Tuesday 25 February 2014

Stalker - MWBB

The weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster gave an 80's sound to things, but the content of the lyrics gave it the story. Mine piece was unfortunately very similar to another entrants - even though I had not read any of the other pieces before writing - and I think that might have killed it a bit. I still enjoyed writing it though.

The prompt song this week was:
Peter Goodwin - Images of Heaven

Johnson shifted his position slightly and found the window he was looking for. He fiddled with the focus on the binoculars and someone came into view. It wasn’t her. He sighed. Was she home? He thought she was; he’d seen the limo turn up, and a group of glitter clad individuals rush into the house. He assumed she was among them. Maybe he was wrong. 

He scanned the top floor windows. Lights were coming on and people were running about. Couples were pairing off and he wanted to know who she would be with.

Movement in another window sent him looking there and there she was, head thrown back laughing at the guy in front of her. He looked like a typical New Romance geek; silver shoulder pads making him look like something out of a badly made sci-fi movie, with hair lacquered into an elaborate quiff. The guy was lighting a cigarette, if he wasn’t careful his hair would catch light. Johnson smiled. He’d like to see that.

They were drunk, swaying all over the place, and he was waiting to see if they were going to get undressed, but no such luck as they exited the room.

He pulled up off his elbows. Watching that guy light up had made him want a cigarette too, so he pulled a packet out of his jeans and enjoyed a smoke here on top of the world.

Johnson surveyed the city below him as it glistened in the night light. He’d been scooping this location out the last couple of days, making sure it overlooked the right house.

He’d wanted her ever since he’d first seen in her debut music video. It wasn’t as though he wasn’t someone worthy of knowing; he owned a music production company, but it wasn’t a big enough concern for her to notice. He’d found out all he could about her, and even though he could access to the parties she attended, her group of sycophantic security guards wouldn’t let him close. 

He knew he tipped into the obsessive when he woke up every morning thinking about her and fell asleep every night with her image in his head. He’d started to resent it, started to resent her. And that’s when he’d come up with this plan.

Johnson ground the butt into the ground and kicked it away, then spun round back onto his belly. Looking through the binoculars again he found her downstairs in the lounge, moments before the French windows burst open and they all came flooding out. Even from this distance he could hear their screams of laughter and knew what they were planning.

He reached out and grabbed the hold-all he had with him and scrabbled about inside with one had. He didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

He saw her come out, already stripping off her clothes, revealing a sexy string bikini beneath, reflecting gold in the light round the pool. He paused as his hand found what it was looking for and took in the view for a moment. He imagined his hands on that soft, supplicating flesh. It was such a waste.

He took away the binoculars and replaced them with the sight. He found his target easily and flicked the safety off the rifle in one movement. He took a breath and waited a second as he saw her approach the diving board. She jumped once, then twice, and as she jumped a third time he pulled the trigger. It hit home, making the dive into the water less elegant, but the crowd round the pool still loved it, cheering and thinking it was just the drink.

Johnson smiled as he beat his retreat, knowing that in a few seconds those cheers would turn to cries as the blood surfaced and she didn’t.

He jogged down the top of the ridge, more sure-footed than he’d imagined, and jumped into his jeep. Being half way up the hillside he was able to coast the car down to the tarmac, keeping his retreat silent.

If he couldn’t have her, no one was going to.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Five Sentence Fiction - Sunshine

This weeks Five Sentence Fiction sparked a follow on from the piece I had published Sirens Call ezine (Issue #13 - Women in Horror), called Bound. It's a resolution to that piece, a 'happy ending' if you will.


Christa felt the heat of the sun on her sore body as she came to, listening out for any sound of them before moving a muscle or daring to open an eye, but there was only bird song. 

The skin on her back felt raw and flayed from the up and down motion against the bark of the tree, and her arms ached as she attempted to bring herself to standing, tired from being tied behind her back for so long, but it was the pain between her legs that screamed the loudest and caused her legs to buckle, leaving her on her knees as she avoided looking down at herself.

