Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 136

This week's picture I could not find a credit for. It doesn't appear that much, but it is all pinterest and no one has said where it is or who owns it. I suspect it could be an infared photograph. But either way it caught my eye.

It took me a while to find an ending to this, but it turned out quite well.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Placement

She opened her eyes and looked up. She knew what she was seeing couldn’t be real; it had to be an artificial simulation. She was light years from Earth so how could it be real? And where on Earth could blue skies still be seen, let alone trees in blossom. Everything there was poisoned.

But Melissa could feel air on her face and that didn’t happen in AS; the only senses engaged were sight and sound, never smell or touch. Her hand rubbed something soft yet prickly next to her. She looked down and saw green grass. She’d heard of it and seen it in pictures, but its scent sparked something deep in her soul, as though she was connected to it. She picked some blades out with her fingers and brought them to her nose and then her lips. It had a strange texture, stringy, but a refreshing taste.

She slowly sat up. More trees surrounded her. They had a white finish with brown nobbles in them. She touched them and felt the contrast: white silky versus brown rough. Bird sound reached her and high up in ... what were they? Pink flowers? ... she could see movement and hear fluttering.

Wow, the detail was incredible. She wondered who had created this. She tried to recall how she got here. She’d been on an interplanetary placement cruiser. There’d been a delay due to comet activity causing debris. They’d recommended stasis. She’d willingly gone in and now she was here. But where exactly was here?

She stood up and walked forward. If this was an AS she would either hit a wall or walk out of the projection. She put an arm out just in case. But the landscape moved downhill and then opened out into a clearing containing a large pool of water. She walked to its edge. She could hear and smell it. She crouched and put a hand in it, making a splash. The surprise caused her to laugh and the sound didn’t echo as it would in an AS room. It carried away on the air. She’d only experienced that once before, when they touched down on GSP4579. Its atmosphere had allowed them to go helmetless for a time, although the view had been barren and grey unlike this incredible depiction.

It had to be a depiction. Melissa’s brain couldn’t fathom any other explanation. Even if it was real, how did she get here? Although she knew she could be transported in a stasis pod. But where was the pod? She’d woken up on the ground, alone. Where were the others if she had been placed here?

She cupped her hand and brought some of the fluid to her lips. Sweet water. It was beyond delicious; her system hadn’t experienced anything like it – ever. Recyc was what she’d been raised and lived on all her life.

This was madness. Who was doing this?

She stood and looked around her. She seemed to be the sole occupant. She slowly turned, taking in the woods around her. There was no sign of movement anywhere – not from anything big enough to be human.

Then she heard a mechanical sound, an engine of some sort. She saw a craft overhead. It hovered over the area she was standing in as though noticing her. Was it from their ship? She hadn’t seen the pods they carried, but it looked possible. She waved her arms at it only in that moment realising that if she was actually here, and this wasn’t a simulation, she had no idea what she was meant to do.
The craft descended and hovered just a few feet off the ground, a door on the side opened and a familiar face appeared.

‘You okay, Melissa?’

‘Greg! So good to see you. This is real, then?’

‘Yes, it’s GSP6598 – some are calling it Second Earth. But you have your papers, right? With instructions?’

Melissa pulled a face. ‘Nope. No papers, no instructions. I’ve never heard of this place.’

Greg looked shocked. ‘Hold on.’

He disappeared inside the craft then came back to the door.

‘Shit! It looks like they got the names mixed up. It’s a different Melissa. I’m going to need to take you back.’ The craft landed on the ground.

‘That’s a shame, it’s beautiful here.’

‘It is. Maybe you can request it when we get back. But we need to sort this mess out first. Hop in.’

Melissa climbed up into the craft and sat down on one of the four seats available and strapped in. As they lifted off she watched the land fall away under them and hoped she would be returning. This was definitely the placement she wanted.



Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 135

This week's photo took me a while to track down, but this is of Sarah Chambers, and she took it herself. She does make up and design, and is stunning - as you can see. You can find her on Insta (click the link on her name) and she has a page on FB. I just love this shot, so many potential stories. 

I'm still exploring Tricky, she really wants her tale to be told - or tales, as I think there will be multiple. This is her in her younger years. Yes, quite a stunner.

So far she has appeared in Week 132, Week 126 and I collected others in Week 122, making this one her 6th story!! (collating them here more for me, than for you, dear reader)


The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.



Shot of a photo with purple make-up with special designs
Sarah Chambers - @sarahc_29
Enamoured 

Tricky watched his eyes flutter open and widen. A small gasp escaped his lips and she recognised that expression, she’d seen it many times. Sigh, another one. They were so easy to enamour.

She’d inherited her birth mother’s striking Western eyes, and her step mother’s artistic flare for the dramatic in design and make-up. She knew how to get what she wanted. But she didn’t have time for all the flirting, she needed information fast.

She knew it had passed through this boy’s hands, she’s seen it; The Many had shown her and they only told the truth. But what they hadn’t shown her was where it was now, and she had to find out. She had to get her hands on it before the Baron did; if he got hold of this all her plans would have been for nothing.

