Tuesday 23 December 2014

The Black House - MWBB

I'm a little intermittent with my Mid-Week Blues-Buster entries at the moment. It totally depends on time and how quickly the song throws up an idea. This last week it did, and in fact it went very dark, half way through I had to stop and think about where I wanted it to go, because the direction it was headed was a little too darker, I didn't really want to entertain what I saw in my mind, so I diverted it at the last moment, and I think it worked - although it didn't get ranked. I put that down to a lot of entries this week, and all the other awesome stories that were produced. Enjoy.

The prompt song was:
Black House, by Omnia

The week was done and he could finally return to his sanctuary. Over bumpy roads to the hidden location, his heart lifted upon seeing the derelict building loom up ahead blacker than the night sky.
When he entered, their cries made him smile. He had been missed, but then a week alone was long, he knew that. He went about his ministrations, giving the minimum needed to sustain them; their outstretched hands grabbing what they could, a few lucky ones grabbing a little more.
As they settled, he did too, taking his place in the worn armchair positioned in the centre of the main room facing the doors. Eyes peered between the bars of the little windows set into the thick oak. It afforded him protection, unless he wanted to open them. But it was early yet, and he had to nurse a week in the world first.
He unscrewed the bourbon, enjoying its glint in the lantern light. He relished the first sip, the fire awaking his soul as it warmed his body. It wouldn’t take many tonight to bring him back to life.
They watched him as he drank, knowing.
After two drinks he stood up. He heard them hold their collective breaths as he walked to the back of the room to the CD player. He needed something dark and heavy tonight, something deep that would talk to his soul. It needed to be earthy; reflect the smells of the dwelling. He knew the CD he needed, and they’d know it too once he put it on.
He heard the murmurs when the first chords could be heard through the tiny speakers, and he felt their eyes on him as he walked to the corner. The chink of the keys heightened those murmurs and he smiled for the first time that week. This was always his favourite part.
They shrank back as he turned the keys in the locks, but he chose to let them do the opening tonight. He wasn’t in a hurry. Instead he returned to his chair and the amber liquid that would enable him to enjoy the next part.
He knew she’d be first. She was bolder than the others, opening the door a crack and slithering out. She pressed herself against the wall next to the door, and slid down it, relieved to be out of the confines.
Her nakedness aroused him, but he remained seated, knowing she would come, although not until the other doors were opened. They were a collective, and that’s why he enjoyed them so much.
First they huddled together, their unique forms fitting together as though they were one, and then they turned to him with a sparkle in their eyes. Now it was his turn to inhale, readying himself for their onslaught as they came towards him. Capturing dark forest fairies was one thing, but satiating their lurid desires was another.

Thursday Threads entry - 'Hope'

Once again I checked out the prompt line for last weeks Thursday Threads flash fiction contest, hosted by Siobhan Muir, and I saw the story immediately. And again, I also managed to snag another Honourable Mention!

I went very dark with this, but it's what spoke to me. Enjoy!


Hope stood back to check his work, but felt there was still something missing. He stepped forward again and started moving them about, trying to form some kind of symmetry, or pattern that made sense outside his head.

It was tough going and he had broken out in a sweat. He pulled his jumper off and continued, not caring for once about his nudity, not here in the basement. The single unshielded bulb illuminated everything in a flat, stark light, but it also cast deep shadows across his chest and stomach. This pleased him. He didn’t want to see the scars from all those years ago.

As he moved a limb here, and a torso there, Hope realised he was almost done - a few more hooks, and they’d be done hanging; although he’d take a couple of photos first, just for his own records. Then he’d take them down and think about putting together the next piece. It wasn’t going to be easy. He’d gone through all of those who’d mocked him through school, now he needed to find work colleagues. He’d teach them what hope really meant, especially when it was taken away. 

Daily Picspiration - Sanctuary

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. I had an idea for this story, but it grew into something a little different that my original plan. Again I'm touching on another culture. And I seem to be giving my stories more of an optimist ending these days, which isn't a bad thing. Enjoy.

Posted on December 21st, you can read 'Sanctuary' here.


Tuesday 16 December 2014

2014 Story Advent Calendar Blog Hop - The Surprise.

Okay, so I am trying my hand at a children's Christmas story for the Story Advent Calendar Blog Hop. It's the idea of reading your children a Christmas story for each day of advent. I have used this wonderful photo as an inspiration. It is from was a Christmas card I was sent many, many years ago, and which I have always kept.

The  Surprise.

