Karma. It really is a B*tch

Rumors are a part of life. People gossip, people believe it and others just love to embellish what’s already there out of pure fun. The most powerful kind of rumor are those seeded with truth because they ring true on some level. The more believable the more powerful a rumor can be.

When I write rumors into my stories, I give them a base. A rumor needs something to work from, something that might make them believable. Back story or foreshadowing early on or at least a chapter before the rumors fly. I do this because most rumors start as fact, true or not someone takes that tidbit and runs with it, morphs it and makes it extravagant and tantalizing.

Purposeful rumors are ones set adrift on purpose with a goal in mind. Usually that goal is to hurt someone, tear them down or maybe just make them feel bad in retribution. Sometimes I might write someone telling a rumor with the goal of flushing out the gossipmongers. Since rumors are realistic, they are easy to come up with.

Accidental rumors are the kind that are secrets overheard. They can be the weak-willed telling all with little provocation or someone accidentally blurting it out because they just suck that much.

No matter how you slice it, rumors can cause tension, upset and all kinds of juicy drama. And sometimes, just sometimes rumors are true.

“Karma.” Amber mumbled at the screen. Her frown etched deep on her face. Karma. The word slammed her mind like a battering ram. She deserved this and was only now seeing just how awful she truly is. The words “office slut” kept auto-correcting every time she typed her name. She had no idea how to fix it. She opened her mouth to ask Dale then closed it. Out of curiosity she typed his name and it auto corrected to Baby Daddy. She deleted it, took out her phone and texted Dale asking him to fix it and put a password on her computer.

With shaking hands and a pale face, she opened Scott’s door.
“Did you do it?”
“Do what?” He asked eyes narrowed.
“Did you change my auto-correct?”
He sighed. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. There are rules about messing with other people’s property here and unlike you I abide by them. And honestly, I have better things to do than tease you. I can see how upset you are and you are a friend. I’m not that big a jerk.”
There was enough truth in his eyes for her to believe. “Okay.” She turned to leave.
“But.”
She looked at him sharply.
“Amber the rumors are flying and fast. Who did you tell?”
“I was going to ask you. Only three people know and Dale and I wouldn’t say anything.”
“Like I said, you’re a friend and so is Dale. I respect you two too much to be a total ass. Someone must have overheard us.”

Amber nodded and left his office. He’s petty and selfish but gossip was never his thing. Not really. Snickers and heads turned away a smidge too late. Everywhere. Double glances and covert stares. The office was infested and so fast. Plagues had nothing on this. Her cellphone buzzed and she read the text from Dale. “Fixed. Password is where you told me. WTF? U tell?

She bit her lip and replied. “No. Scott guessed.” She looked at Dale’s response. “He didn’t do this.”
Amber made her way to her desk. Rachael looked at her smugly and Francis barely hid her giggle before turning away. Amber sat at her desk numbly and entered her new password “Russo”. She looked at the ad she was to proof next. It was from Francis on Birth control. Amber looked across the open office as Francis shook her head barely containing her merriment. Karma. It really is a bitch.

Can’t say she didn’t have it coming. Rumors are fun to write and fun to play around with in the wonderful world of my writing. I hate rumors for real they carry too much power and consequence for both ends. This wouldn’t have worked if I hadn’t had Amber picking on Sasha and being horrible in general. To give the rumor credit she needed to be the type of person who a, deserved it and b, is likely to be what they say, the office slut. Even if it’s untrue, she made it likely.

My advice about rumors.
Real world, no. Written world of our make-believe, oh yeah! Get your bully on! Terrorize your characters.

-Sheryl

Other posts

Read, revise and repeat. The shampoo process of editing.

I swear! Or do I?

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Abide

The secret’s out

There is always someone who sees through lies and secrets. Someone that pays enough attention to those around them that they can pick apart a mystery, get to the center of it like a school of piranhas on a dead cow.  Right along with those that can see secrets, are those that can and can’t keep them. Those that can keep secrets are able to say no and mean it. Their word is their bond and their honor keeps them tight-lipped. They are not to be confused with liars who will look you in the face and tell you they are not eating sugar as they chew on a candy cane. Of those that can’t keep a secret, they are the blabbermouths the ones that you know will spill the proverbial beans the second someone asks a remotely related question. People that can’t keep a secret to save their lives can also be used, drop a good rumor their way and they do all the work.

A good secret in a story is foreshadowed, set up or at least alluded to at some point before the reveal. Otherwise, the secret is actually just a surprise. It can be fun to have secrets. Sometimes the secret is deep and kept by one. These are usually darker secrets or ones that would bring shame. Secrets between friends can be fun to play with.

They can also be dangerous, feelings can be hurt, people can feel left out or ostracized. They can damage reputations and even bring someone to self-loathing or possibly self-harm.

It’s simple the bigger the secret the bigger the reaction. Small secrets can evolve and grow if they are nurtured properly.  I love secrets; they lend an air of mystery and mischief that can bring out the best and worst in people.

“I swear time is going backwards.” Anne muttered under her breath and narrowed her eyes at her screen. She and Dale had a lot to talk about later and her nerves were shot.
“Bar tonight?” Scott leaned over her shoulder. “I could use a wingman.”
“I’m not a man Scott.” Amber pushed him away.
“Wingwoman, whatever. Forget it. Let’s get drunk and fool around.”
Amber stopped typing and stared at him. “What did Dale tell you earlier?” She glanced at his empty cubicle. He was avoiding her completely since the gift giving earlier.
“That he has no taste in women.”
Amber huffed through her nose. “You are a jerk Scott. I don’t know why I held a torch for so long.”
“Ah you still want me, I’m yours and tonight’s your chance.”
“No I don’t. You’re not mine and no it’s not my chance.” She stood and glared up at him. “You’re playing a game, I’m not an idiot.” She pushed past him and headed for the ladies’ room. He stopped her outside the door, grabbed her arm and pushed her against the wall.

“Now Amber, what secret are you keeping from me? What am I missing?” His nose nearly touched hers. “Where were you for our morning air today?”
“I’m not smoking anymore, I quit.”
His nose touched hers and she pressed against the wall. “No smoking, no bar, and no sex with the man you’ve wanted for years.” He backed up suddenly and she let out her pent-up breath. “Holy shit Dale knocked you up.”  
Amber’s eyes widened. “Shut up Scott, that’s how rumors start you moron. I quit because my favorite aunt was just diagnosed with lung cancer. I have plans tonight and I’m sorry if your ego is bruised, but lately you’ve shown me your true colours. I’m not interested anymore.” She shrugged. Perhaps you’re losing your mojo Scott. Two women turning you down in as many weeks. Maybe hell can freeze over.” She laughed and ducked into the ladies’ room. She didn’t see Rachael and Francine as she sped past them into a stall to get rid of her lunch. The women looked at one another then the closed stall. Both heard Amber and Scott’s conversation just outside the door.

Oops. Well that might not go so well for Amber. Amber is a bully and she shows off for Scott and Dale. Lately she has been stunned by a personal issue that two people she picked on have just found out. Rachael put Dale in his place not so long ago; will she take the chance on some revenge?

My advice about Secrets.
Secrets can be bad in real life, but fantabulous in the world of writing. Secrets have infinite possibilities, play with them, and let them wreak havoc or cause drama.

-Sheryl
It’s a love hate sort of thing

Hey! Its’ Interjection

Other posts

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Missing