Wednesday 25 February 2015

Five Sentence Fiction - Forgotten

Another Five Sentence Fiction that needed to be written for, the photo encompassing the word prompt well. 


She curled up in a ball so no one could see her - although it didn’t matter because they never saw her anyway, much like when she had lived at home; only visible when they wanted her to be a tool in an argument, a sounding board for an emotional dump, or an excuse for their pain.

She rocked back and forth, the rhythm bringing comfort, bringing calm, bringing solace.

Her eyes fell on the umbrella, all beaten up and discarded alone in the middle of the street, pieces sticking out, bent and broken, ripped and torn.

In that moment it was a kindred spirit understanding her more than any living thing ever had. She only wished she could be as inanimate and free of feeling. 

Found - MWBB

This was for last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster which saw one of the largest turnouts of entries. I liked the song but struggled to really find something that fit for me, but when I started writing this little apocalyptic tale came out. 

The prompt song was:
Faded Flowers, by Shriekback

Gavin pulled the blanket up over her face, trying to feel something, but only numbness came. There was so much death now it was hard to have any other reaction. Then he stood and viewed the barren room, walking over the bare concrete floor to the window, where he looked out over the dead city. He had to get out of here; he knew that; the clock was ticking. He could hear it in his head.

He glanced back at Trisha’s body. He still couldn’t bring an emotion. They both knew she was going to succumb, and he did the right thing finding this quiet place for her to pass, but now what? Was he next? He didn’t feel it; he felt okay.

He had to go, but he lingered. He might not be able to feel sadness or love, but leaving Trish here, it felt wrong. But where was there to bury someone in a city? An empty city at that – well empty of people, you couldn’t move for debris.

He went back over to her body and squatted down. He pulled the blanket back again and looked at her silent face. He brushed a finger along her white cheek, and bent down to kiss it. The only thing he felt was a hole, a big empty hole in his gut. He was alone now.

He flicked the blanket back and left the apartment without allowing a further thought.

He took the stairs, running down them at high speed, so the twenty-five flights went by fast, allowing his mind to become a blur along with the stairwell.

At the bottom he pushed out into the street and stood completely still. Waiting. He could hear the wind, and the debris being tossed around by it, and a banging from a loose door a few blocks down, but there were no deliberate sounds, either human or animal.

Everything was gone, and he had to go too.

He looked around at the cars all bunched up in the roads and started jogging along the streets he knew would take him out, watching the jams thicken, observing how the human race was so predictable.

When he reached the outskirts he stopped, the road ahead a trail of yet more vehicles, and considered what to do. That was when he heard it, a light tapping.

It was several cars ahead before he spotted the movement, and he debated whether to go over – did he want to see? But he knew he had to.

At the back window was a small face, a boy, trapped, but alive. For the first time in days he felt something rise inside him, something positive, something desperate, and he started yanking and kicking at the crumpled door. It wasn’t going to give.

He looked around at the debris on the ground and found a good size rock with a sharp point. The boy saw him and moved back. Gavin smashed at the window, remembering to aim for the bottom corner as that was where they said it would most likely break in an emergency. When it popped it brought with it a gush of rotten air from inside. Gavin resisted moving back from it, instead reaching in to grab the boy who reached for him and pull him out. He stumbled back as he pulled him out and they both fell, the boy on top of him, but neither let go as though afraid to, clinging to the life they had found.

Eventually the boy pulled up and looked up at Gavin with delight, but also caution.

“I’m David,” he croaked, his throat dry from days trapped in the car.

“I’m Gavin,” Gavin replied, also through a croaky voice. His emotions had finally kicked in.

Friday 20 February 2015

Visual Dare - Tempest

Another Visual Dare that can not be missed! Although it took me a long time to get the word count to work for me. 


Emily came rushing in.

“I’ve got it, I’ve got it!”

Sasha ran over and peered at the dark cloud in the jar. She reached out to touch the glass, but a flash of lightning made pull back. “Oh wow, you did too!”

“You can’t keep it.” Augustine came marching over.

“Can too!” Emily pulled the jar away as Augustine tried to take it.

