Saturday 31 May 2014

Visual Dare - Poison

I was shocked to see how long it has been since I have entered a Visual Dare prompt, but this picture had to be written for. I could have written many things about this picture, but in light of the recent #YesAllWomen hashtag in response to a recent killing spree by a misogynist in the US that gained sympathy from men, there was only one way to go. And it felt vaguely reminiscent of The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. Enjoy!


The bottle was wheeled in on a hand truck and left to stand on the auction floor in full view.

“Next we have this fine specimen, caught wild, completely undamaged. Who’ll start the bidding at 500?”

Several boards went up.

She peered out at the rows of men, their eager eyes crawling all over her flesh; their finest business suits unable to disguise their brutal lust. She dared not imagine what horrors awaited her.

This new world order was one of pain and humiliation for captive women. Since enforcement some ten years previous, she’d managed to avoid it, but as military searches were extended, there was no-where left to hide.

She smiled, at least she couldn’t be used in a fertility factory; the poisonous shrubs she’d ingested taking care of that. They were getting desperate too, according to the level of bidding. Foolish men, they couldn’t control Mother Nature too.

150 Words

Thursday 29 May 2014

55 Word Challenge - Summer Loving

I've gone all out for the overachievers for this weeks 55 Word Challenge, by using all three this week.


 Maya rolled in the meadow and blew at every dandelion she saw, sending the seeds flying, creating a blizzard of summer mist. She watched her son rushing through it, trying to catch each one, his laughter filling her heart, and making it feel like it might burst like a watermelon. Today was a good day.

55 Words

Five Sentence Fiction - Marriage

Initially when looking at this week's prompt photo for Five Sentence Fiction, combined with the prompt word, nothing sprang to mind. Then I thought about how they were going up in a ski-lift and how marriage is like that - lifting you hopes, and taking risks, and this little tale came pouring out. They always say, write about what you know.


She hoped it would make a difference, that being his wife would somehow make her valuable, if not in his eyes, then at least in the eyes of his friends; maybe then they would take her seriously, and know she wasn’t just messing about or some kind of short-term girlfriend, that she was someone worth giving their time and friendship to.

She also knew that any children they had would be put at the top of his list, and be something he would move heaven and earth for, and thus as their mother she hoped that meant that she would warrant such a high standing too.

But as she stood doing the washing up, alone in the house again, while he was off out with their sons, doing their boy thing, she realised she had been mistaken; despite all she did for him, all she gave, she was invisible, and only really there as the housekeeper and child minder.

She wasn’t his friend - now they had moved back to his home town, he’d returned to the fold and she was surplus to requirements; and she wasn’t his lover - interest had faded once the children had arrived, both busy with others things and he was always too tired; and thanks to no one around her being interested in getting to know her – the foreigner in their midst – she realised she had no support base here either.

She dried her hands on a tea towel and wondered what she had done, how she had gotten herself into this in the first place; it was going to take more than hopes and dreams to get her out.



Monday 26 May 2014

Guilt - MWBB

This weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster didn't bring a big crowd, but the song worked for me.  I did get stuck half way through this one, not sure where I wanted to it end, or how I was going to end it, but I found my way in the end. It even drew me a 2nd place, which was a surprise. Hope you like it. 

The prompt song this week was:
You got Time - by Regina Spektor

Lydia ran her hands through her hair and clenched the roots. She sat on the edge of the bed looking out of the penthouse windows overlooking the sleeping city.

She’d done it again and she had no way of getting out of it now. She mentally chided herself, feeling the frustration build, knowing she had to bury it; what’s done was done.

She looked over her shoulder at his sleeping body, his perfect skin, the line of his back facing her, beautiful in the nightlight. His profile was perfect too, his lip line, his strong jaw; she wanted to savour this moment forever. Her stomach churned at the thought of what she had to do now.

She stood up and went to the bathroom, splashing water on her face and staring at her reflection in the mirror. She studied her eyes for an answer, some solution that would mean she could have both, but she knew there was none. The question was: how was she going to do this? She took a deep breath, the only way she knew how: without thinking.

Lydia returned to the bedroom and picked up her clothes, careful not to wake him. She went into the hallway to dress and took her keys out of her bag. She gently worked the key off the key-ring and laid it on the entrance hall table, while her mind ran through all the belongings she had here. There weren’t many, and none she couldn’t live without.

She slipped her coat on, resisting the urge to take a peek at him one last time.

As soon as the door was shut behind her she ran down the corridor to the elevator. She considered the stairs, not really wanting the bellhop working the elevator to see her, but when it arrived no one was in it. The universe was working with her tonight.

When she reached the foyer there was only the night porter and he was expecting her. She glanced at him as she walked past, and he gave her a meaningful look as he picked up the phone.

By the time she stepped out of the rotating doors she wanted to throw up. She covered her mouth to hide the retching sound.