Christa heard a car in the distance and shrank back from the edge of the road, shuffling into the undergrowth, trying to ignore the prickle of bushes as her mind reeled in terror at the thought that they’d returned for more.

She thought she’d succeeded in making herself invisible when it drove passed, but then she heard the engine slow down and a door open, and a voice say, “I’m sure I saw something, let me check it out.”

She attempted to retract further as she heard their approach thinking that if she didn’t look they couldn’t see her, until a gentle, soothing tone reached her and a blanket was proffered, causing her to rock and sob, while they reassured her it was over and going to be okay now. 

Visual Dare - Devoted

Having missed a great photo last week, I wasn't going to miss out again on this week's Visual Dare. There was so much this photo could be about, but this is what it inspired me to write.

Robert sighed when he came in and saw the mess again. He went to fetch the dustpan and brush, giving the cat a swat on his way. He was sick of it shredding the roses.

They were for Mindy. He still missed her every day. He liked keeping her picture adorned with the flowers she loved and didn’t understand why the cat had started doing this. Every day for the past two weeks he’d come home to find this, ever since he’d started seeing Julia.

A thought crossed his mind, but he dismissed it. Julia was sweet and understood his broken widowed heart, having one of her own. She wasn’t the jealous type - unlike his late wife. He paused, studying Mindy’s picture. Was that a frown on her face just now, or was it the light? He laughed. There was nothing like guilt to make you start seeing things.  

Sunday 16 February 2014

Daily Picspiration - Time and Motion Finale

The fourth and final part in my Daily Picspiration piece was posted up today.

Due to the complexity of the story, which I had written myself into, and without wanting to send it off into a never ending spiral of possible adventures, I decided to find a way to finish the story. It took making some notes for it to appear, and I confess to cheating a tiny little bit - any Red Dwarf fans might find it 'familiar', so not entirely original (although those characters didn't remember who they were afterwards and were actually hallucinating even that concept, so...). Anyhow, I wanted it to an original ending unlike those played out in many a sci-fi film over the last couple of decades, and this is what I came up with. I will return to normal one of flash pieces next time, until a new appears. Enjoy.

 You can read 'Time and Motion - Finale here.


Thursday 13 February 2014

'Bound' - Published in Sirens Call magazine

This month, Issue #13 from Sirens Call Publications is themed 'Women in Horror' and is a much larger issue, with it being devoted to female authors who write Horror.

You can find my piece 'Bound' on page 27.

There are many of my friends in this months issue:

Jenn Monty - 'Waterlogged' - Page 95
Laura Jamez - 'Survival' - Page 126
Cara Michaels - 'Reunion' - Page 139
Marije Myers - 'Inside Out' - Page 147

As always with this ezine, the stories are not for the faint hearted - mine will definitely disturb you!

The good thing about this ezine is that it is free to download, so no excuse, go and read it now!


Monday 10 February 2014

Visual Dare - Contemplating

This week's Visual Dare photo prompt inspired me immediately, particularly in combination with the word prompt. I always try to combine them, it never occurs for me to use the word, but find another photo, although I might just use the photo without the word. Anyway, this is what this week's brought for me.


Irene sat in the empty auditorium wondering where it had all gone wrong. Everyone had filed out and she was left seated, contemplating how she’d ended up here.

It was a small dead end town in the middle of nowhere and she’d been isolated here for too many years. She’d tried her hardest to break ice with the ‘natives’ and they would be civil, but there was no attempt to include her or know her better.

She thought back to the days after college, starting out as a winch operator backstage at one of the top theatres, full of hopes and dreams and aspiring to have achieved them by the end of her twenties.

But here she was in her forties watching amateur productions, no one knowing or caring what she dreamed of, wondering if she could continue doing this solely for her children.

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

I was invited to join the 'My Writing Process - Blog Tour' by my good friend and awesome writer Susi Holliday. On this blog tour, writers and authors answer questions about their writing process to give a little insight about how they work and the methods they use, in an attempt to help other writers. 