Poppy and Russell had been watching the snow falling all day. It was settling on everything and they couldn’t wait to go out and play in it.

“Mummy, when can we go out?” Poppy called over her shoulder.

“In a minute darling, let me just finish this,” a muffled voice from the kitchen replied.

Mummy had been in the kitchen a long time and they weren’t allowed to know what she was doing. She called it a secret, but then it had changed into a surprise. Poppy was worried because she knew not all mummy’s surprises were good. Sometimes it meant she was cooking food that looked and smelled funny and they would have to eat. Although today there were no funny smells today coming from the kitchen, which there usually were if she was doing that - there were only rustling noises.

Russell climbed down off the back of the sofa and tiptoed to the kitchen door.

“Russell, no!” Poppy hissed. She sighed. It was so difficult keeping her younger brother under control while mummy was doing these things. And it was always up to her to look after him.

Poppy joined him at the door intending to pull him back, but instead peeped through herself.

“What do you think it is, sis?” Russell whispered at her.

“I don’t know,” she whispered back, struggling to make out what mummy was doing.

There was a big, plastic box on the kitchen table, and mummy was covering it in Christmas wrapping paper, but every time she brought the paper round to the front she giggled. Poppy hadn’t seen mummy giggle like that before. She had seen her laugh, only this morning they were having a tickle game, but this was different; she seemed to have a particular sparkle in her eye when doing it. It made Poppy want to go and hug her. She thought about doing that, but knew mummy would be cross if she went into the kitchen without being allowed.

At that thought Poppy pulled at Russell again. “Come on, let’s go and get our coats on, ready for when mummy let’s us go out to play.”

They tramped into the hallway, and Poppy helped Russell on with his coat. When she pulled his scarf tight, he pulled a face, so she pulled one back. Before they knew it they were pulling faces at each other trying to see who could make the other one laugh the most.

Then there was a muffled call from the kitchen, and they stopped.

“What was that mummy?” Poppy called back.

“I said, come here. It’s no good; I can’t wrap him up.”

Poppy frowned at Russell, and he copied her.  “What’s mummy talking about?”

Russell opened his eyes wide and put his hands up in a shrug. “I don’t know, let’s go and see.”

He pushed passed Poppy wanting to be first, and she raced after him all the way to the door, where they both stopped suddenly and opened it slowly.

Mummy was sitting at the table now a mug in her hand. The plastic box was still on the table, but when they approached it, it moved.

Poppy jumped, but Russell continued on until he could see the front. His face lit up.

“Oh mummy, it’s a cat! Poppy come and look!” He beckoned to his sister with his whole arm.

Poppy joined him and they both peered through the door of the cat box, staring at the little black fluffy thing inside.

“Is it a baby cat, mummy?” Poppy asked, thinking he looked a bit bigger than she thought a baby cat would.

“No Poppy, he’s a bit older. But what are we going to call him?”

Poppy put her finger to her chin and ummed, but Russell blurted out “Sooty!”

“That’s a good name, Russell.” Mummy tousled his hair.

“Well he’s all black, isn’t he, from the chimley.”

Poppy giggled, and Mummy smiled at Russell’s attempt at the word chimney. “From what chimley, Russell?”

“Our chimley, of course, the one Father Christmas put him down to give him to us!”

“Oh I see!” Mummy laughed, and Poppy laughed too. She knew it wasn’t true - it couldn’t be, it wasn’t Christmas Eve yet and everyone knew Father Christmas only came on Christmas Eve. But if mummy wasn’t going to tell Russell, neither was she. She was a good like that.   

For all the Advent stories, see below. 


Wednesday 10 December 2014

HorrorBites - Stowaway

The new Horror Bites photo sparked a whole other type of horror in my head, one I hate to write about, but it's there, staring at me, demanding to be written. So here it is. Hope it doesn't give you nightmares.


Jason had to find daddy, then everything would be alright. Mummy had said he had flown far, far away, up into the clouds, so that meant he must have gone by plane. Jason knew where the airport was and he knew which bus went there. He was seven years old and big enough to ride the bus by himself. He counted out all the money from his money box for the trip.

The airport was a bit different. There were so many people, and so many desks. He wasn’t sure which plane to take, but there couldn’t be that many could there? He remembered his mummy mentioning his grandma Lewis lived in Dakota. They’d looked it up on the big map in his room. Maybe daddy had gone to visit his mummy, so he’d head there.