A cab was waiting but she didn’t want to get in. She didn’t want to sit, she couldn’t, she needed to keep moving for as long as she could. She walked at high speed away from the building, not really thinking about a direction.

Going back to her apartment was out of the question. They’d find her again, they’d put her through it again, and she couldn’t keep doing this, she couldn’t keep loving them, watch them love her back and then set them up. She didn’t want to do it anymore, she wanted out of the loop, but no one ever got out – or so they told her.

A thought sparked in her mind and she ran with it. At the next ATM she took out as much cash as it would let her, then she got on the subway – a taxi could be traced. Once at Grand Central station she scanned the destination boards and found what she was looking for. Even at this time of night she didn’t have long to wait, and when the train crossed the border into Canada she was sound asleep.

Coming off the train she rummaged in the concealed pocket of her bag and pulled out her Canadian Citizenship card. She kept it on her at all times as the ‘just in case’ she knew would come one day - but they didn’t; they didn’t know as much as they thought.

From there she took the bus to the storage unit her parents kept for her and changed clothes, grabbing her real passport and some bundles of cash her dad insisted on stashing there. Then she headed for the airport.

Only once she was in the air did she breathe again and let her mind wander back to the life she’d been leading. It was no easy task being an assassins’ mistress, but at least it had taught her how to be traceless.


Daily Picspiration - Interdimensioning Part 3 - Final Destination

I was stuck with the next part of my Daily Picspiration serial until I saw the photos, then I saw it straight away. I made it the final piece because I couldn't come up with a plausible continuance from this episode. I didn't really want it to turn into something like the Quantum Leap or Sliders series, and I don't think they would find a way out of this dimension either. So I sort of wrote myself into a dead-end - although I am fine with that and it was sort of my intention. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can read 'InterDimensioning' here.

Monday 19 May 2014

Wang Dang Doodle - MWBB

This weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster created pictures in my head straight away so I ran with them. I loved the tale it produced, although I had to edit it hard to come in at 700 words. I had to cut a little of Steve's character which was a shame, but I was pleased when it still brought me a 3rd place. Hope you like it. 

The prompt song this week was:
  Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor
He wanted to do it, they had to do it; he wouldn’t accept any arguments. Dorian got into his 1962 Corvette. It shined red hot tonight, just like his mood.

He drove to Steve’s place. Even with the top down his black quiff didn’t move; he’d lacquered it good tonight. When he stopped in the driveway, he checked it in the mirror, comb at the ready, but winked at himself instead – it was still perfect, he just hoped Mavis would think so too.

Steve was sitting on the porch having a beer. Dorian wanted to get going.

“Come on man, finish it up, it’s gonna be pumping at the Roxy tonight, Koko’s playing.”

Steve gave him a lazy grin. “Hold your horses man, there’s no rush. Take a pew, crack one open.”

“No man, not yet, I wanna get there first.” Dorian paced the verandah.

Steve’s smile faded as he watched him. “Geez you’re wired tonight, what’s up?”

“It’s time man, I’m not messing about anymore. I want it a done deal with me and her.”

“Arh.” Steve raised an eyebrow, his grin returning. “Little Mavis. You sure she’s gonna be out tonight?”

“She’d never miss Koko.” Dorian slapped Steve’s boot. “Come on man, let’s go.”

Steve raised his hands in surrender and stood up. “Alright, alright, I’ll just fetch my jacket.”

Steve arrived at the car with his black leather on. Dorian looked at his hair with envy; the natural blond locks at the front displaying a perfect double-sided rolled quiff. Dorian’s hair wouldn’t allow it.

When they pulled up in front of the Roxy, the valet took the keys and they went inside, Dorian scanning the vast room for his beloved. It was heaving in the club, even though Koko wasn’t on yet. Another band was warming things up.

Dorian squeezed through the crowd to the bar, Steve at his heels. The barman put two bottles in front of them, too busy for conversation, and they tossed the required coins into his hand.

They turned to lean against the counter and observe the room. Heads turned, mostly female, spotting Steve, but a few men turned too, wanting to know who their women were looking at. They eyeballed Steve and he eyeballed them back, his easy grin not dropping. Dorian didn’t like it, but he knew Steve could handle any one of them.

Then Dorian spotted her, way at the front. He tapped Steve’s shoulder and they pushed forward keeping to the right where there were less people, until they were level with her.

She was out in the middle dancing, her full red skirt spinning round as she twizzled back and forth; showing off the petticoats underneath. Her blonde hair bounced at the back, but the perfectly rolled curls either side of her centre-parting didn’t move. She beamed at her partner, the elusive Eloise who everyone admired - even Steve.

Upon seeing them Steve raised an eyebrow, keen to go over. He never failed to take a crack at Eloise even though she usually turned him down. Besides her stunning looks, Dorian knew Steve liked the thrill of the chase; it was a novelty for him. It caused other girls to dislike her, but she didn’t care.

