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About Literature / Hobbyist Member Bonnie Quinn (which is totally a penname)Female/United States Recent Activity
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My Bad Day Flipping Table by fainting-goat
My Bad Day Flipping Table
A coworker 3d printed me a miniature table to flip whenever something goes wrong.  So I was made miniature food for it, because the only thing more satisfying than flipping a table is flipping a table with stuff on it.

I also painted Grumpy Cat on the table because what ELSE would you put on such a table?
I didn't meet my father until I was suspended from school for fighting, at age fifteen.  I had a temper problem, my foster father often said, with a frustrated sort of disappointment.  I wasn't like their other children, now grown and gone, that had been raised in a military household with an unswerving discipline to match.  I was something else, wild and unfettered, and angry somewhere inside where all the talks and counseling couldn't touch.

They thought I was asleep when my mother died.  That I hadn't woken until the police arrived.  I was eight years old.

By the time I entered highschool, everyone knew I was a foster child.  They also knew I wasn't going to ever be adopted, as my foster parents were reluctant to do so, and it was apparent the state wasn't making any effort on my behalf.  I'd once tried asking my foster father why this was.  He'd told me – sharply – that it wasn't something we'd discuss.  That was all.  It was how he was, once an issue was settled in his mind, he'd not budge on it, and his wife followed suite.  I'd tried with her, a couple times, until she'd finally taken my hands and looked me in the eyes.  She was a narrow woman with a sharp nose, like carved stone.

“Christina,” she'd said.  She always used my full name when it was something serious.  “I think you know why you can't be adopted.”

“My father is still alive.”

I had never met him.  Never seen a picture or heard a name.  I was my mother's mistake, the reason she never finished college, the reason she cut all ties with her family.  My foster mother patted my hands and let go and that was all that was said of it.

It wasn't something that came up very often in highschool.  It was the reason I wasn't very friendly, everyone assumed, why I didn't have many friends and why I seemed so distracted all the time.  It made for a convenient excuse, and so I let it stand.  I was the weird foster child with few friends, a constant daydreamer, who stared at nothing in the classroom with rapt attention.  For the most part, that was all.  I was generally left alone.  My mother had died, after all, while I was asleep just upstairs.  Of course I'd be a little bit odd.

I think that was why it was such a shock when one of my half-friends – for I didn't really consider her close enough to be an actual friend – turned on me.  There was no reason for it.  It was careless cruelty, a moment of senseless spite, as if she was touching the fire simply to see if it still burned hot.  And after she'd told me I couldn't sit with them at lunch, that no one liked me and I could just go away, leaving me standing there bewildered in the cafeteria, no one else had contradicted her.

So I'd thrown my lunch tray at her.  And then grabbed her by the hair, pulled her forwards and to the ground, and then dropped to my knees and started hitting her.  I'd aimed for the face.

I don't recall anything after that very well.  Someone had pulled me off and separated us.  She was crying, clutching at her bleeding lip, almost incoherent as she spat at me.  That I was a freak, a psycho, and I'd lunged for her again, beyond all reason.  

My mother had died and there had been someone with her.  A man.  I'd crouched at the top of the stairs in the dark, listening as he made a call on our phone.

“It was a stroke,” he'd said.  “The daughter is upstairs.  You'll want to keep a close eye on her.”

It wasn't a coincidence that I'd never be adopted or that no one knew who my father was, or that I'd been kept away from my extended family to the point I'd never once met my grandparents.  I hadn't gone to my foster father and mother by chance, a man who was former military and now worked at a job that he kept a careful secret from me.  I'd pieced it together and buried it deep inside, like nettles, dry and brittle and just waiting for a spark.

The teachers had finally wrestled me away and two of them marched me out of the cafeteria and to the principal's office.  He'd told me to sit down, so firmly that I did, one of the few things my foster father had managed to impart on me.  With enough authority, I would do as commanded.  I sat there, breathing hard, hands shaking, watching the corners of the office as the dark things slithered aroudn overhead, passing through the walls like eels, the corners of the room blurring into a gray haze as they passed.  I watched them as the principal called my foster father.  And I watched them after he arrived, still wearing his military uniform, and the principal informed him I was being suspended for three day's minimum, and that they'd discuss what else would be done going forwards.  He said this tentatively, I thought.  He knew he wasn't exactly in charge here.  