Susi posted her answers last week, and they were terribly insightful, so go check it out on her website One Word At A Time.

Here are my answers:

What am I working on?

Besides going through the second editing stage of my finished novel, Jade (working title) in preparation for beta readers, I am also trying to keep pushing forward with my second novel, Sleep (also working title) that I worked on during NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month). It is proving quite hard as I am trying to flesh out characters and build the story into what I want. It started as a piece of flash back in 1991, and I wanted to come back to it once I felt my writing skill was up to it. And although I feel it now is, this novel is putting my skills to the test. I had 7K when I started NaNo, which them helped me push out 30K more, and gave me far more in terms of new characters, new scenes and an idea of the future scenes and where I want it to end. In some ways it feels messy, but I am also really happy with it too.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It is hard to say as I am not writing in what I consider to be a specific genre. In fact I am still trying to define the genre for my finished novel, Jade. Real life fiction suspense/reveal is the closest I can come. I read a great deal of suspense novels, although mostly in the horror genre, which this is not. This is a love story of sorts, but with some real life drama thrown in. I try and put the reader in the main characters shoes, so they can feel empathy and understand the choices of the main character.

Sleep differs from my first novel as it is more of a psychological drama/thriller. In the storyline I am trying to garner reader sympathy for the main character when she had done the ultimate deed – commit a murder. I am trying to help the reader understand what led the main character to the choices they made, much like with Jade, although in Sleep it was for a heinous act.

In flash I tend towards horror and very dark, disturbing fiction, again focusing on eliciting an emotional response, and delivering a short, sharp shock that might stay with the reader, and give them pause for thought.

Why do I write what I do?
I write what comes. Mostly it is dark and disturbing, or slightly off kilter, and I am not sure if that is a reflection of years of reading dark, horror or sci-fi fiction or just how I see life. I tend to try and write what moves me, makes me think, or what horrifies me. I also try and make it emotive, getting right into the characters and how they think and feel, so the reader can do that too, the more I do that the more satisfied I am with the end result. If I feel flat at the end of the story, I know it hasn't quite worked.

How does your writing process work?

For novel writing I tend to have an idea of several scenes, with a loose story around it. I will have a direction I want to go in and an outcome I want to arrive at, but as I write it is open to new characters, direction, ideas, and scenes - some of which might take me to completely new places, although I will usually try and pull it back to the main idea or thread that I'm following. I don’t tend to do any major planning on paper. I tend to have a line or two typed under the main body of the story as I am writing though, about what scenes I want to put in next, and I will add to this from time to time and use it for reference, but I rarely do more than that. I don’t do any character analysis or logs, although sometimes I have had to stop and do a timeline so I don’t get lost! This can also throw up issues of consistency or likelihood of events to unfold.

When I am writing flash, I tend to see a scene, or image in my mind’s eye and go with it, and see what comes, although I will stop and think, ‘How do I want to end this?’ or ‘Where do I want this to go?’ sometimes going back and altering the story to suit the outcome. I am very visual, and photo/picture prompts work better for me than just words, although when I focus both can work. If an idea doesn’t come easily or when I write it, it doesn’t work, I tend to shelve it. But I keep everything I write, however short, or unfinished, occasionally going back at a future date to use for something else. 

Details: character names turn up as I go along, I have never had trouble with them- sometimes I have had to change names and that can be difficult once I have a name in my head. And I will also keep a list of the characters, particularly smaller ones, so I don't put in the wrong name by accident and I know who is who. Whereas titles I have a real problem with. I have working titles, but struggle to come up with a title that might be more effective, eye-catching, or marketable.

Doing NaNoWriMo has enable me to learn to write without editing. I might go over the last paragraph when coming back to the novel, but I won't do any major editing until the first draft is down. I will try and always leave a piece overnight to look at with fresh eyes too, as you see so much more. And reading aloud to me is a must with all of my work, as hearing it is the best way to come across inconsistencies of all types.

