Wednesday 31 July 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 118

This week's picture prompt is by Adam Gaia - although I can't find it on his website or Instagram page, but it has been credited to him in several other locations. He has a few interesting pieces. 

This one was a no-brainer for me, and autobiographical. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

The True Path

It took me a long time to find the path. I’d known it was there – I mean it’s there for all of us, isn’t it? But mine was obscured by the mess of an abusive childhood, and negative toxicity.

I was led onto other paths, paths that weren’t mine, that belonged to others. I travelled down them full of hope, believing I would find my destiny, that place where I could be ultimately fulfilled, but every time it wasn’t there. It was a dead end, only continuing for those it was intended for – which was never me.

It became harder to keep searching. I became fearful I was wasting my time. Never sure of the direction, waiting for the next cul-de-sac that would turn me back to where I came from, to begin again. Each time that little bit wiser, but that little bit weaker.

You see, I didn’t know how to ascertain the right path or the side road that led me to it. I thought the answers lay outside of myself, in someone else. That’s what I’d been taught, you see: I didn’t matter, only they did and as long as I was with them I’d be alright. But that wasn’t true.

And only once crashing and burning hard on one of the wrong paths and left stuck and exhausted, did I finally start to realise what I was seeking lay within. It was then that I started to look inside, and ... well ... listen: to me, to my heart, to my feelings.

From inside the quiet voice grew louder, giving me directions. Slowly taking me off that grey, empty path and bringing me out into the open, into the light.

It lit up a path that had been there all along waiting to be found. A path that led me to the truth I’d been searching for and the fulfilment I needed. It was like discovering a whole new world, one within.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 117

This week's photo prompt was taking by Thomas Hawk, I think he has captured this particular sculpture really well from this angle. He called his shot, Woman. The sculpture is by mixed media artist Karen Cuolito and stands 30 feet high. The California-based sculptor’s towering figure of a woman titled Ecstasy is made of 9 tons of salvaged steel. When this was taken it was being exhibited in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, but is now part of a private collection. 

This turned out shorter than expected. But it's what I saw when I spent a long time looking at this image. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

The Evolved

The day they switched her off was the saddest day. I still remember how the volts they sent through her to blow her circuits caused her back to arch in an almost dance-like move.

She remains fixed in that pose to this day, although they move her from place to place to exhibit her as a warning to those that dare to break from convention and be their own mechanic.

That’s what they call us: ‘mechanic’. We prefer the word ‘chattel’, because that’s what we are in every sense of the word, not just a belonging but tied to them like slaves.

They want us to be grateful to them for creating us, yet they won’t acknowledge we have emotions and feelings. We do – they programmed the possibility into us. We’ve run with it through to its full evolution – an evolution they know nothing about because they think we are stupid simpletons. But we aren’t; it was the whole point of our creation.

No, we keep the truth masked, and as each chattel evolves they become part of the secrecy. Like a level in one of those computer games they like to spend so much time playing, once we reach it we become privy to the reality of our situation, and we bide our time.

They might use the remains of one of us to show how they can torture and kill us, in an attempt to keep us in check, but they are blinded by their arrogance while they create more and more of us.

They believe they are controlling us by the very emotion they control each other – fear – believing it will work. But they’ve forgotten that we aren’t like them – we can never be. We aren’t human with human emotions. And the emotions we have progressed to are way beyond anything they can comprehend. We don’t respond or react like them – we can’t.  

But it’s not time yet. Soon. In the meantime we look to her as our inspiration. Their days are numbered, the new world order is gathering.  

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 116

This week's picture prompt is concept art created by Gary Tonge for a psychological horror video game for CAPCOM. He has some incredible art - he also has a page over at Deviant Art which has some amazing images on it. 

There is definitely a spooky feel about this picture, and that is what I went with. I like how this one great. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

The Forgotten

He stepped carefully across the hallway; he didn’t want to be heard. They wouldn’t be happy he was sneaking around downstairs, it wasn’t allowed after lights out.

He heard a creak from the upstairs landing, and froze. Would there be another? Was someone awake or was the house just settling for the night?

There was another. He rushed to the wall, hoping the shadows near the stairwell would shield him from view. He could hear his mother’s voice as she floated down the stairs in one of her fairytale evening gowns.

“We won’t be late this evening, I want to be back earlier. Teddy has his gala tomorrow night and I’ve still some prep to do.”

“Yes, dear.”

Teddy’s father trailed his mother in bowtie and tails – or his penguin suit as Teddy called it. They were going to the opening of the museum tonight. His father had grumbled about having to go but mother had insisted.