My foster father accompanied me to my locker, to gather my books.  He didn't want me idle at home, he'd said.  I'd stay current with my classes.  And he didn't seem particularly angry, though I wasn't certain if that would come later or not.  I fumbled with my backpack, hands shaking, until he took it from me and packed it up and carried it for me out to the car.  I laced my fingers together, pressing them against my legs to hold them still.

“How long have you been seeing things?” he asked as he drove.

“I haven't-”  The response was instinctual, and even I could hear the fear in my voice.


“A couple years now.  It's the underworld, isn't it?  I'm seeing into the underworld.  But that's not supposed to happen, right?  They can't interact with our world.”

I'd learned it in school, same as everyone else, and I'd looked it up online and in the library countless times to reassure myself of this, ever since I first started seeing the dark patches bleeding through in the corner of my vision.

“It's not that they can't,” he said carefully.  “It's that they generally don't.  It's an important distinction.”

I didn't reply, not until I noticed that he wasn't taking us home, that he was heading out and away from the suburbs, taking us out towards the country.  I asked where we were going.

“Where I work,” he replied.  “We have a couple of these agencies dotting the country, dedicated to researching and controlling the influence of the underworld.”

Something in me seemed to unwind and my hands finally stopped shaking.  I spread them out over my jeans.  My knuckles ached and I found I didn't really regret hitting that other girl.  I never wanted to see any of them again.

“I was hoping you wouldn't have to deal with this until after college,” my foster father sighed.  “But... looks like it's finally time you meet your father.”

I had always called my foster parents by their last names.  Anything else felt inappropriate, as I'd had a mother and she'd died, and no one had stepped up to replace her.  It was strange, however, to hear Mr. Davis called by his title.  Agent, and they said it with the deference that made me suspect there was more to it than that.  He checked me in at the front desk and I was given a visitor's pass, the lady at the front desk telling me to stay with Agent Davis at all times.  She didn't know who I was, I thought.  I looked nothing like my foster father, after all.

The building itself wasn't what I expected for a top secret military agency.  The hallways were drab, better suited for an office building, and if it hadn't been for the additional layers of security when we entered I would have thought there was nothing out of the ordinary here whatsoever.  I followed Mr. Davis in a numb shock, utterly unprepared for any of this.  I'd rehearsed this meeting in my head and each year of my life my speech got angrier, the list of what I'd accuse my father of grew longer.  Now that the time had come, I found that all those words had fled and I was at a loss of what to say.  

My foster father led me through a security checkpoint, then down an elevator to a second sub-basement, and another security checkpoint past that.  He held my hand as we walked along, until we reached an antechamber that seemed to be cross between a conference room and a living room.  There were nondescript couches set up on one half of the room with a plain coffee table, and an executive style conference table dominating the other half, with a flatscreen TV mounted on the wall above it.  At the opposite end of the room was a door, utterly out of place in the drab office décor surrounding it.  It was wood, the frame built out of thick timbers and the door's handle was worked iron.  Every inch of the door and frame was carved and as Davis led me closer, I saw skeletons climbing the edges, peering down into a ravine filled with thorns, above which rose massive stormclouds.  It looked perfectly solid, but something in my gut told me this was something of the underworld.  Davis let go of my hand.

“Go on through,” he told me.  “It's perfectly safe.  Your dad is waiting inside.”

I turned to face him, stalling for time.  I wasn't ready.  I didn't know how I'd  thought I could ever be ready for this.

“I wasn't asleep when my mother died,” I said.  “I woke up when she fell.  Someone was there.  I heard his voice.”

It was an accusation.  He didn't flinch.

“I think that'll be easier to explain after you meet your father,” he said.  “Now go.”

I moved slowly.  Reluctantly.  The iron handle was cold to the touch and my heart was pounding as I shoved the door open.  I was startled by the light that came pouring through the opening.  I'd expected darkness, that cold ink that seemed to bleed through the fabric of my reality whenever I let my eyes wander.  Instead, I saw brilliant candlelight, like each pinpoint was a miniature sun, casting a warm golden glow over every inch of the room beyond.  It was an ornate sitting room, the style of furnishings from an older era with rich wood and overstuffed velvet, and there were gold-leafed paintings decorating the plaster walls.  There was a man in a chair in the center of the room, on a thick fur rug, and another chair was arranged somewhat askance from him.  My father.  Waiting.  I stepped through and let the door shut behind me.

