as he munched on a half-full, discarded package of Reese’s peanut butter cups, he was doing better than *this* guy.

His partner took the last sample of goo that surrounded the body. “We need to get this analyzed as soon as possible, Mulder. The fuel-injector’s broken in my car, so do you mind giving me a ride to Quantico? I’d really rather not take another cab –”

“It *wasn’t* a dog, damn you!” a shrill voice cut in. Ah, Mulder thought. The witness. “You’re barking mad if you think I’m sticking around here when there’s a werewolf running around!”

The agents let out a simultaneous sigh. It was going to be a long night.



#1 — element: Immodium anti-diarrheal medicine

“Lactose Intolerance”

Mulder’s stomach gurgled in protest to the ice cream sundae he’d devoured like a greedy child. He rushed to the tiny bathroom as fast as he could, taking painfully cramped steps with the awkward waddle of a man with his butt cheeks firmly pressed together. Apparently, Immodium AD wasn’t quite as fast as the box promised.

Scully grinned. “I warned you,” she called after his retreating form.


#2 — element: Bengal Tiger


She crawled across the bed with the slow, feline ease of a Bengal tiger toward her partner and lover, licking her lips as she drew closer. Mulder’s eyes widened and she laughed a deep, throaty laugh at his look of unease.


#3 — element: A Currier and Ives print


“I lived in a place like that once,” Mulder said, pointing to the tin of cookies with the Currier and Ives print. The house was quaint and homey, surrounded by ivy and flowering gardens and laughing children playing in the yard. The last gave him pause. “Well, something like that anyway,” he amended quietly. She offered him a weak smile. He knew she understood.



blace lace bra
blue suede shoes
ice chips
alarm clock

“Heat Crazy”

The motel room’s A/C didn’t have a chance, she mused. God, she hated Florida, hated it’s swampy smell and the ever-present humidity that crept indoors no matter how low the thermostat was set, serving as a sticky alarm clock in the wee hours of the morning. She detested the way the lace of her black bra scratched against her sweaty skin (great choice, Dana), *could not* stomach the sight of the gargantuan palmetto bug (giant, flying roach, you mean) crawling over the plastic bag containing wind chimes, a gift for her mother from a souvenir stand.

Another five minutes of this, she thought, and she’ll be forced to kill Mulder. It was *his* idea to come here and stake out the trailer park across the street. Another site of multiple alien abductions? Yeah, right. More like a hot spot for easy-to-obtain hallucinogens.
Aliens my ass.

Elvis on the radio and ice melting into tiny slivers in the bucket. Would the Bureau notice Mulder was missing?


(Nina’s Elements #4)

heated pool
extreme possibilities
a dream catcher
haunted house


She had only just returned from the autopsies when it began again — the loud, insistent banging.

“How long?” she asked wearily and not with a little nervousness in her voice. If she’d had it her way, she wouldn’t have bothered returning. But the recent murder still went unanswered and it was their duty to investigate.

Mulder glanced around the room, eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep. Who the hell could sleep in this house of horrors, anyway? The bloodstains and chalk outlines still hadn’t been cleaned from the kitchen floor — and walls, and cabinets. Eating take-out in the living room had been a queasy affair the night before, when they’d agreed to stay a few nights. After the noise and unmistakable apparitions throughout the night, and the fitful, violent dreams of the murders committed by alleged unknown forces only three nights ago, neither of them were very hungry the next day. They were the horrific sort of nightmares even the little dream-catcher above the bed Mulder had chosen couldn’t repel. The bed of a victim.

For Scully, the question of malevolent spirits was no longer considered an “extreme possibility” in her mind. No, that all changed this morning when she decided to swim a lap or two in the heated indoor pool. Something wrapped around her, mid-stroke, and pulled her under with unbelievable force, holding her there. Then with no warning at all, it let go. She scrambled to the surface, sobbing and gasping alternately. No one was in the poolroom, and when she confronted Mulder, trembling and wet and still crying, she noted he was bone-dry. She’d never been more terrified in her life.

“It started as soon as you pulled into the driveway.”