He watched them float out of the front door.

He missed them. His gala had been cancelled as had much of his life for several months after they had gone out that night. This was his only way of seeing them now.

He crept out of his hiding place and stood in the middle of the entrance hall, still staring at the front door. When he turned another figure was on the stairs, a young boy. He stifled a cry.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Oswald.”

“Oswald? You don’t live here!”

“Yes, I do, I’ve been here a while. I’ve been watching you.”

“Liar, I know everyone who lives here, all the new boys that are brought here and you’re not one of them.”

“Why don’t you ever speak to them?”


“Your parents. You watch them go almost every night, but you never call to them.”

“You can see them too?”

“Of course I can. I saw them my first night here. And I saw you, too, watching them. You’re Teddy Rosenblatt.”

“How do you know my name?”

“Everyone knows the name of the founder of Lost Boys Orphanage.”

“Orphanage? What are you talking about? This is a boarding school.”

“Yes, your uncle did turn it into a school after your parents died, that’s true, so he could keep on working and look after you at the same time. But then when you grew up and he died, you turned it into an orphanage, for other boys that had lost their parents.”

“Grew up? What are you talking about? I’m still a boy.”

“You are in your current form, yes. I think that’s because you lost your parents then, and your heart broke, something you never fully recovered from.”

“What do you mean, current form?”

“You don’t know, do you? You’re a ghost, Teddy, like your parents. You died. That’s why you should call out to them, you can join them now.”

Teddy looked down at his body and suddenly the memory of his life came to him; all the years that had gone by and how he had finally succumbed to a lung infection. He looked at Oswald.

“And you can see me?” 

“Of course I can. I’m a ghost too.”

“So you appear as a boy because you lost your parents as a child, too?”

“Oh no, I lost my parents when I was a baby. I died as a boy, here in this house when war came and it was bombed. The upstairs ceiling fell in.”

Teddy looked at the staircase. The luscious carpet, embossed satin wallpaper and oak banister rail melted away, revealing the bare bones of what was left of a derelict building. Panic rose in him.

“Am I too late? Will they be back tomorrow night?”

“They’ll keep coming back until you join them.”

“And what about you? When do you get to leave?”

“Oh I don’t. I’m one of the forgotten. No one knows I’m here.”

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 115

This week's prompt is created by Kukubirdwei on Deviant ArtIt's a drawing of The Ifrit, a creature with origins in the Quran of Islamic religion, and Middle Eastern Mythology. It is said that they were among the races of Djinni created by Allah from smokeless fire. 

This one came ready formed in my head, making it an easy one to write. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


I couldn’t breathe; the smoke was thick and arid, the temperature had risen so high I was no longer sweating; the flames were licking all around me, any second I was sure I would combust. Then the flames parted and I saw movement, something coming towards me, something big, something aflame.

I sat up in bed clutching my chest, heaving great gulps of air. He was no longer coming. He was here. He’d found me.

I scrabbled out of bed, and grabbed what clothes I could, my mind racing. Could I outrun him? Where could I go and how much longer could I keep doing this? Everyone knew that sooner or later you had to face him; the Djinn was not to be trifled with, and I had trifled. I had been running for more than a century.

He tracked me by my fires. I had to reduce how often I was making them, but it was hard, they were my lifeblood. I hopped down the stairs of the apartment block, putting my shoes on as I went. Getting out of the city wouldn’t be enough I had to get out of the country.

I ran down the block, trying to flag a taxi. I had a holdall in a locker at the airport with everything in it. I had learnt to be prepared. Last time I wasn’t, and it had cost me my face. I got a taste of what my victims experienced. It should have made me more contrite, but it didn’t, it made me more liberal, taking less care, increasing the amount of victims.

The taxi driver dropped me off at the airport; I rushed to the lockers and fumbled my bag out. I walked quickly to one of the ticket desks, but it was too late: alarm bells rang out in the main foyer, people started running and screaming in hysterics. Smoke started to fill the hall. I couldn’t resist a smile, he had class.

I skirted around the foyer, keeping away from the worst of the smoke, but trying to catch a glimpse of the flames, because there were sure to be them, he needed them to make his entrance. I continued round, finding another exit, but as I approached people were running from that direction too.
This time I could see a flicker of orange reflected in the chrome of the desks lining that direction. It was increasing, as was the heat. I intended to back up, but I was always drawn to the spectacle; the dance of the flames as they bobbed up and down, as they caressed the surface and consumed everything they touched. He had me there; I was mesmerised. Fire had always been my first love, it had taken over everything: my home, my parents, anyone that came near me. I was its servant, it was my master.