They set their beers down on a standing table and pushed through to cut in, Dorian to Mavis and Steve to Eloise. Tonight the girls let them. If there was one thing Dorian could do, it was dance, and tonight he used all his skill as he moved Mavis up and around him. Steve was also working his magic, his feet as sure as Dorian’s – heck if the girls knew they practiced together in Dorian’s barn, they’d bust a gut!

The moment was ripe, Dorian couldn’t hold off any longer. When the song ended, he pulled her into him and said, “Let’s do it Mavis, let’s go steady. You know you want to.”

She giggled at him, and whispered, “Only if Eloise will with Steve.”

Dorian’s face dropped, until she giggled again and he followed her gaze over his shoulder. Steve & Eloise were already kissing. He swept Mavis into his arms to do the same. 

Sunday 18 May 2014

55 Word Challenge - Bridge

This weeks 55 Word Challenge had one photo I couldn't miss. I have a thing for bridge photos and this one was no exception.

Annabelle looked over her shoulder; they’d be in sight soon. She looked at the bridge, the idea of crossing it terrified her, but she knew she had to if she wanted to live. It swung as she stepped onto it, she swallowed her fear and ran. It was either that or face her own death.

55 words

If you want more bridge stories I've written, try these.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Daily Picspiration - Interdimensioning Part 2

The next set of photos for my Daily Picspiration entry inspired me to continue from my last piece, but I struggled with it, with the point of it, and I can't decide as yet whether to carry on, although the next set might be insisting on it, although they do offer some other spookier tales. I sort of feel that I must finish this little serial too, even if it will just be one last part.

This piece used both pictures. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can read 'InterDimensioning' here.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Five Sentence Fiction - Doors

I've been captivated by this weeks Five Sentence Fiction, but by the prompt word rather than the picture, which is rare for me, as I tend to combine both. This is what it gave me.


She thumped her fist against the rock face, frustrated that it wouldn’t budge; she was tired of standing out on this precipice with nowhere to go, desperate for salvation.

She had hoped and prayed and begged for a door to appear; it didn’t matter where it led to, as long as it got her out of here, out of this empty nothingness overlooking an abyss she’d almost fallen into once already.

She could see the outline cut into the rock, but it was barely a centimetre deep.

She screamed in frustration, knowing it meant there was still work to do, that she still had to wait, that it wasn’t time yet.

She stamped her foot and chided herself; if only she’d taken a different path, there might have been a door waiting for her.


Thursday 8 May 2014

Horror Bites - House of Horror

I'm early this week for the Horror Bites photo prompt challenge, because the picture spoke to me immediately. Something about those type of houses conjures all sorts. This is what appeared today. It was tough to keep to the 300 word maximum.


She didn’t want to go there again, but they’d insisted, her hands shaking by the time they pulled up at the bottom of the embankment. When she looked up at the white weather-board house it seemed to plead its innocence, but she knew better.

Two cars pulled up behind and then someone opened her door. She spun round, eyes wide with terror at the prospect of getting out and going in there again, but a hand took her arm and she knew she had to comply.

She climbed the embankment with them surrounding her. There was no escape, not even inside her head, where the sounds she’d endured were replayed, even those made by her own body. She stumbled at the prospect of facing it again. 

As they approached the front door she pulled at the man leading her, until they were standing over the coal shoot she’d been shoved down a few terrifying days earlier. The men opened it, taking their time, ready to reveal its horrors.

The smell hit her, metallic and salty; the purist form of distilled fear. And then the sounds reached her and she pulled back, pushing against the men that held her, clawing at their hands to release her and allow her to run free from the torture chamber below, where the few that were still alive wailed their agony.

And they did, they let her go as they braced themselves for what was ahead; letting her run back to the police van. She pushed through the underbrush, oblivious to the damage it inflicted, knowing it could never cut as deep as the tools used in that cellar, and flew into the arms of a waiting social worker, where she allowed herself to be held and comforted, and reminded that her ordeal was over.

300 words

55 Word Challenge - Mean Boys

This weeks 55 Word Challenge photo prompts had lots to say. All three of them!

Sad Child

Lonely Old Toy

Haunted Garden

Thomas listened to the wall, but it refused to talk. He was going to have to ask the trees; they’d help, they’d tell him where those mean boys from next door had hidden his truck. He’d seen those boys kick their roots and break their branches - they were nasty; the trees wouldn’t cover for them.

55 Words

Monday 5 May 2014

Star-crossed Lovers - MWBB

After skipping a week, due to my shoulder and due to the song not inspire me, last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster, song was not to be missed. It's a famous, some would say over-played, song, which spoke to me immediately. I already had the bones of this story down, having written it a long time ago, but this song reminded me of it, so I dusted it off and edited it up, adding and taking away, and I was surprised it seemed to have worked, eliciting a 2nd place from the judge!