In terms of process; I think it is very individual, everyone has to find their own way. Tips and ideas are great, but you have to find what works for you and be confident in it and not be dissuaded or misled by all the 'How To' blog posts, articles and books out there. Don't change your method to suit others, only to suit YOU. If you believe in your writing, so will others. 

Joining the 'My Writing Process - Blog Tour' next week:

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but it's become his place to wake up, freeze when the heating is off, and serve two cats. For the last 7 years, he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to writing. A veteran of writing festivals and a constant presence on Twitter, Imran hopes he can bring a smile to others through his stories. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi and currently has 4 self published novels, although that doesn’t mean that he isn’t trying with Literary Agents. And he has a tendency to throw a droid into every novel –literally every novel. 
Find him at http://www.imranwrites.com/

Jenn Monty, also known as Brewed Bohemian is a lover of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and anything with "Punk" in the name. Jenn spends her days crunching data and her nights writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her love of horror and fantasy often lends a dark note to her prose but she also enjoys writing science-fiction, dieselpunk, and even a smidgen of romance from time to time. Jenn is an avid reader and writes flash fiction at www.BrewedBohemian.blogspot.com 

Jeff Tsuruoka is a writer in search of a writing career. He got his first real opportunity to foist his work onto the world in 2013. There's been no living with him since. You can find his stories, in the form of flash fiction, on the blogs of many members of the Twitter writing community as well as on the Daily Picspiration site. You can find his blog at: http://thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com/


Sunday 9 February 2014

Love Bites - Anti-Valentine's Blog Hop 2014

20140202-170724.jpgHosted and Judged by Judged by Ruth LongLisa ShambrookLizzie Koch and Laura James, the idea behind this blog hop is to write a piece that is the opposite of what Valentine's Day represents. As one of the hosts and judges Laura James says: "This is your chance for revenge on Cupid. Your chance to stick it to St Valentine." I took part in this last year and it was so much fun, I was looking forward to taking part this year too. Here is my entry.

Scented Roses

Anthea smiled at the young guy as she handed him the single red rose. He gave her a shy smile back as he paid, and said ‘Thanks’ when she handed him his change. She didn’t say a word she just enjoyed the manic laugh that let loose in the back of her mind as he went on his way. She rubbed her hands together as she stood by her stall on the station concourse. Those watching would simple think she was cold, they couldn’t hear the laughter inside.

The same laugh was triggered when she handed out a bunch of ten to another business type. And she had to really restrain herself when another bought two separate bunches. The glint in his eye and smile dancing on his own lips indicated that he thought she was smiling at his duplicitous nature - especially when he asked for two separate message cards. But she knew better, and wished she could be there to see him get his comeuppance.

During a lull between trains Anthea took a break. It was going to be busy soon with rush hour about to start, and on Valentine’s day it was longer than usual with everyone in a hurry to start their lovey dovey plans. She sneered at the thought as she went out back, the sight of the huge stock of red roses not helping her any. She grabbed the bottle and gave them a quick spray, bringing a twitch back to the corners of her mouth, then raised her scarf round her face against the unrelenting wind as she stepped outside for a smoke.

It was particularly bitter today and that suited her just fine as her mind relived the details of their last conversation for the umpteenth time.

“Why did you give it to her, Shaun? I thought you bought it for me, it’s what I wear! How could you?”

“What do you mean, ‘how could I?’ She’s my wife Anthea, get real.”

“But I thought we had something special?”

He’d shrugged. “It’s okay, but I wouldn’t say special.”

Anthea had physically retracted at his words.

“Oh come on now, it’s not like I’ve led you to believe any different.”

“But the roses last year on Valentine’s, in the card it said…”

He’d rolled his eyes. “I didn’t write that card Anthea, I told you that, the woman in the shop did. Don’t be so silly.”

He’d grabbed his coat from the hook in the hallway and went to the door. She’d put her hand on his arm, and he’d looked at it.