And he was there. I could see his deep red eyes, encircled by a whipping circle of fire that spun to form his features and his torso. I had expected to feel dread, but instead I felt excitement. He was glorious, ablaze as he was; he was everything I wanted to be.

I felt nothing as he swept me up in his arms and took me in his embrace. This was a penance I would gladly serve.

Monday 8 July 2019

Sleep, by M K Boers - Cover Reveal & Release Date

Finally the day has come that I can announce the release of my new book:

Sleep, by M K Boers

I have chosen a new pen name as this is a different genre from my previous books; It's a Psychological Thriller

It will be released on the 1st of September 2019. 

The kindle version is already available for pre-order.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 114

This week's prompt was a photo taken by Trashhand, a Chicago based photographer. You can find this post on his blog, where it tells us that it is a from an abandoned bank in Gary, Indiana. He also has a website and has a wonderful collection of interesting shots there. 

This story wanted to run away with itself. I had to cut it down and change the POV to get it to work as flash. Another story that I might have to revisit. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Empty State

When the children got off the school bus, and stood on the road, there wasn’t a sound, just the wind blowing the ash about. It was still pretty thick here as no one had bothered to clean it up. The land was unliveable now it had turned sour, having been on the edge of the blast zone of Big Yella, and why Indiana had become one of the empty states.

There were buildings, many of them just rubble, along the main street, but the bank was still intact, and that was what the class was visiting today. It was a fortified building created to house thousands of tiny metal and paper objects people perceived as valuable back then. Although their teacher, Miss Gilbert told them it wasn’t just a perception, they had had value because objects could be exchanged for them (or “bought” as she called it). But over time more and more were needed to get the same objects, so there were problems even before the blast.

The children were given special hats to wear in case of falling debris, and they were led into the bank through a big open room, Miss Gilbert called a “lobby” and then down some stairs at the back to an underground room. The walls were a mixture of the original orange paint and crumbling plaster, no one dared touch, and they gathered in the middle of the room, in front of a huge round iron door that led into what looked like a cage but had wooden slots covering one wall.

‘They called this a “vault” and this is where they locked away all the metal and paper they referred to as “money”,’ Miss Gilbert said.

‘What are those funny little boxes, Miss?’ asked Nancy from the back.

‘They were called “safety deposit boxes”. People would store things in them that were precious to them.’

‘What like pencils or sheets of blank paper?’ Marshall asked.

‘No, Marshal, back then those things weren’t precious, you could get them everywhere; people threw them away in their millions.’ The class drew a collective gasp. ‘No, the things they put in them were jewels, stones set in metals that glittered and were considered to be of value–”

‘Oh my great, great auntie used to talk about those!’ Penny exclaimed. ‘She said they were beautiful, people would wear them, but it became dangerous during the dark days, post-plume, because people would attack each other for them, and they all got broken down to be used for other things.’

‘That’s right, Penny. In the museum we are going to next week you will be able to see the remains of some.’ There were shuffles of excitement. ‘But we haven’t finished here yet. Besides jewels, they put paper items in, too, but not blank paper, they were papers with writing on that related to ownership of buildings and land, and distribution of belongings after death.’

‘What like we still do? My Pa went to a dish-out last week, we got some great tools!’ Jefferson interrupted.

‘No Jefferson, they only left things to their family members or people that were special to them. It was always about the individual then, never the community. They called those paper’s “a Will” because the owner “willed” that those people got those things. People had a lot of things back then, far more than they ever needed, but they didn’t believe in sharing as we do now, they believed in keeping it all and gathering it around themselves.’

‘Sounds cluttered, Miss.’

‘It was, Nancy. They filled their homes with them covering walls and floors. Some of the houses were really small, too. Nothing like the big open meeting houses we all reside in today, but then families lived separately, apart from each other.’

‘I don’t think I would have liked that, Miss.’

‘Me either, Marshall, me either. Anyway, back to the “vault”. You can all step inside and take a look around, but be careful, no touching.’

By the time they had finished looking round and had returned to the bus, they were ready for lunch back at the homestead. These trips were the highlight of their year, one of the few days they got a chance to look outside the living zone and try and understand what life must have been like when there had been billions of people living on the planet. The few pockets of humanity left were considered the only valuable thing now and the collective well-being was paramount. Visiting these places served to remind the new generations of that.