“That’s it, lovey, open your eyes and look deep into mine. What see you?” She drew the energy up, feeling it course through her body into her eyes and pouring into his. His aura began to expand around him starting with a faint rose glow, and growing into an intense red. He was a sprit one, this one, and link to what was going on around him, although not enough to keep him out of her clutches. She watched as the story unfolded in the wisps that enveloped the boy.

She saw him on the job, standing to attention, doing as he was bid by his master, a bulging, swollen, squat little man who liked to bellow in the faces of his charges. This one took no mind, he kept his eyes straight. When the carriage arrived bearing her desired item, he’d jumped forward and presented himself to the dispatcher, relieving him of his burden. It had been a plain wood box, nothing fancy.

“What did you see, lovey, tell me in your pretty words, what was in the box?”

The boy’s eyes were no longer on hers, they were looking past into what had been.

“It felt heavy yet light, it felt warm yet cold. I wanted it.” He paused, relishing his desire. “It felt warm and when the Mayster opened it, it lit up his face. But he wouldn’t let me look, I was shooed out.” His face dropped. “I felt sad after, empty.”

“Was it for the Mayster then, lovey? Does he still have possession of it?”

The boy’s eyes had returned to her face, and he lifted a finger to trace the designs drawn on it. “It was meant for higher up. But I didn’t see it leave.”

“Good, my pretty young thing. That’s good.” It was. It meant she was still in with a chance. The boy’s hand moved down her face and onto her neck. He lifted his head and kissed it. She rather liked that. Maybe she wasn’t in a hurry to lose the boy; maybe he could be of some use first. Afterall, it never hurt to take pleasure in your work.

She lay down gently next to him, letting him take the lead. A good service would give her time to plan. And she might want to travel back with him and find out if it was still in the Mayster’s possession. He’d be able to take her to his rooms. In fact, he might be of more use than she first thought. She moved clothing out of the way as his lips trailed a line of kisses down her torso. She chuckled to herself. Yes, this youngun might be of service in multiple ways.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Review: The Beautiful Ones, by Prince & Dan Piepenbring

The Beautiful OnesThe Beautiful Ones by Prince
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful! I was overjoyed when a friend sent me this for my birthday. And I had tears in my eyes when I opened the book to see Prince's handwriting inside.

Many argue that this isn't how he would have wanted it, but I think at this stage it's the best we can except and the closest we as fans (or friends as he preferred to call us) will come to knowing what was on his mind before he died, and get to taste of the memoir he had begun writing just months before he died. It made me wonder if the urgency to start sharing his memoir and all the other books he had planned was because he felt the clock ticking.

There is a bit of filler in this book, mostly photos and handwritten lyrics of some of his more famous songs - even an old copy of a passport. But for the lifelong devoted fans, like myself, it felt like - just for a moment - he was still here.

This is a book I will treasure, if only so I can open it and see his handwriting.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 134

This week's photo prompt is of a sculpture made by Mirek Struzik a polish artist. Inspired by Dandelions in nature. This picture is from the exhibit in Wroclaw, Poland. This photo was taken by the artists. Has created some incredible things, his website is worth checking out. (click on his name).

I had the opening line to this one days before I wrote it, which sometimes happens, but I've had such a busy time of it, I haven't had a chance to get it down. A bit last night and finishing touches today. I wondered if it was going to go darker, but it didn't. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.





The Song of the Dandelions

He watched her looking up at them in awe. The moonlight made them sparkle and vibrate with the glow that bounced off them. Giant metal Dandelions, who would have thought such a thing would mesmerise a girl so much. She had no idea he was there, on the other side of the street, staring at her. She was lost in her fascination. And in some ways he was lost in his.

He admired her agile body as it stood mid-stride, poised as though on pause as the sculptured flowers caught her attention. He imagined it in other poses, ones that made it uncomfortable for him to remain standing in his current position for much longer.

A ripple through the fronds of the imposing seed heads brought an eerie high-pitched sound, like the ghost of a violin. It spooked her and she started moving, glancing across the street at him and registering his existence, including his cool appraisal of her. It provoked a worried expression, and after one more peek over her shoulder at the fake blooms, she rushed off.

He debated following her, but knew that no matter what was in his mind, it would never cross hers, in fact after the look she’d given him it would scare her.

The sound again from the glistening flowers brought his gaze back to them. They were a marvel and a delight, even if only for being a girl magnet as he watched another approach from the train station, fresh faced and eager to see what had emitted the sound.

This one he might dare to approach, the whisper of the flower effigies lulling him into the idea as it entranced him and the new girl. He drifted across the road and struck up a conversation about what they were viewing. She responded with a smile and they’re conversation continued as they walked away. He hoped to a pub for a drink and then after ... who knew.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 133

This painting was done by William Michael Harnett, an Irish/American painter in 1877 and is titled:  'Still Life Writing Table.' It's owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art

As a writer it appealed to me, and I tried to do something different with it. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.