“You can not! JohnQuin will be in SO much trouble if you do!”

“Serves him right for teasing me with it.”

“But Emily he’ll get in trouble with King Ravi.” Sasha had witnessed the Fairy King’s wrath when his underlings exposed their enchantments to outsiders.  

“So? I caught it, it’s mine.”

Augustine lunged at Emily and snatched it away. “Witches can not keep hold of a tempest, it’s dangerous. I’m taking it back.”

Emily screeched in frustration at Augustine as she strode out of the cottage. 

149 Words

In the Dark - MWBB

This was for last weeks Valentine's Day Mid-Week Blues-Buster edition, the song provoked a rather intense piece from me, which had been crying even as I wrote it. I didn't really see it as relating to Valentine's Day, but it is about love, and loss.

The prompt song was:
In the Dark by Tracey Chapman

She pushed herself into the corner between the bedside table and wicker chair in the bedroom. She clasped her hands tight round her knees, bringing them up to her chin and rocked, back and forth, back and forth. The tears left her eyes and her soul as they coursed down her face, but she didn’t heed them. She stared straight ahead remembering, recalling every image and every smell, every touch. She had to gasp for air and let her stomach hitch, but otherwise no sound left her. The scream that raged through her was as silent as her rocking.

She heard the front door crash downstairs and a deep voice shout her name, “Phillipa!” She heard mumbling, even a scuffle in the hallway, but it was broken by the sound of footsteps rushing up the stairs. The bedroom door crashed open, and in a softer tone, “Phillipa!” was uttered, as a body rushed round the room to her.

Big arms reached for her, as her saviour slumped down on the floor in front of her. And she shuffled forward into them, letting them embrace and comfort her. Then the sound came to her cry, a wail escaping her lips, as they rocked together. She could feel the dampness seep from his eyes onto her hair and face. He nuzzled closer into her neck as her howl became louder, his hand caressing the back of her head, wanting her to stop, but knowing she couldn’t.

She might never be able to again.

After some time that seemed endless, and her cry had reduced to weeping, there was a light knock on the bedroom door frame. Paul lifted his head. She felt a slight nod for whoever stood there. She heard the shuffle of several people coming into the room, but she didn’t want to remove her face from the safety of Paul’s shoulders. She didn’t want to open her eyes and see. It would hurt too much.

A hand rubbed her back and words were muttered.

“Phillipa honey, we need to get in touch with people, and let them know.”

But she didn’t want to tell anyone, she didn’t want to say those words, not ever. How could she? It would mean she could accept what had happened, and she couldn’t; she couldn’t accept that she would never see her baby again, her gorgeous son who had spent the last nine years of her life as part of her soul, part of her life blood. She didn’t think she could ever accept that he was gone, no matter how many people she told.

Monday 16 February 2015

Daily Picspiration - Moving Out

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. It was only as I was towards the end of writing it that I realised I hadn't encompassed any of the photos. So I managed to squish in an owl hooting towards the end. The characters are developing nicely. I actually had to write out a list of them and their ages to keep it straight in my head. I have no idea where this is going or where it will end.

Posted on February 15th, you can read 'Moving Out' here.

You can read Part 3 - 'New Recruit' here.
You can read Part 2 - New Location here. 
You can read Part 1 - Frozen here.


Visual Dare - Second Sight

I've wanted to write for last week's Visual Dare since I saw it, but I didn't manage to squish it in until now.


She lay there and felt the light fall upon her. She let it fill her, its gold embrace flooding through her from top to toe. She felt it flow out of her fingers and toes and spread through the room, sweeping out of the doorway and flooding the entire house. If she opened her eyes she was sure she would see it. But she didn’t want to open them; she wanted to live in the light a little longer.

Angela felt the energies surround her as the light changed from gold to deep white, and then violet, flushing out all her pain, her sadness and only leaving her untainted self inside. It was like they stood waiting for her to tell them what she needed, how they could best assist her. She could feel their support, their strength, and for the first time knew she was not alone. 

