Tuesday 28 May 2013

Visual Dare 21 - Diverge

I couldn't resist the Visual Dare this month. 
Another good photo, prompting something dark.


They hadn’t suspected a thing all these years, and he laughed to himself as he sat on the grassy hillock surveying the cemetery. They’d all gone now - those that had managed to get away, screaming as they went. He wondered if they would come back tomorrow with reinforcements and chuckled at what they might be; the standard stake no doubt, or would they manage to find a silver bullet? Little did they know that they were just fables.

He looked at the carriage which had managed to remain erect in the melee, and his home which had tumbled out the back crashing to the ground. It had been such a rude awakening.

They’d taken him for dead you see, and he chided himself for moving his bed up from the basement to the living room. Living room, he chuckled again at the irony of it.

 146 Words


Five Sentence Fiction - Charmed

Lillie McFerrin Writes
Lillie McFerrin's Weekly Flash Fiction Prompt - 'Charmed'

And this is where it took me:

As the ethereal bodies moved around her she embraced their energy, taking it in, letting it renew her. They had heard her call as she staggered through the woods broken and disorientated. They had brought the light too, to guide her, knowing that she needed to reach home.

She dared not think what state her beloved children might be in after several days alone, she could only hope they were still alive and he hadn’t ravaged them too; they were only innocent after all, knowing nothing of the craft she had yet to pass to them.

Despite his efforts he hadn’t defeated her, but she couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t take revenge; the very thought quickening her step now she had strength and sight again. 

Monday 27 May 2013

Daily Picspiration - No.2 - Gone

Yesterday my second Daily Picspiration entry went up.

I might be turning this into a serial story, depending on what future pictures inspire me to do.

You can read 'Gone' here. Enjoy

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Visual Dare 19 - Mirror

My first Visual Dare this month, and I am only just getting it in before the deadline having been distracted with other things. But I loved this photo prompt, so had to write for it. Here's what I came up with.


If he looked close enough he’d see her.

He shifted the mirror up onto his foot; the tide was on its way in and he didn’t want to get it wet. If he just turned it a fraction more she’d appear, he was convinced of it. But there was nothing but empty beach.

She’d promised too; she’d said she’d always be there he simply had to look in the right light and in the right place.

She loved the hills by the ocean. It was where they’d first met. He’d been out camping. He’d almost cut himself when she’d popped up in his shaving mirror. But it had been worth it, she’d made sure of that.

He’d taken to carrying a pocket mirror after that, any chance to see her. But today he wanted to see her in full, he didn’t care if he looked stupid lugging this thing about.

150 words

Sunday 12 May 2013

Daily Picspiration - No.1 - The Jester

I have joined a small group of writers who create stories from photo prompts on a site called Daily Picspiration.

Each day features a different writer with his or her own picspiration.

I will be providing a story every fortnight on a Sunday. 

Today is my debut, with a story titled: The Jester

Saturday 11 May 2013

Abused - MWBB - Winner!

This was my entry to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster competition, which brought me my second win of the year!

The prompt was a song:
“Sea of Love” by The Honeydrippers

Paul laid the lace dress out slowly on the bed. It still looked as fresh and white as it had done that day. He could still see her in it. She’d wrapped it up so carefully in tissue paper; smoothing it out, making sure there wouldn’t be a wrinkle in it. He unfolded the sleeves, pulling them out gently, and running his fingers along the edge of the shoulderless tops, and then along the sweetheart neckline of the bodice. He loved the sensation of it and remembered how it’d felt under him that night when they’d returned to their hotel room to consummate their vows.

She had talked about how she’d wanted her daughter to wear it on her wedding day, and how she wouldn’t mind if had to be altered a little. But there had been no daughter or son, so the dress had remained untouched.

Paul was secretly pleased; he wouldn’t have wanted to see any other woman in it, it would’ve detracted from the sweet memories it held, and he needed those memories to hold on to. He had to try and salvage something from the ensuing years of pain.He turned the dress over, being careful not to crease it, and started to undo the tiny buttons that ran down the back. One by one it opened and he smiled as he remembered how it had exposed her back that night, to his kisses.