Dystopia


Dear Georgie,


Hello. Yes, I’m still here, it’s just my hands aren’t doing as well as they were and that’s difficult now with us all being reduced to handwritten letters. I’d never imagined we would go back to using ink and feathers, like in medieval times, and my hands are struggling with it at my age. Who ever thought we could run out of biros, and pencils? Looking back we had such strange ideas of what dystopia would be like, always viewing it from the idea of wars, and violence, and anarchy, only missing food or power. We totally overlooked the simple things, like pens or pencils, or certain sanitary products.

I miss transport. Yes, we have horses, but the idea of having to stay within the country or even county and never being about to go overseas on holiday again is a strange one. I know I should be used to it by now, several decades on, but I’m not.

What happened to the idea we could put it all back together and carry on? Why aren’t we able to? I can see the youth already not caring or being interested in what we had before. They make it out to be such an evil time, full of evil products that damaged the earth, but they have no idea the convenience they would bring, especially simple things like pens. But then there is the whole push back against learning and education and being literate, it’s worrying. It’s like an uprise of a whole new religion and I thought we were finally done with all that, silly beliefs based around some kind of Chinese whispers. Do you remember those, Georgie? We used to play them all the time when we were young.

The only thing the youth have achieved since the Final Days is eradicate power and corruption. Finally gone are all those god awful politicians and wars, and people trying to control other people – and of course the thing that drove them all – money. Community has become key. I love that. I never imagined that would ever happen. It’s like something out of Star Trek – do you remember that show? Gosh I miss television sometimes, and even the concept of travel into space has also been eradicated, none of them are interested in that anymore. Madison said to me the other day, when he came over with his family, ‘Dad, we’re not interested in that anymore, we’re only interested in loving and thriving and being here for each other. That’s what the world’s about now, and a good thing too.’

I have to say, Georgie, I couldn’t argue with that one. It’s like the dream that was endlessly proffered to us all, of world peace, has arrived. Yes, it’s not quite as we imagined, with the last of humanity living in small clusters with only the basics, but I don’t miss the noise of the world at all. And it got so much worse after with the advent of the Internet and mobile phones, and then that awful creation, social media. I sometimes wonder how different it would have been if no one had ever developed that. The world population might still be here, and we’d still have so many luxury items – even pens! And I wouldn’t be handwriting this to you with this scratchy piece of bird feather. I’d be typing instead – gosh how I miss the simplicity of pressing keys to get something.

And on that note, I’ll sign off. My hands get so tired these days. I can’t do the ten or eleven page missives I used to.

I’ll definitely make a trip to you next month, hopefully this will reach you by before then.

Take care until then.

Love Mastin xx


Friday, 8 November 2019

All Author Book Cover Contest

My book cover has made it through to the second round of
the All Author's book cover contest! 😀

But now I need votes! 

I need to get into the top 50 and stay there until next Thursday, the 14th of November, 
to be in with a chance of going through to the next round. 

So if you like the cover of my book, Sleep, please vote for it!


You don't have to register to vote. 
NB. If you voted in the first round, you are allowed to vote again.




Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 132

This week's photo prompt was taken by Markus Lang. He calls this one simply Autumn. 

And this is another story that Tricky has decided to own. I am at the mercy of this character at the moment. Although I am building a nice portfolio and a bit of background on her.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.






Hidden Power

It was only a little leaf, barely conspicuous there on the ground, but it was yellow, and Tricky knew what that meant. She stopped and looked about her. The trees had eyes, she’d never doubted that.

She had to have it; its value was more than most people knew, and those that did know wouldn’t be careless enough to leave it here, which is why she couldn’t. She dropped her carpet bag down beside it, making out it was heavy and she needed a rest. She bent over it, shuffling and muttering, making out everything was an effort. She looked old and feeble and that was a benefit in these suspicious times. As she scooped it back up again, she included the leaf. She could feel it warm in her hand. It was ready for use.

She skipped off down the road, trying hard to keep her eyes front; nothing more obvious than someone looking over their shoulder while scurrying away. When she reached her dwelling, safe out on the lake, she dared to open her hand and catch an eyeful of what she had collected.

It was perfect; its edges a little ragged from drifting across the road, but the yellow was pure, and full of magical goodness.

She took it over to her table where all the implements of her craft were laid out. If she followed the instructions correctly she could end up with an entire vial, which would keep her going for several years. Her eyes gleamed in the light of her hastily created hearth fire. Imagine being able to entrance others for that long. The power it would bring her!

But she chastised those grandiose ideas. Power would bring attention, potentially of the wrong sort. She had to be careful. She had to be wily. She had to be tricky. She cackled to herself; she was so funny!

She set to making her potion, daydreaming about the plans she had: the control she would exert and the revenge she would exact. It was long overdue. Those in charge were complacent and fat, reaping rewards they hadn’t earnt. Not that she was some kind of warrior of justice, oh no, she cackled again, this was for her – all for her, it just might be what they deserved too.

She stirred the pot and the golden glow increased until it lit up the inside of her cabin. Oh it was so pretty, so pretty – as she soon would be.