148 Words.

Friday 13 February 2015

Five Sentence Fiction - Open

This week's Five Sentence Fiction spoke to me immediately. 


Belinda sat looking out of the open window, across the vast expanse of land and wondered, as she had so many times, what would happen if she just climbed out of it and ran.

It would be a while before anyone would notice she was gone, the kids were going to their grandma’s after school anyway, because she had an appointment, so she had a few hours head start.

But as always the fantasy faltered when she thought about where to go, and how she would survive once there; she had nothing, no destination, no money and no skills to offer anyone. And her mind went, as usual, to what would happen here without her; how the kids would feel being abandoned, how they would survive, even though they still had their father, and how no one would understand why she had gone.

And plus if she went it meant she could never come back, never return no matter how hard she might regret it – and she might, she knew that, which was why, although the open window beckoned to her, she knew she would never go through it.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

A Mustache Survey ... Of Sorts

Tagged by Angela Lynn from Ang Writes


Four Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name:

1. Rand
2. ‘M’ (or Em)
3. Mand
4. Amanda (when they’ve misread my name – happens more than you think!)

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Barmaid
2. Swing Showman (winch operator on a West End show)
3. Chamber Maid
4. Secretary/PA

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Once:

1. Aliens
2. Inception
3. Peter’s Friends
4. Avatar

Four Books I'd Recommend:

1. Weaveworld – Clive Barker
2. The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King
3. Dead Sea Games – James Hazzard
4. Gaea’s Chosen – Cara Michaels

Four Places I Have Lived:

1. Brunswick, Melbourne
2. Wimbledon, London
3. Kettering, Northants
4. Southend-On-Sea, Essex

Four Place I've Been: 

1. Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) Lantau Island, Hong Kong
2. Niagara Falls, Canada
3. Tulum, Mexico
4. Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:

1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Quorn, South Australia
3. Gnarabup Beach, Western Australia
4. Maldives

Four Things I Don't Eat:

1. Curry, or any Indian Food
2. Lemon Grass
3. Ginger
4. Chilli peppers

Four Of My Favorite Foods:

1. Chocolate
2. Tuna
3. Parsnips
4. Mushrooms

Four TV Shows That I Watch:

1. The Walking Dead
2. Scott & Bailey
3. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
4. Gilmore Girls (they are still being re-run)

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To This Year (2015):

1. Having a car again.
2. Going on Holiday in May
3. Going to MinionCon in Nottingham, in June
4. Sending out my novel to beta readers

Four Things I'm Always Saying:

1. Balls!
2. Indeed!
3. Well it’s better than a slap in the face with a wet fish.
4. Go, go, Gadget Go!

Four People I'll tag: (No. Pressure.)

1. Susi

Monday 9 February 2015


I was a bit shocked this morning to find that my piece for last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster had earnt first place! I hadn't expected it at all. I liked the piece I had written, but didn't really expect it to rate much from others, especially not from the judge. It just goes to show how wrong you can be about your own writing, and what resonates with other people. For me this piece has a picture that relates to it, so I will put it up here too.

The prompt song was:
Long Black Curl, by Tuatha Dae. 

Waterhole, Ayers Rock / Uluru

As the dark, burnt orange colour of the rock turned to a lighter shade with the rise of the sun, Ariel took in the magnificence of it. She’d started out early when the sky was just turning into dark blue velvet, and crossed the place where foolish people dared to climb it as a hint of light broke the horizon. She wanted to avoid the tourists and take in the sacred place, breathe its scent and hear its whispers without any manmade disturbance.

She watched its changing surface as the sun took up its dazzling blaze, and paused in her walk every now and then to observe the different markings etched into its fabric, wondering at their intention and meaning. A part of her knew; they were engrained in her soul as part of a previous life, but it was like a wisp in her memory, she couldn’t quite catch it. She saw the tendrils of the idea and tried to follow it, but it disappeared in the haze.

Then she saw it, a waterhole right up against the surface, washing it clean of the rust that had aged it and revealing its youthful silver beneath; the gleaming reality of the mountains soul. Ariel stood mesmerised, and a part of her opened inside, revealing the memories she’d lost as a child.

