Tuesday 28 October 2014

Addiction Demons - MWBB

When I wrote for last week's Mid-Week Blues-Buster song, it was in a bit of a rush. I had an opening scene, but I stumbled over the story until I decided where he was going, then it came to me. It took some fiddling and some stop and starting, and due to the time constraints it didn't feel like it flowed right, but it caught the attention of the judge and seemed to go down well. Due to the low amount of entrants - just five - there was only a Winner and an Honourable Mention - and I snagged the HM, so I am really pleased with that.

The prompt song this week was:
 Still Life, by Ironmaiden

Lucius sat upright - rigid, sweat pouring down his face, the rasp of his breath heavy in his own ears. His eyes were wide in the darkened room, but shadows still danced on the wall in front of him.

He could hear the guitar from down below, its high pitch twine probably what had woken him, pulling him away from the demons. They were there every night the second he closed his eyes; calling to him, wanting him, but he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t go to them. He refused to join them again.

But as he got his racing heart under control, the movement in front of him didn’t stop. They ran circles on the wall, trying to draw his eye. He flicked back the sheets, refusing to be pulled in; they’d had as much of his attention as he would give them tonight.

He pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, and ran down the stairs, taking a passing glimpse at the party going on; the girls looking spaced out at this late hour, the boys trying to keep them alive with alluring dance moves that made no sense to the music.

The cold air hit him as he opened the front door, sparking the muttering deep in the recesses of his mind. He knew when he got there he could calm them and at least bring peace for the rest of the night.

Lucius paced himself as he went into the night-lit park, not letting the urge to run take over; knowing the route by heart, having taken it more and more often over the past month. They were getting stronger, their pull on him greater - but he still had the last word.

He could see the night light twinkle off the surface through the trees, and he approached the water, feeling the release. He crouched at the edge and touched the surface, the icy depths running up his fingers and stilling his mind.

They didn’t like it, the clarity cutting them off – or was it the purity?

He cupped his hand and sipped at the captured water. With each swallow he felt cleansed and purified. He didn’t know what it was about this body of water – it didn’t work with any others - but this one brought the stillness he sought. The mutterings stopped.

It crossed his mind that there was something in it, maybe he was swapping one addiction for another, but it was a public park; this expanse of water ran right through it and many animals and birdlife fed off it. It could be the ritual that brought calm.

Lucius felt whole once more and stood, stretching. But as he turned to go he glimpsed a figure in the distance, illuminated in the dark by its white clothing. His curiosity took him towards it, and he realised it was a statue; its smooth white surface reflecting all the light – particularly the expanse of its wings.

The angel stood on the opposite bank, its arms outstretched, looking down at the water. He wondered why he had never noticed it before, having been here so often in the past month, although he was always distracted when he arrived, whether day or night, his mind plagued by the demons.

But what struck him was how the water appeared to be flowing through its hands, as though coming from within it, and blessing it.

Daily Picspiration - Which Witch

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. The pictures were seasonal being in the Halloween theme, but I like to not always play to that - and the second photo especially, being the title of one of Stephen King's novels, seemed to promote a certain story line. But I wasn't having any of it. There was another Salem - a real Salem in the world - and it's history crosses paths with what could be considered a Halloween theme. It took me a while to get a story thrown round the opening scene I had in my mind, but Mildred's voice was clear in my head. I might have to revisit her again should a story require her. Enjoy!

Posted on October 26th, you can read 'Which Witch' here.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Horror Bites - Toxic World

I have struggled to write for the new Horror Bites photo prompt, wanting to find an original story within it. I also made the mistake of reading others before writing, as I find it colours what I write or the ideas that I might come up with. Finally I settled on this one, which managed to capture what I had in mind - apocalyptic - but bringing in the horror too. I 'think' it works. Let me know what you think.

Chris and deadwood

Agnes didn’t believe that they had to stay down that long; she was convinced it should be time now. She was sick of living underground, skimping and scraping, eeking out rations, surviving on nothing but what few belongings they had managed to grab during the evacuation. It had been four years now, and she was sure the worst must have passed by now. She convinced Tyron of it too.

They stood at the entrance to the shelter, surprised at how simple it had been to open the steel door that had been protecting them all this time. Agnes went first, struggling at first as her eyes adjusted to the bright light, feeling like a mole coming out of the ground after a long winter.

She stepped out onto the remains of the boardwalk, and took in a lung full of air, Tyron joining her.

“I can smell sulphur,” he said.

“Me too. But that’s to be expected, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so.”