He was tall and lean, his bare forearms wiry and pale.  His clothing was out of place with his surroundings, a plain t-shirt and jeans, sandals on his feet.  I looked very much like him, I realized.  His dark brown hair was pulled back into a sleek ponytail.  He raised a hand, his fingers long, and gestured for me to come closer, to sit opposite him.  I moved as if in a trance.  Just a few hours earlier, I'd been in the school cafeteria, making my way to sit with people I once thought were my friends, as if everything were utterly ordinary.

“Father?” I asked tentatively as I sat.

He was of the underworld.  He had to be.  Everything I'd wanted to accuse him of no longer applied.

“I am,” he said and I went still at the sound of his voice.  “Agent Davis tells me you've gotten suspended from school.”

“I – she said -”  I faltered.  Here I was, meeting my father for the first time in my life, and this was what he wanted to talk about.

“You come by your temper naturally, I'm afraid..  Still, you'll need to learn to keep it in check better than this.”

“I know your voice,” I whispered.  I'd heard it once before.

There was a very long pause.  I couldn't look at him and kept my gaze fixed on the floor instead.

“It was on the night your mother died, wasn't it?” he finally asked.

“I was listening at the top of the stairs.”

He sighed and shifted in the chair, putting an elbow on the armrest.

“It really was a stroke,” he said.  “Tragic, for how young your mother was, but the number of exceptions I can make is rather low.  Besides, I'd not seen her since...”

He was looking for a tactful way of saying it.

“Since your one-night-stand,” I replied coldly.  “She told me.  You know she had to drop out of college, don't you?”

“I didn't keep track of her,” he said sharply.  “I didn't even know she'd had a child, not until the night she died.”

“Would you have done anything differently?”  I demanded.  I felt on the verge of crying, a roiling tumult about to boil over.

“Christina, do you even know who I am?” he asked.

His manner was cool, dismissive of the anger in my tone.  It brought me up short.

“My father,” I whispered.  “No one told me anything else.”

“Would you like to know my name?”

Mutely, I nodded.  I was being set up for something.

“It's Death.  My name is Death.”

I'd known – I'd read – that he was a person to some degree – but I hadn't expected -

“You killed my mother,” I said.

“I do not control when or how people die.  I am simply there to escort them along.”

“You didn't have to take her.”

He closed his eyes, his expression tight with frustration.  This wasn't the conversation he wanted but it was the one I would demand.  I needed someone to blame.

“I didn't,” he reluctantly admitted.  “And I considered doing just that.  But there were consequences to consider and the politics of my world would have made such an act... dangerous.  I'm sorry, but I didn't love her.”

I stood, heart pounding.  It was a cold sort of logic, I knew, but here he was, telling me that my mother wasn't worth sparing, and I couldn't help but hate him for it.  For that, and for everything else.  He was the reason I had no family, that I was being kept in a limbo of governmental oversight, so that they could keep tabs on the living daughter of death.  He was the reason I saw the underworld and now that I knew my parentage, I realized that I wasn't even certain of what I was.

“Like you don't love me?” I demanded, backing away from where he sat, watching me, expressionless.  “How can you?  You don't even know me.”

“The agency has kept me informed-”

“That's not the same!”  I drew in a deep breath, trying to keep my voice down.  Trying to appear calm.  “You knew I existed all along and only now do you ask to see me?  So you can scold me for losing my temper?”

“Yes,” he replied curtly, his calm facade finally slipping a fraction.  “And more, you need to learn to control your connection to the underworld.  At some point, they're going to notice that you're watching them, and while they will not harm you, I doubt they'll take too kindly to the intrusion.  Now sit down.”


My voice was shaking and my world felt like it was spinning around my feet.  I'd felt this way earlier that day, just moments before I swung at the girl.  Like everything was shifting, sliding away and the earth at my feet was dissolving into sand.  I was angry.  I'd been angry for a long time.

“I don't care that you're Death,” I said.  “You were never there for me.  You don't get to – to – just walk in like this and expect everything to be okay.”