“Daaay-naaa,” a voice in a disgusting imitation of her sister’s wailed. “Helllp meee.” This was followed by an evil cackling, still a parody of Melissa’s sweet voice.

Scully shook hard, tears welling in her eyes. How could it know? “What the hell *is* this thing, Mulder?” She cried.

Mulder wrapped his arms around her possessively. “Get your stuff, Scully,” he ground out. “We’re getting the hell out of here.”


(My own challenge)

Vampire’s kiss

“Nocturnal Creatures”

The oppressive New Orleans heat never fazes me. It’s a perk of being a vampire, I suppose, and one of the few.

I watch from the shadows in the old St. Louis Cemetery, crouched like a jungle cat ready to spring into action from behind Marie Laveau’s grafitti-marked tomb. The young woman draws nearer, her innocence carefully hidden behind layers of Goth clothing and kohl-lined eyes. I delve into her mind, this unknowing victim wandering across my path.

Ah, the decadence she’s indulged in, the sheer debauchery — and in such a short lifetime! Not so innocent after all, it seems.

When she sees me, she doesn’t recoil in fear. Oh, no. She comes into my arms willingly, this tender creature with her fragile mortality, and hums her pleasure for my vampire’s kiss. I don’t erase the experience from her memory when I’m finished, as I do the others. Something inside me wants her to remember…

Scully — my love, my companion — observes this all in silence, wrapped in darkness.

Fibbie’s #4 Elements

Steve Irwin
ice hockey puck
broken sack of groceries
a button with a saying on it
misplaced evidence container
Finishing Touch Hair Remover
flat bottle of Coke (take it either way)
toilet paper stuck to the heel of someone’s shoe
David Duchovny movie (NOT Red Shoe Diaries, PLEASE)

“Tandem Shopping”

As long days went, this one took the proverbial cake. First, Evidence lost the container of clear goo we painstakingly scraped off the victim on the bus at the crack of dawn today. Then we get called into Skinner’s office for our annual ass-chewing, courtesy of Accounting and the morons who call themselves our superiors — bureaucrats who don’t even make their own coffee telling us we spend too much on the motel rooms we choose. Since when are roach-infested dives you don’t even feel comfortable taking your shoes off to shower in considered the lap of luxury? I wanted to stab them all in the eyes with their Mont Blancs.

From then on, the day started to get bad.

So it’s ten-thirty and here we are, doing our grocery shopping together because we’re both too tired to sleep too irritated to be alone, preferring instead to grouse in each other’s company. A kid with a face like Steve Irwin with one too many hockey pucks taken to the mouth bags our groceries. My attention is drawn to the cheesy supermarket button on his smock, announcing that, “Great Scott” is “Where America Shops!” I pointedly refuse to tell Scully that a square of toilet paper is clinging to her heel. The day’s been rough enough without adding attempted murder to it.

We divide the bags once we get to our respective cars, parked next to one another, naturally. And naturally, one of mine breaks. I see that Steve-O has mixed up our items, as I know for a fact that I didn’t purchase Finishing Touch Hair Remover *or* the DVD lying on the parking lot next to my flattening bottle of Coke.

“What’s this?” I ask. “Kalifornia?”

She grins shyly, which makes *me* grin. “Stress relief?” she offers. “My place is closer.”

Well, maybe this day hasn’t been all *that* bad.


Fibbie’s # 5 Elements

stripper DELIVERING a lap dance at the office
An evening’s worth of entertainment at some high-class bawdy house
a fire
pissed off Skinner
pissed off Scully
Tom Colton

“Behavior Unbecoming”

The glittered brunette slinked into the bullpen, boom box in hand. “Fox Mulder?” she asked, letting the agent’s first name drawl sensuously from her lips.

Confused hazel eyes lifted to meet hers. “Yes?” he answered.

She said nothing, but placed the boom box on the cluttered surface of the desk and straddled him, sliding her hips up and down, back and forth to the time of the music. Despite his confusion, Mulder was a man and as such, an unexpected lap dance was most welcome. What could top this? A night at the Playboy Mansion, possibly. He grinned at the thought and looked around the dancer’s writhing body to his partner, thinking maybe she’d put the girl up to this as a joke. The look in Scully’s eyes was positively murderous.