They edged out into the land, which was scorched a strange yellow, and observed the remains of trees, frozen in their devastation, stripped and bowed of anything that resembled life; grey sculptures in the desolate, stripped land.

“What’s that?” Tyron pointed at a swirling, ground hugging cloud.

“I don’t know, probably just some early morning mist.”

It drifted their way, but they continued to walk on, not paying much attention as they focused on the wrecked landscape around them. Then Agnes started coughing. 

“Are you alright?” Tyron asked.

Agnes couldn’t catch a breath to reply; each time she inhaled she felt her throat and lungs burn. Then Tyron started coughing too.

Unable to draw breath, they fell to their knees, clinging to each other as they watched blood from their scorched throats and lungs begin to spatter across the boardwalk in front of them. Within minutes they were prone, and choking ensued, their ruptured airways blocking any chance of relief.

Agnes stared into Tyron’s eyes as the light faded, regretting her haste, and wondering if humanity would ever be able to live above ground again.

347 Words

Sunday 19 October 2014

Five Sentence Fiction - Falling

This week's Five Sentence Fiction is a light one for me this time, but the photo inspired it. For me I feel the need to combine the two, rather than just take one.


She wanted to so badly, but there were so many risks involved; would she regret it, were they really right for each other, would he break her heart, and most importantly: would he love her back?

She told herself, what was life without taking risks, but the fear was overwhelming. She put it down to previous experiences, particularly last time when she was dumped for being too emotional – oh and the time before that for being too insecure. If she fell this time there was no one to catch her, there was a chance she might go splat on the pavement.

She looked at him as he walked into the kitchen, rubbing his sleep ruffled hair, grinning at her as she proffered a cup of tea she’d just made; she had to risk it, she really did, and hopefully they would fall together and float down with a soft, gentle landing. 

Tuesday 14 October 2014

The Cabin - MWBB

I'm getting back into the flow of writing for the Mid-Week Blues-Buster again. Although this week's song wasn't really to my taste, a story appeared within seconds of listening. When that happens I know that I will be able to write for it. This one was a hidden dark tale, and earnt a 2nd place due to the fact it caught the judge unawares. Enjoy.

The prompt song this week was:
  Home in the Woods, by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons.

With each mile he felt his shoulders loosen. The dusk came in and as the land opened up the clouds reflected the last few rays of the day colouring them a rusty orange, reminding him to pull off for wood at a gas station before he reached the cabin, so he could get a fire going.

He needed this weekend. He’d been holding on for a long time. City life always took more than it should - but so had the woman he’s been foolish enough to start dating.

She was from the office, Melinda, and all his colleagues were hot for her. But she’d only had eyes for him it seemed, and what eyes they were. He was no better than the others, and couldn’t resist them. He wished he had.

She’d used all her wiles on him, although they hadn’t been necessary. She would sidle up to him at the coffee machine.

“Hey Gary, how you doing today?”

And he would try and not choke on his coffee, and coolly reply, “Good Melinda.”

He’d been told before that he was a magnet for women. He didn’t see it. He thought he was too big and clumsy, and too quiet. But they seemed to like it; they would come and chat to him about their lives, and he would listen and try and understand as best he could. He struggled to relate to city folk, even though he’d lived here all his life. They were all so busy with so much stuff that wasn’t important. He didn’t get it.

It was why he’d bought the cabin, his place of refuge. He didn’t get there as often as he’d like. He dreamt of being able to save enough to move there permanently, but city life was costly. And not just financially, emotionally too - Melinda had taught him that.

She’d been so easy in the beginning; their first couple of dates a delight. Then on the third they’d spent the night together. He couldn’t have been more bowled over by how incredible she was and he was pretty much suckered after that, even though he tried to keep his distance at work.

But she wasn’t having any of it. Everyone knew. The guys all wanted details, the girls started complimenting him on romantic details from their dates. They considered them a hard and fast couple straight away, no longer two individuals who were dating.

Gary struggled with that. He needed privacy and to keep his work and home life separate. Then she started to be invaded that too. More and more often she would turn up unannounced, and he couldn’t refuse her. She would bat her eyelids, give him the come on, and he’d relent. They’d spend days in bed, or out walking in the parks, drinking coffee, whatever she wanted, because he couldn’t say no to her.

Until one day he noticed how much stuff she had in his apartment. He went looking for a sweater and found she’d moved his clothes around to make drawer space. Then he spotted her ‘spare’ make-up bag on the chest of drawers, her ‘spare’ toothbrush in the bathroom, and her music CD’s in the lounge, stacked on top of his.