He followed the signs and seemed to have no trouble with the police at the special x-ray machines. The little girl in front of him with the big family had helped him with his bag, while another little girl had held his hand in the queue to get on the plane, when he’d been a little scared. There were lots of seats to choose from, so he picked one with a window.

When the plane took off he found it exhilarating, but his fun was killed when a man sat down next to him. He didn’t like the way he smelled. He had too much aftershave on and it turned Jason’s stomach. And the man kept talking to him, asking him about the things he liked. He thought about asking the pretty blonde air stewardess to tell him to go away, especially when the man put his hand on his knee, but he was worried he might get found out and sent home. He so wanted to see his daddy.

But after Jason told the man this, he got really scared. The man had squeezed Jason’s leg even harder and said, “Why don’t I be your daddy for a while then?” The way he had said it had made Jason want to pee.

Daily Picspiration - A New King

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. The third and final piece of a story set in India, about a local monachy and the change in reign. I have really enjoyed writing this small tale, covering an area and location I know little about, and doing a touch of research to back it up.

Posted on December 7th, you can read 'A New King' here.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Drunken Sailer - Halloween Edition MWBB

Today the results were finally in for the Halloween edition of Mid-Week Blues-Buster which was held at the end of October. (My story didn't rank). MWBB has been on haitus over November due to NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), but today Jeff Tsuruoka, who hosts it, relaunched it all.

The song for Halloween was an odd one (as Jeff is prone to using), being a twist of Irish music mixed with Turkish lilts, so it lent a strange 'bend' to the story. I also included the band members, because, well they're The Pogues, and there's nothing else quite like them! Enjoy!

The prompt song for Halloween week was:
 The Turkish Song of the Damned, by The Pogues

The curtains round her bed blew out slowly as they picked up a sea-breeze, and strains of the evening music played for the hotel guests below, reached Larissa as her doze wore off.

She sat up and slipped off the satin bed sheets, wrapping herself up in the complementary silken robe her five star room offered, and grabbed a piece of complementary Turkish delight on her way to the balcony, savouring the excessive sweetness in her mouth, mixed with the exotic lemon.

The sea view was magnificent at this time of night; the eastern stars shinning down, unaffected by the hotel lighting, which were dimmed by colourful lanterns, celebrating a festival she knew little about.

She couldn’t be further away from her homeland, either physically or culturally. The hot climes of an arid land contrasted the wet, greenery of her Gaelic heritage; the music, reedy and enthralling, unlike the jigs that moved her fellow countryman. She felt safe at last, away from the memories, away from the emotions of the last year and all its complications.

That’s what she called them: complications. She wasn’t ready to admit to herself the truth of what had transpired, and with this holiday, this little treat to herself, she planned on distancing herself further.

She looked out at the water, wondering at its temperature as she saw people at its edge. Were they swimming? Surely not at this late hour. But they seemed to be coming out, four of them, and fully dressed too.

Larissa watched them come up the beach, walking stiffly in their wet clothing. There was something familiar about their shapes and their gaits, and her stomach clenched as it triggered a memory, one she’d been trying to bury.

She struggled to swallow the last of the Turkish delight, which stuck in her throat as the figures came under the perimeter lights of the hotel and the face of the tallest was lit up. She stood transfixed as they came to a stop and all looked up at her.

Her mind refused to accept what she was seeing, until the tallest one opened his mouth to speak; his rotting teeth confirming his identity and filling her soul with dread.

She felt the fight or flight sensation run through her, but her feet wouldn’t move, and even at this distance she heard the words he formed through his long dead mouth.

“We’ve come back for ‘ya.”

Larissa shut her eyes and rubbed them, thinking maybe she was dreaming, but they were still there when she opened them – and she was sure, a step closer.

She looked from one face to the other; Jem, Spider, Fernley, and her one time love, Shane, all dressed as they had been that fateful drunken night when they had decided to take out her father’s boat. She had promised them she could sail it, even four sheets to the wind, but when they had gone further out, the waves had gotten up and she hadn’t been able to keep it steady.

She had frozen then, as she was frozen now, and clung to the tiny mast while the waves had buffeted the boat on all sides. She’d refused to crawl into the cabin and SOS for help on the radio, or throw out life rings as each one had tumbled overboard, their drunken state only helping the sea take them faster.

She’d been found the next morning by the lifeguards, still holding on, and to this day they believed she’d been alone. Larissa had said nothing to change that – even actively encouraging the rumours that the others had gone off travelling, on one of their drunken benders.

And maybe they had been, but they were back, and Shane was beckoning to her. This time her frozen state wasn’t going to save her.