The prompt song this week was:
 Your Beautiful - James Blunt

I never thought I'd see you again after you left me on the side of the street that morning and drove away.

I know you had to; I was going. I know you didn’t want me to – your call a couple of hours later made that clear, but there was no choice, my visa had ended, our time was over, we’d always known it would be. We both thought it was the end – until I found you eleven years on.

It started when I heard your voice on the other end of the phone - like an old piece of music my ears had been dying to hear for a lifetime; my trembling hands barely able to keep the sound of it against my ear.

And then I saw you. You were so easy to identify; your youth still standing out, and your searching eyes finding mine hidden behind my glasses. Our embrace was so easy, so comfortable, like we’d seen each other only days before, and conversation flowed, desperate to catch up on all those years in between.

We walked beside one another once more, up the steps to the cathedral pretending to be tourists; the thought of touching somehow dangerous now that we belonged to other people, but electricity still ran between us and distracted us from the architecture around us.

Over lunch holding eye contact was difficult at the beginning, the nakedness of our feelings easily caught in a glimpse or a smile. But by the end of we had returned to our original state; able to laugh and exchange banter with side glances and quick-witted comments. The last of which reminded me that we hadn’t forgotten how we’d been, that it was all still there; nothing had changed between us.

Yet when it was time for my second departure our embrace was awkward, you body rejecting it as though it was a step too far, and I walked onto the train missing you with the same ache I had felt eleven years before as though no time had past; your scent, your sound, your energy still enveloping me. And my eyes welled with tears of loss, of somehow missing a chance that was never quite there.

And like all those years ago I hoped to see you again although it was unlikely; we were only a gift to each other for a moment, a reminder of who we once were, stars in the night while ships passed.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Horror Bites - Reflection

The Horror Bites photo prompt for the fortnightly challenge hosted by Laura Jamez over on her site Office Mango was a bit spooky this week. This is what I came up with.


Emily could easily admire the lady in the reflection of the train window without being caught staring. She pretended to peer out at the world going by, but she was more interested in the woman’s face. She’d never seen so much make-up on anyone before; the caked-on foundation enhanced her old-age wrinkles, and the think black pencilled in eyebrows gave her a sinister expression with their arched peaks. 

Emily never understood why women did that, it seemed crazy to shave them off and draw them in again when you already had a perfectly good pair that grew naturally. Emily ran a finger over her own viewing them in the reflection. She wondered if they got bushier with age, although as her mum kept saying, she was only eight, she had plenty of time yet. But she couldn’t imagine shaving them off – or plucking them, like her mother did - that looked painful!

Emily glanced over her shoulder at her mother sitting next to her. She was staring out of the window too, but when she saw Emily she smiled at her and squeezed her leg. Emily smiled back before returning to the reflection.

Now she inspected the woman’s lips, all puckered up, the lipstick slightly over the line of the lips. It made her shudder; they looked all gooey. She licked her lips and looked up at the woman’s eyes, and then froze when she found her staring back.

Emily flicked her eyes back to her own reflection, noticing how wide they’d become, then took a tentative peek at her mother, who was reading a magazine and hadn’t noticed anything.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but she’d assumed the Lady couldn’t see her – being that she didn’t exist, well not in the flesh anyway, the seats opposite were unoccupied. 

299 Words

55 Word Challenge - Sculpture

The 55 Word Challenge, hosted by Lisa Hollar, has just gone through an overhaul and now has its own dedicated website. The deadline has been extended and entrants are also now encourage to put their entries on their own blog and not just post in the comments, so here I am.

I've been entering for a couple of years now, and even won a few times. I love the shortness of it, and trying to be concise in so few words. Plus my favourite sort of prompt is a photo prompt, so this challenge has it all for me.

Here's my entry:

Mud Play

He squished the remains between his fingers and admired his handiwork; this was the best tower he’d ever made. He thought about making it bigger, but he wanted to show mummy as soon as possible, she’d be over the moon. She was loved his creations, and he’d made this one from his own poop. 

54 Words

Thursday 1 May 2014

Five Sentence Fiction - Vacation

It's been a long time since I have written a Five Sentence Fiction but this piece sparked my imagination and I wanted to get it down. It's just a snippet.


She adjusted the sunglasses on her nose and smiled to herself; she could rest now and kick back, the worst was over.

She opened her book and something fell out, making her jump.

She thought it was a moth of some kind, but it wasn’t, and when she realised what it actually was she wished it had been.

She held up the scrap of paper and looked at the fine print on it; his impeccable handwriting had always made her swoon – it had been one of the things that had hooked her.

But now it filled her with rage and she scrunched it up, rolling it tight between her fingers, tears welling up; his words wouldn’t sway her now, it was too late, she was long gone.