Of course, this only served to fan the fire in Mulder’s pants. That is, until Skinner showed up, red-faced and tendons bulging in his neck. “Agent Mulder!” he bellowed. The girl froze, mid-gyration. Mulder couldn’t help but notice a very smug Tom Colton standing just behind his superior, little weasel that he was. No doubt he’d run to tattle just as soon as the stripper began dancing.

“I’ll see you in my office, Agent. *Now*.”

Fibbie’s #7 Challenge Elements

Hewlett-Packard Deskjet Printer II
broken pottery
a saddle-bronc rider
post office box
Speed Racer (if ya have’ta ask, you don’t need ta write)
a hedgehog
hand full of worms


He picked around Frohike’s cluttered desk, impatiently waiting for the short man’s Hewlett-Packard Deskjet Printer II to finish printing the information before the guys got back from — wherever the hell they were. Nerves on edge from the fear of getting caught, he hummed the theme song from “Speed Racer” in an effort to coax the printer into hurrying up. It wasn’t working. Scully, looking just as nervous, pushed at a broken earthenware bowl on the desk with one finger, lips curled up in disgust. The contents spilled out around the large crack she’d exposed: a miniature saddle-bronc rider figurine, a tiny plastic hedgehog and what looked like the key to a post-office box — paranoid little weirdo — all on top of a handful of dirty gummy worms.

“Mulder? You’re friends are absolute pigs.”


(Fibbie’s #6 Challenge)

new car shopping
Halloween house of horrors murder
The Love Boat
a threatened trip to Dallas
Phoebe Green
PJ’s that are too small – for anyone
the patch of hair above Mulder’s behind-crack (you can see it in “Fire”)

“Motel 6”

“C’mon, Scully! This is one of the great classics of television.”

Her face contorted. “Second only to ‘The Love Boat,’ Mulder? Give me the remote.”

“Please? It’ll be like a trip down memory lane.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’d rather not, thank you. ‘Who shot J.R.?’ Who cares?”

“You’re no fun.” He changed the channel, still refusing to relinquish the remote. “Oooh! ‘Haunting Mysteries: The Halloween House of Horrors Murder’!”

She snorted. “The only thing *these* people know about horror is choosing a color for their new BMW’s. They should read some of our files.” Or meet Phoebe Green, she thought to herself.

Mulder grumbled his agreement and rolled over onto his back. “Jesus, Scully. You think that shirt’s tight enough?” he gaped at her choice of sleepwear — a tiny white T-shirt and panties. “I’ve seen infants wear larger shirts!”

She glared down at him. “Oh, we won’t even *talk* about those red boxers you wear that show the hair above your crack, Mulder. When did you get them? Ah yes. High school, right?”

He blushed, but recovered quickly. “Aww. I thought you *liked* seeing my crack.”

He never saw the pillow coming.


(Fibbie & Nina’s It’s Mulder’s Birthday Challenge II)

birthday suit
mountain oysters
one sleeping bag
Eddie Arnold
Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Blund(h)t
The phrase, “GO for it!”

“Freak Love”

Eddie Van Blundht and his damn advice. Couldn’t be Eddie Van Halen, or even Eddie Arnold for God’s sake. No, it had to be a freakin’ mutant. How typical — and how fitting that Mulder should be getting dating advice from such a creature. “GO for it!” the round little man seemed to say.

But he did take the advice to heart. Hence, The Plan. It was all romance and candles, wine with filet mignon and stimulating conversation; How To Seduce Your Partner in Three Easy Steps. With his luck, it would turn out mountain oysters and Kool-Aid, and if anyone ended up in their birthday suit, it would be one of his ‘contacts’ dressed in nothing but a sleeping bag, raving about alien
conspiracies and spitting on invisible ‘gnomes’ running around on the ground.

He sighed. Maybe romance should wait.

Well, that’s all, Folks!