I whirled, the room a blur of light and color through the tears in my eyes.  I walked for the door, as quickly as I dared, and behind me I heard Death call my name.  I didn't stop.  I didn't look back.  I just hit the door, shoving it open, and staggered into the room beyond and let it fall shut behind me.  Davis was waiting for me and I stood there a moment, finally dissolving into the sobs I'd been suppressing.

She'd died and he'd been there and he'd not once – and I was the daughter of Death – and I didn't know what to do -

“Here,” my foster father said, handing me a handkerchief.  “I'm sorry.  I didn't think that could possibly go well.”

“I hate him,” I sobbed, wiping at my nose.

“Well,” he sighed, “that's a start, I guess.”
Death's Daughter
I haven't written anything new in way too long.  This is an idea I've had sitting in my journal for a little while now and I'd like to do something with it someday.  Basically, Death is a sort of neutral party in the underworld, but a queen has taken power and imprisoned a piece of Death - as he's kind of everywhere at once - thereby forcing him to serve her will.  He's not very fond of the arrangement and is hoping that his daughter, who is half of the underworld and effectively immortal until he decides otherwise, will be able to free him from the queen.  And the government wants her to do so as well, as the queen has been allowing the underworld to encroach on their world and they're having trouble holding it back.

Death is not off to a very good start in convincing her to save him, though.
Bluebird by fainting-goat
If you're wondering about the lines, I was trying to stay in a certain size so I could crop it down for a picture frame.  I just wanted a good scan of it before I cut it.
Tea Branches by fainting-goat
Tea Branches
I'll be moving this into scraps in a couple days, but I know there were some people interested in the tea painting.

I did a couple things different this time.  I doubled the amount of tea, I used less water, and I boiled it for a long time.  I also used watercolor paper instead of mixed media paper.  The results were GREAT.  One layer of tea and I got fantastic results.  Two layers and I got the dark stains you see in the branches.

Unfortunately, it bled onto her face overnight, so I'll have to redo this at some point, this time with masking fluid.
I was involved in a car accident on Friday.  (yes, again)  It was a bad one this time, so let me just preface this by saying that I'm okay.  I do have a concussion and that's been causing me problems, but other than muscle strain, I'm not hurt.  The concussion is just making me confused, giving me a headache, and is making me dizzy to the point I'm barely functional and can only stay up for a couple hours at a time.  It's probably going to last for a while.

So what happened is I was driving along at about 50mph on the highway, as I was stuck behind a slow-moving truck.  The person behind me was looking down and not paying attention, and he just slammed into the back of my car.  My car started to spin and it was going to go into the other lanes of traffic, and all I remember is thinking that I could NOT let that happen, so I corrected the spin to get it to go to the shoulder instead.  As soon as it hit dirt and snow the car went completely out of control and rolled.  I think I blacked out mid-roll, as the next thing I remember is my car is upright and there's two people coming in my direction to see if I'm okay.

I haven't heard back from insurance yet, but it's likely that the car is totaled.  There's damage on all sides of the vehicle.  The person that hit me is accepting fault and has insurance.  I'm going to be okay, basically, but I'll be struggling for a little while with this concussion.  I have family in the area and some very, very good friends that are helping me out.

I think I'm lucky it wasn't much worse.  If I'd gone into the other lanes, I could have been hit again, and my car would at least have hit the concrete barrier.  When the policeman showed up and found me sitting up in the back of the ambulance, he was genuinely surprised and told me he didn't expect me to be sitting up, from how my car looks and the 911 calls they'd received.

I'll have more details on what all happened later in the week, as I intend to blog about this.  It'll be a nice blog.  I'm not actually angry at the guy that hit me, as he looked real scared when he came to check on me and was quite upset.  I'm just glad I'm alive and not badly injured.  

We think my laptop might have been what struck me in the head, as it was sitting on the seat next to me and everything in my car just got thrown everywhere.  It was a mess.
I know I've been submitting a bunch of watercolors lately, but I'm trying to put my writing on hold for a little bit.  Part of this is because I've gotten into this habit where I feel anxious if I go a few days without writing, to the point I think it's bordering on obsession.  I'm trying to get to where I can actually do nothing for an evening without freaking out.  Unfortunately, I think I might have substituted one obsession for another, as evidenced by the mountain of artwork.  Though, in my defense, part of that is because I've been hanging out at a friend's house and I don't like writing around other people yet, but I WILL paint.  