“Anthea, please don’t make a scene, I have enough of those at home. It’s why I bought the perfume in the first place. I’ve got to go now and you know it. I’ll see you next week.”

He’d turned to peck her cheek and she’d refused, causing him to sigh as he went out the door. She’d also refused to take any of his calls since then too.

She stubbed out her cigarette and went back out to the stall. A queue of customers had formed while she’d been gone, so she served them quickly, thrusting bunch after bunch of red roses into their arms, knowing they were in a hurry to catch their trains and arrive home fully equipped for this special evening.

She thought about what she had waiting at home for her: a hungry cat, and a ready made meal. There’d be no flowers for her, or perfume.

This last brought back her smile and the man she was serving responded to it, thinking it was for him.

None of these men had bought perfume, so she had added it for them, spraying each bunch before selling it. The only thing was her bottle labelled Poison wasn’t a brand name; the hydrogen cyanide it contained was a genuine killer.

Anthea chuckled to herself as she watched the last customer rush off to his platform. One sharp sniff might not bring death, but it certainly would dampen a night of romance.

673 Words

Read the other entries here. 

Friday 7 February 2014

Five Sentence Fiction - Ache

This weeks photo for Five Sentence Fiction spoke to be immediately, the prompt word giving me direction.


She leans forward against the window in the airport lounge and cranes to see their little bodies as they step out onto the aeroplane stairs; her eager breath creating a mist round the shape of her hands on the window. She hasn’t seen them in so long she can barely remember what their little faces look like, and wonder how tall they’ve grown.

Led by their chaperone, they run down the steps onto the tarmac into the tiny airport, their eyes wide taking in their strange new surroundings, while searching round desperate to spot the mother they haven’t seen in months

As soon as they’re allowed they rush through security and fling themselves into her arms, crowding her with kisses and clinging to her with no intention of letting go.

She embraces them, squeezing them tight in the hope that it will finally expel the ache she’s carried in her soul since the day she had to leave them. 

Monday 3 February 2014

Last Supper - MWBB

I skipped a week on the Mid-Week Blues-Buster, because I couldn't get the song prompt to work for me the week before last - in fact I struggled to listen to the song. But last week's was quite sublime and I really liked it, despite the male lead singer's dodgy look and not great voice. It inspired my darker side, and it earnt me a third place.

The prompt song this week was:
  Lacuna - End of Time

He’d called her earlier in the day to confirm the time he was coming home. She couldn’t wait; the house was immaculate, and the dining room all laid out. She’d even polished the silver candelabra.

As dusk approached she prepared the food. He liked it meaty, he liked lots of it, so she had gone beyond her usual expertise, but it worked as she set the dishes.

Then she got herself ready, slipping into a comfortable and sexy black dress. She knew he’d like it. She smiled. It was perfect; he wouldn’t know what hit him. She giggled. No, he wouldn’t, but that was how she wanted it.

She heard his car and glided down the ornate staircase, hovering on the bottom step as she heard his footsteps on the gravel path. He opened the door and paused when he saw her. His greeting caught in his throat as his eyes swept over her.

“Avril, you look…amazing.”

“Thank you Paul.”

He shut the door behind him and put his brief case down. She could see a question forming in his eyes.

“You want to ask me why, don’t you?”

He stammered as he replied, “Well yes, I do, I…is there a reason?”

Avril smiled at him. “We’ll get to that later, first I want you to enjoy it all.”

She saw the crease flutter across his temple, but he remained silent while she led him to the dining room. When he saw the presentation of their meal he stood in the doorway blinking, and let out a slight laugh.

“Come closer, take a look at what I’ve prepared.”

“You’ve prepared? You mean this wasn’t catered?” Paul stumbled forward, peeking under the lids of the huge tureens. It looked divine.

He sat down at the head of the table, and Avril sat at his side. She wanted to be close to him and share the intimacy of the moment.