Tuesday 25 November 2014

Daily Picspiration - Passing the Crown

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. This is a follow on to the last one, 'Birth Right', and it came out quite easily. I'm not sure if I will continue it yet, but I do like how this story and characters are coming. Enjoy.

Posted on November 23rd, you can read 'Passing the Crown' here.

Monday 24 November 2014

Horror Bites - Trapped

This Horror Bites photo prompt seemed very 'obvious' and I struggled with coming up with something original - although all the others who have participated so far have managed some quite unique, and very scary. In the end this is what I came up with. Hope it works.

kid in box 

Melissa woke up to pitch black. She tried to sit up, but bashed her head on something. She thought maybe she’d collapsed on the bottom bunk of her son’s bed, then remembered he’d left home last year and they hadn’t had bunk beds since he was ten.

She waited for her eyes to adjust, but they didn’t; there was no light. She reached her hands up and struck something solid just a few inches above her. She reached out to the sides and the same thing happened.

She felt panic rise in her chest, trying to recall the last thing she remembered. It was hard; her mind felt fuzzy, unclear, there was a lot of resistance, like a hangover.

There’d been a delivery of furniture at the garden centre. She’d been moving one of the combi garden bench-boxes out onto the display. Russell had been there. She remembered because he always gave her the creeps. His smile was disturbing and he was always watching, waiting for her to notice him. She shuddered even now in the box.

Melissa pushed up hard, but there was no movement. Her panic increased. She scratched at the sides, but it was hard plastic, confirming her suspicions that she was inside one of the combi boxes.

She started shouting and bashing harder, but she knew no one would hear her. It had been after closing on Sunday when she’d been setting up the display; the garden centre wasn’t open on Monday’s. She had no idea how long she’d been in here already, but she started to feel breathless. Whether it was panic or lack of air in the box she wasn’t sure. 

She felt her mind swoon. She was losing consciousness. An image popped into her head of her limp arm hanging out of the box while her raw fingers dripped blood onto the concrete floor. “If only,” she mumbled. It could be months before they found her. 

323 Words

Monday 10 November 2014

Thursday Threads entry - 'Trading'

Home of #ThursThreadsIt has been a long time, a little over a year, since I have entered a piece for the Thursday Threads flash fiction contest, hosted by Siobhan Muir, so I was completely surprised to find that it yielded an Honourable Mention!

It is a word prompt, and these days I tend to be drawn to more visual inspiration. But I always check and have a read, and with this one the story appeared immediately.


Padrov pulled the car into the secluded parking lot, and spotted the battered brown Datsun straight away. He thought they’d drive something better than that with what they made.

He parked on the opposite side, wanting to keep his distance, and glanced in the rear view mirror at the round, terrified eyes looking back at him. He felt the sweat on his palms prickle.

Then he glanced at the woman squashed into the footwell behind the passenger seat, and she glanced back, her hands never leaving the knees of the two little boys.

Padrov killed the engine and waited. Someone got out of the Datsun. When they turned to face him, Padrov’s fear turned to rage. He knew this man. He was a teacher. His stomach churned at the thought of how many children he’d come into contact with.

Padrov breathed, opening his door slowly, and resisted the urge to scratch the wire under his shirt.

When they had both moved forward, the man jerked his head at the two small faces in the back of Padrov’s car.

“I’d like to see what I’m buying.”

“Not yet. Show me the money first.” Padrov was firm.

The man took out a buddle of notes and fanned them.

Padrov nodded. “Good, you have enough.”

With the key words triggered, sirens blared and blue lights lit up the car park, not giving the man time to turn round. Padrov didn’t say any more, only spat as his feet at he was taken away. 

Daily Picspiration - Birth Right

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. It took me a while to know where I wanted this to go. I had the opening, but I struggled to see past it. Now I can't decide if I want to go further with this. We will see what the next round of pictures bring. It is also a different subject matter, or type of story for me - although I quite like that. I hope you enjoy.

Posted on November 9th, you can read 'Birth Right' here.


Tuesday 4 November 2014

Passing Souls - Published in Sirens Call eZine

Issue #17 of the eZine from Sirens Call Publications has just been released, with the theme 'Trick or Treat' for Halloween. And my little tale is in there, along with one from my friend Laura James.

You will find my piece 'Passing Souls' on Page 46.

As always with this ezine, the stories are not for the faint-hearted, and the good thing is that it is free to download, so no excuse, go and read it now!


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.