Once he was done, he stepped back wondering how he was going to do this. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s what she would have wanted.

Paul lifted her up and if it wasn’t for the dead weight of her, he imagined that this was pretty much what it was like to dress a mannequin. Her limbs were rigid and unyielding now that the rigor mortis had set in. He lay her face down on top of the dress, managing to slip her lower body into it without much trouble and buttoned up the lower half. The arms proved harder with the sleeves catching on the puffy skin, and trails of clotted blood ruining the purity of the white.

When he finished he was sweating and trying not to cry. He hadn’t meant to hit her that hard; he had just wanted her to stop. He had tried several times over the years to get her to, but any attempts had only led to more beatings.

It had started after the honeymoon with the odd belittling comment that would get more hurtful. Then the verbal abuse had followed along with the odd thump. By the time they’d lost their third child she’d leave him black and blue, and once or twice unconscious.

It was the lack of remorse that had finally tipped the balance for him – that and finding a confidant, someone else who understood what it was like to be brow beaten, quite literally, by your wife. He never imagined it would be in the work place though. George struggled to keep explaining away the bruises on his neck and face too.

So when she’d started that morning raking up the same old stuff he just couldn’t do it anymore. And when she’d lunged at him in the kitchen, his hands had reached out and grabbed whatever was nearby. The first swing had knocked her sideways, but only caused her to falter, so when she came at him again he’d swung it at her head. He’d never imagined that frying pans could do that much damage.

Paul turned her back over on the bed, and looked at her crooked face as he heard the approaching sirens. He wondered what they would make of all this. He knew he’d left it a little long before calling and that it would take them a while to reach him out here in the sticks, but he wanted her to be ready, it’s what she would have wanted. After all that’s what she used to say the most, wasn’t it?  “You’re useless Paul, never ready for anything, or anyone; you’ve never got your shit together.” He was happy to prove her wrong today. 

In the Basement - MWBB

This was my entry to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster competition, which brought me an Honourable Mention.

The prompt was a song:
  “The Ripper” by Judas Priest
In the Basement
Mr Johnson was glad they’d moved the boy down to the basement; the thud thud of his music was far more tolerable than hearing it in full upstairs. ‘Heavy Metal’ they called it, and it was dreadful. Mr Johnson had no idea how they could bear all that screaming. And were there words? He couldn’t tell, even when the boy had had his room upstairs.

Denny’d said they were evil songs, inciting the young’uns to be violent; that the words were all about death, killing and sexual perversion. He didn’t know about that, even though the boy did wear his hair long and he only ever saw him in black. Denny was sure he’d seen him wear make-up, but even though he lived next door, Mr Johnson couldn’t attest to that.

The boy was just an adolescent, trying to define who he wanted to be, and he wasn’t close yet. As for violent? Mr Johnson gave a snort. No, he didn’t have that in him, he was fairly sure of that.

Mr Johnson gazed at the house from this second floor study window and remembered the layout from when he’d lived there. Some thought he was strange for having moved next door after he was widowed, but he couldn’t bear being inside those walls.

He thought about the boy being down there in the basement, filling it with his noise, and wondered if he’d managed to drown it out.

Mr Johnson shivered as he stood there remembering that night; how he’d been gone a whole week and hadn’t had a clue anything was wrong. Communications then weren’t what they were today, where everyone could get hold of you any time. One call a week was all he managed when he was on the road.

He’d walked in blindly that night, shouting for his wife, not suspecting anything. He still remembered the shock he’d felt, when he saw him standing there, bold as you like, hands covered in blood up to the elbows.

“Howdy neighbour,” was what he’d said, while he waited to see what Mr Johnson was going to do. And it was in that silence that he’d heard it; her moans.

Paulie had had a grin on his face, his eyes alive – even sparkling. The only time Mr Johnson had seen them like that was when they’d had the neighbourhood barbeque, and he’d told them all about the pig he’d gutted while it was still alive.

But what Paulie hadn’t known was that Mr Johnson was a veteran – not of the Vietnam War though, like everyone seemed to be these days, but the Korean. And since returning he’d never been able to go anywhere without being armed - but not with a gun, like everyone thought, but a knife - in an ankle strap.