Then the sound reached her, the music of her childhood – but not in this lifetime. She looked up to the sound and saw him standing on a shelf in the rock, the didgeridoo deftly balanced close to the edge. He took a pause from playing and looked down at her, waving. She waved back, filled with eagerness and wanting. Then he beckoned and she looked around, wondering how she could possibly reach him.

Ariel saw the opening, behind the tree, it looked nothing more than a crevice, but when she drew closer she saw the ground had been well trodden. She followed the path that led through it, the tunnel ever bright with the light at the end, which turned out to be a clearing inside, an expanse of ground enclosed by the surrounding rock, but open to the sky.

He was there, waiting for her. He held out his hand and she took it, running into his arms, a daughter greeting her father from another lifetime. She was home.

Friday 6 February 2015

Horror Bites - Unsettling

It's taken me a while to come up with a story for this Horror Bites prompt. It didn't talk to me originally. And then I got an opening and ran with it, and it's turned out quite well, I think, I had to cut it hard to fit the word count this time. Enjoy.


Robson felt his legs shaking as he tried to catch his breath. He was up too high for his liking, but there’d been nowhere else to go. He could feel the wind cooling the sweat on his face and making the ladder shudder. He wished it would stop. It’s why he’d never been a roofer, even though he could lay tiles better than any of his team.

His team - he risked a glance down. He could still see the gaping hole by the wall they’d finished yesterday. He remembered George mentioning its appearance this morning, putting it down to some kind of settling in the ground – unsettling more like!

Robson couldn’t see anything from this height, but he wasn’t going to risk climbing back down, even if it meant being up here all night. He swallowed hard at the thought, to stop panic rising. He focused his gaze upwards instead, across the tiles to the peak of the roof. Maybe he should climb up and straddle it like Jackson did at break times. Maybe he could attract attention from up there, get some help. Although was that a good idea? That would bring people, innocent bystanders, who had no clue what they were walking into. It was bad enough when they’d all come running to Paddy’s screams.

Robson shuddered and this time it wasn’t from the wind. He couldn’t get the picture of Paddy’s bloody foot out of his head, or the image of Jackson and George crawling into the hole after him. He’d be waking from the sound of their screams for months to come.

He crawled up over the guttering and onto the tiles. By the time he put his leg over the ridge and sat up, the sun was going down. It looked like he was up here for the night, but at least he was safe. Although, when movement caught his peripheral vision and he turned to find a black mass with two red eyes crawling towards him, he realised he’s forgotten to do one thing; push the ladder off the side of the house. 

350 Words

Thursday 5 February 2015

Visual Dare - Waiting

Quick off the mark again this week with my Visual Dare , although I found the last line of this tricky, as I didn't have in my head who or where the character was going. And really it's just a snippet of a much larger story. Enjoy.

The train jolted and Mandy’s handbag fell onto the floor. The carriage all turned to look while she picked up each item. And why not, she thought, there’s nothing better to do is there? Like helping me! 

As she stuffed each item back into her bag, she sat back and glanced at her watch. She hoped it wasn’t going to take much longer. It was bad enough that she had to make this journey alone, but quite another to have to do it under scrutiny. She wanted it over. 

Fortunately the next stop brought her a reprieve; someone dressed as Santa got on. They all turned to look at him instead, some quite blatantly, and others surreptitiously over their papers or books. Mandy breathed an inner sigh of relief. Thank goodness. Now she just had to work out how she was going to tell her daughter her father wasn’t coming.  

150 Words

Sunday 1 February 2015

Daily Picspiration - New Recruit (Part 3)

My Daily Picspiration went up on today. The photo's didn't initially work for me, I had to think about how I could integrate them to continue this story. I liked what came, although I should have spent more time wording it as I feel it reads a bit stilted. It occurs to me that this story could be very big and I am not sure how long I want to continue a serial. I like having a fresh story sometimes. I will see what the next photos offer.

Posted on February 1st, you can read 'New Recruit' here.

You can read Part 1 - Frozen here.
You can read Part 2 - New Location here.