I'm thinking of selling the paintings at a local convention, as it tends to attract intermediate artists.  Debating on pricing.  I was thinking $20-30 but my friends are urging to go at bit higher.  I got plenty of time.

As far as how personal things are going... dad had his surgery, it went well.  He's started radiation and chemotherapy and that's about as stressful as you'd expect.  Nothing much else to say, at least, not publicly. This is hard.  I won't pretend otherwise.

I'm also getting discouraged while working on Summoner.  I feel like I'm the only person interested in the project and while I don't need attention to keep working on stuff, I DO need it to be capable of attracting interest in order to be confident it's publishable.  If people don't want to read it, then it won't sell, and I'm wasting my time in pursuing publication and need to move on to a new project.  And right now, it looks like it's not interesting enough to hold a reader.
Let me give you guys an update on what all has been going on here.  Obviously I had the car accident but that wasn't that big of a deal.  The guy that caused the accident doesn't have insurance (of course) but my insurance has gotten everything settled with me, I just need to fill out paperwork and get the car into the shop from this point on.  Now the big thing that's been going on and I haven't wanted to talk about until after the fact is that my dad had surgery on the 23rd.

Back around Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with cancer.  The surgery on the 23rd was to remove the tumor from his neck.  They also removed all of his teeth so that he wouldn't get a fatal type of infection during the radiation therapy that's starting in January.  It was scheduled to be a 4 hour surgery and it went for more around 7 hours.  While waiting for them to take him off to prep, I heard one of the nurses reading his chart at the desk and she goes, "dear Lord, what are they doing to this poor man?"  Which is not something you ever want to hear.  But the surgery went fine, despite taking longer than expected.  The surgeon is the best in town and I really like him.  He opened dad's neck up and removed the tumor, had to take a bunch of nerves, muscle, and one of the arteries (I didn't know you can live without it but apparently the rest of the arteries compensate once it's gone) but he was able to peel the tumor off the major nerve that goes to the shoulder.  My dad won't be able to feel his ear ever again, but he can still move his arm okay.

He's home now, we got him home on Christmas Day, and he's doing SO MUCH BETTER than we expected.  The incision on the neck is healing great to the point even I can look at it, as squeamish as I am, and he's talking fairly well despite not having teeth anymore.  My mother is a nurse who used to work with post-surgery patients, so she knows what she's doing in taking care of him.

It has been really rough though.  There's been a lot of crying, I went to Christmas Eve service alone for the first time in a long time, and we've still got chemo to go through.

on a happier note, in my downtime when I'm not playing the shit out of Crypt of the Necrodancer (you have my brother to blame for that, it was a birthday present) I've been working on revising Summoner, which is my novel in progress and probably needs a new title at some point.  I got it from 129k words to 115k and am going to give it another run-through to see if I can find any more parts where the pacing lags.  (that was the problem my last novel had, from the agent that did a full manuscript read)  Once that's done, I'm going to cherry-pick some people to give it a read and mark wherever they felt it slowed down or got bored, and after that we've got more revisions and then.... query letter time.


fainting-goat's Profile Picture
Bonnie Quinn (which is totally a penname)
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I write. I draw. I write way too much. I paint and play the harp. And I'm part of the Society for Creative Anachronism as Lady Brighid of Red Spears.

kiki-doodle drew that awesomeness for me.

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Lorien077 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hey there, happy birthday!
Brian-OConnell Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday!
mkr Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
SaraPlante Featured By Owner Edited Nov 15, 2014  Professional General Artist

Thank you so much for the favorite on Reprisal! Also, since you seem interested in goats check out my piece The Kids!

sleepyowlet Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your minecraft textures. To bits. Thank you so much for creating and sharing that thing of utter beauty!
jf123 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Have a Llama for writing good stories. They are enjoyable.
kiki-doodle Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thought of you!!
i am goat. by sketchinthoughts
fainting-goat Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Aviskye Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
Darn, I missed your birthday. Facepalm Have a very late happy birthday and a very late merry Christmas and a very late happy New Year and a llama badge from me. XD
fainting-goat Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.  :)
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