It was handy, especially that night when he’d faked being sick at the sight of his own wife’s blood and bent over double; his moans matching hers.

Paulie had even helped by stepping forward - even saying, “You okay, bud?” as he did so. And Mr Johnson had come up fast, sticking it in just under the chin, and twisting hard. He almost relished the gurgle Paulie had given out in surprise.

He’d left Paulie then to fall and bounce off the lino as he’d rushed to see the damage he’d done to his wife, but he’d known as soon as he’d laid eyes on her that it was hopeless.

It was only after, when everything had been examined, that they had found out he’d been busy with her for days; taking her apart, bit by bit. There’d never even been a chance.

They’d called him a hero; Paulie had been wanted in five states for such atrocities. They’d even had a nickname for him; the American Ripper, after that guy in London years ago.

But Mr Johnson didn’t want to be a hero, he just wanted the moans from the basement to stop, and some nights, when it was really still, he could still hear them, even from over here.  

The Debut - MWBB

This was my entry to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster competition, which brought me an Honourable Mention.

The prompt was a song:
 “Crosstown Traffic” - by Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

The Debut

I saw it all; the palm trees in their neat rows lining the boulevard; the sunshine baking it all; the big living they did here, and I asked myself, was it all it was cracked up to be? Was it everything I’d imagined?

I glanced at my passenger who was grinning inanely at everything around him. It was Matt’s first time too and his smile was infectious; I laughed. He glanced at me, his smile continuing, and then he slapped his hand on my leg giving it a good squeeze while I tried to keep the car steady.

“When are we going to get there?” He asked.

“Any moment now, we should see it up here on the left. I was assured it couldn’t be missed.” Just mention of it gave me butterflies.

Matt pulled out the camera and got it ready.

And then we saw it, in all its splendour, its exterior decoration so elaborate it left us open-mouthed. I pulled the car over slowly, crawling along the curb as he started snapping away.

“Do you think we can do it? Do you think we can get in unnoticed?” His voice was muffled by the long lens camera up against his face.

I pursed my lips. “Sure, why not? We’ve got into plenty others with far tighter security. NY’s no pussy. I heard they’re far laxer out here.”

He nodded. “True, although this kind of get up’s a whole other undertaking.”

“Johnny’s meeting us tonight; he said he’s got it all figured out. He says it’ll be a breeze.”

“I hope he’s right!”

“Me too.” I pulled the car out into the road again, and took us back to the hotel, our sparkling smiles having faded a little now we had seen it.

But Johnny was right, he did have it all figured out, but he played it cool. “You guys sure you’re kitted out with the right stuff? You sure you got everything you need?”

Matt gave a slow nod. “Yep, got everything. And you’re sure this thing starts at 8? You sure they’ll all be there?”

“Oh yeah, the whole town’s been buzzing about this one, the turn out’ll be huge!”

“Good, we can’t afford to mess this up!”

“Oh this is gonna be the making of you two, they won’t know what hit ‘em!” Johnny grinned thinking about it.

I smiled at his confidence. “And you’ll definitely be there?”

“Oh yeah, got me VIP tickets!” He pulled out two gold coloured cards and waggled them in his fingers. We all laughed.

After dinner, we got ourselves ready. Matt kept checking his watch and giving me furtive glances, reminding me that if we didn’t pull this off we were in big trouble.

When I pulled the car up a block down from the house, we could already hear it in full swing. We grabbed our stuff out of the boot without speaking and slowly crept up to the hidden side entrance, and just like Johnny had promised, it was open. He’d also been right about the narrow strip of garden alongside the house being unlit. We got ourselves ready.

I saw the silhouette of a figure by the corner of the house duck out of sight and looked at Matt. This was it.

Then we heard it, a tapping on a microphone and someone coughing into it. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve prepared a special surprise for you all tonight, all the way from New York, your very own Party Crashers!”

There was a second of stunned silence and a roar went up, and we ran down into the back garden, into the light, and up onto the blocks that Johnny had promised would be there. Everyone came pouring out, Prince too, as we opened with our most raucous number, rocking them as hard as we could.