He wasn’t ready for this. He didn’t want this. That was when he knew he had to go up to the cabin. He’d thought about taking her there a couple of times, but hadn’t ever mentioned it. And now he was glad he hadn’t; the less people that knew the better.

He saw the lights of a gas station ahead, and pulled in. He found stacks of firewood outside and grabbed a few, along with a bag of coals; he needed a long burning fire tonight. And after paying and exchanging pleasantries with the owner, he took them round to the boot of the car, saying he’d be fine; he could load them up himself.

He opened it and tucked the bundles in around her, touching her cold face for a brief moment, wishing it could have turned out differently; that she’d had an idea of the boundaries she had crossed.  

Daily Picspiration - Denial

My latest Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. The second photo spoke to me immediately and it didn't take much to write as it is quite short. I was early for a change. I found it easier to write this one out in longhand before typing it us, as sometimes things come out better that way.

Posted on October 12th, you can read 'Denial' here.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Hidden Desire - MWBB - WINNER!

It's been a long time since I have written for Mid-Week Blues-Buster, due mostly to the slipped discs in my neck trapping nerves and putting my right arm in excruciating pain, which is now thankfully over, and also in part to not being inspired by any songs. But last week, it was a song I knew and loved, so I knew I would have to write.  I liked what I wrote, and clearly it showed as it landed a first place, which I am very pleased with being only my second win for MWBB this year. I hope you enjoy it.

The prompt song this week was:
  I Try, by Macy Gray

Lily ignored the physical rejection of her attempt at a hug; at least he’d allowed the peck on the cheek. She watched him hurriedly walk away to the other side of the busy train station, a sudden heaviness on her chest, and a sickness in her stomach. By the time she’d reached the train, there were tears in her eyes. She missed him already.

The day had been perfect, their nervousness diminishing after the first hour. He was friendly, attentive, and interested. It made her feel renewed. It made her feel there was a chance. But now he was gone again, with no idea of anything further.

She stared at her reflection in the train window. He had no idea how closely she’d been watching him, how much she knew about his movements; the places he’d been to, the parties he’d gone to. How many times she’d resisted a comment on social media that would give it all away. But she couldn’t help herself, not where he was concerned. Not since they’d met at Joleen’s party.

Lily stared at pictures of him on social media all the time. She imagined conversations with him, drinking with him…sex with him. She bit her lower lip. What would that be like?

Her mobile phone beeped, and her heart leapt when she saw it was from him. “Good to see you,” he said. “You free next week?” A rush of adrenaline ran through her, banishing all the sadness. She sent a text back with a simple ‘Yes’. A few seconds later he responded with ‘I’ll call you. We’ll set something up.”

She waited, but he clearly didn’t mean now. She had no idea when it might be, but she was happy that it might happen at all.

Lily tucked the phone back in her pocket.


Roger looked at his phone, his heart thumping. He’d done it. He’s asked for the second date. Had he been too casual? He didn’t want to seem too keen. He still shook slightly after her attempt to hug him. He couldn’t let her do that - that was too much - that would give it all away. He had to keep the cool exterior. He couldn’t risk her seeing what she did to him. If they embraced he’d struggle to let her go, he knew he would.

After all this time they had finally met up. He’d scanned the timelines too for months, for any mention of her going to any of the parties he was attending. He’d waited avidly for her to ‘like’ any of the events, but she’d been absent. And then finally he’d managed to bring about a meeting - coincidentally been where she was. She always tagged the place when she went shopping, so it wasn’t hard.

But he’d thought about it for weeks. Would she see through it? Would she know? Would he be able to do it? Could he approach her and pretend to be relaxed and surprised to see her? Would she respond? Be interested? He thought she might, but until that moment he hadn’t known. It had taken a lot to get the nerve up.

And it had been perfect. She’d been in no hurry to leave. She’d been happy to join him for something to eat. And she’d lingered – or had it been his imagination? He didn’t think so, not after she attempted to hug him.

He tried not to berate himself for his reaction, but he hadn’t expected her to do that. Not yet. He wasn’t ready for that yet – not in reality. He’d gone over it a hundred times in his mind. How he would hold on to her, embrace her, and then kiss her.

He stood up. He had to break that thought process, save it for later when he wasn’t in public. He looked up at the board to see which platform his train was on, and started heading that way.

So when was he going to call her? How soon was too soon? And what would he say?

His mind buzzed as he boarded his train.