He watched her serve him, laughing as she piled all the food on to his plate, relaxing a little as she piled it on her own too. He watched her tuck in first before starting in on his, and they sat gorging themselves on all the meaty delights.

Then she brought over a bottle of red wine she’d opened earlier. She poured a healthy quantity into both of their wine glasses, laughing as he raised his and took several swallows from it.

Then his demure changed, the smile sliding from his lips.

“There’s something in this, isn’t there?”

She nodded while she sipped at hers.

“But you’ve got the same, haven’t you?”

She nodded again and gave a small smile as she said, “I’m not about to let you go out alone. We started out together and we’ll end together.”

His eyes flashed with fear and rage as he regarded the glass, and threw the contents across the room.

“I knew this was too good to be true! You haven’t done anything like this for me in years.”

“You haven’t wanted me to; you’ve had ‘her’ to do it for you.”

His rage dropped, but the fear remained. He swallowed. “You mean, Larissa?”

“Yes dear, Larissa. Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Did you think I would be okay with it continuing under my nose?”

“What have you done?” He whispered.

Avril waved her arm at the table in front of them. “I decided to celebrate with a meal; a last supper if you will, while the poison does its work.

Paul could feel his legs tingling. “But I haven’t drunk enough.”

“It wasn’t just in the wine dear.” Sweat beads were breaking out on Avril’s forehead and she dabbed them with a napkin.

“The meat?” Paul’s mouth felt strange, the edges had started twitching.

“Yes, I marinated her well, Paul.”

Paul managed to whisper, “Her?” as he started to slide down the chair.

Avril was also struggling. Her glass dropped from her hand as her arm went limp, but she managed a giggled, and said, “Yes, Larissa. She had more meat on her than I thought. She tasted pretty good too, don’t you think?”

The frozen look of horror completed it for her as she grinned her way into death. 

Daily Picspiration - Time and Motion Part 3

The third part in my Daily Picspiration piece was posted up yesterday.

It took a while for me to sort out what was going to be the next stop for this story. I didn't want to cross into famous story lines from films like The Matrix or the TV series Sliders. I wanted to try and find a unique approach. I had to write down a list on the concepts for this story I wanted to keep intrigue and build the story line - not just have it be about a couple of characters and their experiences in another reality. It took some doing, and although I am again stumped for the next part, I have a clearer idea what it is about, so I will be able to thrash something out. Not sure how much longer I can maintain it though.

 You can read 'Time and Motion - Part 3' here.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Visual Dare - Silhouette

It's been a while since I've written anything for Visual Dare, although it stopped for a while over the Christmas period and has only been up and running again for a couple of weeks on a new website. This week's intriguing photo inspired me, and this is what I wrote.

They’d been captured at last, and humans were elated. The enchanted, who lived in secrecy and keep their world separate, despised the cages they were now kept in, and even worse the insistence of performing on demand. Their tender ways had been disrupted and their art of keeping magic in the world was starting to fade.

People didn’t see what was happening, they were too busy being amused by these ‘little people’ with their funny ways; laughing at them, parading them around and making money off them.

They didn’t see how the sparkle of enchantment was disappearing, how their own children wanted material things and wanted them now. They were no longer pacified by fairy tales or enraptured by the idea of magic. They wanted whatever they saw, to use it at their will, dispense of it in a matter of moments and move onto the next things.  

148 Words


Five Sentence Fiction - Frozen

This weeks Five Sentence Fiction was open to looks of ideas. This is where it took me.


Alice shivered as she sat on the ice waiting for rescue. The robin that had landed nearby kept her in check as it hammered on the ice, trying to find anything worth eating.

Her soaked clothing was beginning to harden in the bitter wind as she watched the bird and envied the warmth of its feathers; noticing her own hands had taken on a blue hue.

Alice wondered how it survived out here, but considered that if it too had fallen into the water it might also be struggling for life.

She heard the helicopter as tiredness began to crawl into her mind, and she resisted the urge to close her eyes and rest as the shaking in her body started to slow down.